Friday, June 01, 2007

"I've Already Talked About College Baseball, But..."

Skip to the random thought

But, I needed something to talk about today, and the NCAA Baseball Tournament begins today. Wahoo! How much of it will I be watching? I have no idea. I don't even know how much of it is on television, particularly this weekend. I still don't understand why this tournament doesn't have more prominence. Why isn't every game of this tournament on television somewhere? At the very least, shouldn't I be able to get some pay-per-view package that gives me all of the tournament games? Instead, I'm pretty sure that tonight's opening game between Florida State and Bethune-Cookman won't be televised. Then again, I'm not sure I would watch it anyway. And, I'm not sure how many non-FSU games I would watch in the opening rounds. But anyway, let's look at the bracket and see what pops out.

First off, Florida State is the #6 national seed, but I fully expect them to not be one of the 8 teams to make it to the College World Series. First off, they would have been a top 3 seed, except that they had a pathetic showing in the ACC Tournament last weekend. (Hey, maybe they were thinking ahead. It can't hurt to rest your players.) But as long as I've had an appreciable interest in FSU baseball, they've had a good team, and fizzled out in the Super Regionals. So, who's most likely to knock them off this year? First off, in the regionals, FSU's only real threat is Mississippi State. I'm not worried about Bethune-Cookman or Stetson. Based on all of the various rankings out there, Mississippi State is about the 30th best team in the country. They're actually far more likely to lose in the Super Regional round, where their opponent will either be Coastal Carolina or Clemson. Coastal Carolina is a top 15 team in most polls that I've seen. But, knowing how these things usually work, Clemson will probably beat them, and then beat the Seminoles, just like they did in the ACC tournament last week. In fact, Clemson is 3-1 against Florida State this season. So, if Clemson makes it to the Super Regionals, I think it's all over for the Seminoles. Great. Stupid Clemson. But hey, you never know - maybe Coastal Carolina will come through.

Personally, I had no idea Coastal Carolina was that good. Who else is unexpectedly good? Or, at least, good at baseball and no other sports? Rice and Cal State Fullerton would certainly fall into that category - perennial college baseball powers that really aren't known for prowess in any other sport. San Diego and Long Beach State are also top seeds in the tournament, so Southern California seems to have a lot of good teams.

Just for fun, let's look at the distribution of teams in the tournament by conference:

ACC - 7 (North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia, Clemson, NC State, Miami (FL), Wake Forest)
Big XII - 6 (Texas, Missouri, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State, Baylor)
SEC - 5 (Vanderbilt, Arkansas, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Mississippi State)
Pac-10 - 4 (Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona, Arizona State)
C-USA - 4 (Rice, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, East Carolina)
Big West - 4 (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Long Beach State)
Big Ten - 3 (Michigan, Ohio State, Minnesota)
Big East - 3 (St. John's, Louisville, Rutgers)
Sun Belt - 3 (UL Lafayette, Troy, New Orleans)
West Coast - 2 (San Diego, Pepperdine)
Missouri Valley - 2 (Wichita State, Creighton)
Atlantic Sun - 2 (Stetson, Jacksonville)
Southern - 2 (Western Carolina, Wofford)
Other conferences - 1 (Austin Peay, Lafayette, Illinois-Chicago, Fresno State, Monmouth, Sam Houston State, Oral Roberts, Brown, Prairie View, TCU, Le Moyne, Kent State, Albany, Bethune-Cookman, Coastal Carolina, VCU, Charlotte)

Generally, the first-weekend regional are lined up, well, regionally. The NCAA wants to keep teams close to home for cost efficency, while keeping conference opponents apart as long as possible. But my favorite regional is this one: North Carolina, East Carolina, Western Carolina, and...Jacksonville. Come on, NCAA - would it hurt to have South Carolina in there too? (Actually, the seedings wouldn't work out that way. But the winner of the directional Carolina region might get to play South Carolina in the next round. I guess that's acceptable.)

In case you haven't figured it out by now, this post really doesn't have a point. Remember what I said in the original post: my goal is to waste as much of your free time as possible.

Today's random thought:

- Happy first of the month! I'm curious to see how my monthly mileage totals will change now that I don't have to drive 500 miles each way to see Amber. We won't know yet, because the month of May still featured one State College round trip, helping contribute to May's total of 2,116 miles, ranked 4th out of 5 months this year. But, you that Amber lives here, maybe we'll take even longer road trips. Hmm...

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Tournament? Settle a champion on the field? What is this nonsense? Shouldn't we just vote for the #1 team in the country and leave it at that? <\sarcasm>