What's wrong with just starting the season a month later, for the whole NCAA.
This is a problem, but if any major changes are made, baseball in the Big 10 will cease to exist. No kid would want to play in this conference.
The RPI needs to go. Get rid of it. It benefits the power conferences way too much and is totally flawed. The tweaks coming next season are trivial in my opinion. Does anyone know how long the RPI has been used by the selection committee?
I'd like to see the following criteria be required when the selection committee is deciding on at large teams:
1. Must have a .500 record or better in your conference.
2. Must make your conference tournament.
3. Cap on teams per conference--> no more than 1/2 of your conference plus 1 can make the tournament. So, if your conference has 14 teams, only 8 bids. 11 teams, 6 bids.
**The exception to #1 and #3 would be if you were to "win" your conference's automatic bid by winning the conference tournament.
I think these additional required criteria would dramatically reduce the subjectiveness regarding bubble teams, improve the geographic diversity of the tournament field, and take the inconsistency out of the selection process that takes place from year to year.
Another thing that I would like to see is the Northwest, Midwest/North, and Northeast regions of the country be GUARANTEED A HOST REGIONAL EVERY SEASON in the interest of growing the sport nationally. This year Oregon and Purdue will host so two of these regions are taken care of. Only the Northeast region would have to be "forced". Take the worst remaining #1 seed and ship them to St. John's, Stony Brook, or even Army.
If neither of these proposals were to gain traction, I would get all other Northern baseball conferences and even the Western baseball conferences (who due to geographic isolation are often on the short end of the RPI stick as well) together and push back against what is becoming a one region (Southeast) dominated sport in a hurry. Kent St. (current RPI according to Boyd's World 85) goes 24-3 in their conference yet has to win their conference tournament or stay home while Georgia Tech (RPI 35) at 12-18 in their conference likely gets a bid based on how they are doing in the ACC tournament. This is a MAJOR ongoing problem that unfortunately may require drastic action in order to bring on some fairness in the world of college baseball.
In my opinion a lot of the tournament success of these power conferences is strictly a numbers game. Their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams are typically very good. However, receiving 4-5 #1 seeds, 4-5 hosts, and 8 or 9 bids tends to help a conferences post season success. I honestly believe, if the B1G received 8 bids, 4 #1 seeds, and 4 hosts every year that we would be seeing some B1G teams in the CWS. Their isn't much and in some cases any difference in these teams. Certainly not a 9-1 bid ratio's worth of difference. Ask Nebraska if they think the B1G is as bad as it's perceived to be nationally.
Last edited by Lincoln gopher; 05-26-2012 at 07:38 AM.
With yesterday's win over Ohio State I think MSU (37-20, #43 RPI) has a decent chance of securing an at-large bid in the event they don't win the B1G Tournament. Wins over Baylor, Purdue and St. John's and (currently) a 12-11 record vs. the top 100 (pretty solid for a northern school) at minimum has Sparty on the bubble. I think they'd be in as of today (Saturday), but there are still a lot of potential bid-stealers out there in the smaller conferences, as well as one (either Kansas or Mizzou) in a major conference like the Big 12 .
It helps Sparty that quite a few bubble teams went "0-2 barbecue" in their respective conference tournaments. ... College of Charleston, Wichita State, Indiana State, Texas & Georgia, and that a few other bubblers didn't stick around long (1-2) either, the likes of Auburn, Stetson and Texas State.
Last edited by SelectionSunday; 05-26-2012 at 07:46 AM.
If you host a Regional as a #1 seed you have a FAR BETTER chance of advancing than if you host or go on the road as a #2 seed. Period. When the Gophers were a borderline #1 seed in 2009 but ended up getting sent to Baton Rouge as the #2 seed, I was there. The home field advantage that LSU had was incredible. 10,000+ fans and they weren't sitting on their hands. Plus, they got to throw their #3 starter versus 4th seeded Southern while the Gophers were matched up against #3 seed Baylor. Had to throw their #1, Buske. The luxury of holding out your #1 for the winners bracket game is another huge advantage of being host as a #1. You can't always do it, but sometimes, you can. I stand by my statement that if the Big Ten received 4-5 #1 seeds, 4 hosts, and 8 or 9 bids every year they would be putting teams into the CWS on a regular basis. Of course it's unknowable because it will never happen. A lot of what is going on beyond the 8 National seeds, who are almost always elite teams, is a numbers game.
I disagree with your statement that their is no comparison in depth of talent. Statements like that always bug me because I've always doubted them. The gap is minimal, if at all in most cases. I can only speak from my personal experience. It left a lifelong impression on me regarding "perception versus reality" in regards to the talent difference between a team loaded with MN kids versus one loaded with kids from TX or some other baseball hotbed. I was a MN kid who was moved to TX in high school and played baseball there. Was always one of the better players on my teams in MN, not the best in most cases. However, I was the only sophomore good enough to make the varsity team at Cedar Hill High in TX. This wasn't some tiny podunk school. I'll even tie it to Nebraska for you. My high school friend (Todd Hogan-he's a public employee so I don't think he'd mind me posting his name) is the current head coach at Gunter High School, TX. Where Nebraska's Brandon Pierce went to high school. My point, I could play with all of those "ringer" TX kids right out of the gate. So that is why I have always doubted this "talent" gap. Most of the really, really good players coming out of high school get serious $$$ and sign pro contracts. They don't even make it to college campuses.
Lastly, Nebraska did finish 4th. However, with two weeks left in the season, they were out of the Big Ten tourney. A surprising sweep of the Gophers catapulted them up the standings. I actually like Nebraska and Erstad for that matter so I'm not trying to get a shot in on them. Just believe the B1G has been better than advertised for several years now. Virtually every season they are deserving of more than 1 bid to the NCAA tournament. The longer this continues the more likely drastic measures are coming down the pike.
Who knows, maybe Purdue will win the whole darn thing, giving the B1G some "street cred", and fans will flock to the new Gopher stadium........
It is hard to get a lot of fan support when games are at the Metrodome. Sure, it's nice to have early in the season, but later on, it is hard to persuade people of the appeal of a game at the dome. Even with a decent turnout, it feels like a tomb, it's so empty. The new stadium will get some buzz, and get people to come just to try it out. Some of them may continue to come back.
FiveStarFan is my biggest fan
It isn't wishful thinking, I'm not suggesting that the Gophers attendance is going to become one of the top in the country, only that it will likely improve with the new stadium. The Metrodome is an unpleasant place to watch any sport when it is nearly empty. Even with the same number of fans, it will be a better experience in a smaller stadium.
Look at Big Ten baseball attendance: http://dataomaha.com/documents/2012-...ndance-figures
Minnesota ranks 10th out of 11 in attendance per game at 488 per game. Northwestern is last at 295 per game. Indiana is 9th at 840. The 9th lowest attendance in the Big Ten is 72% greater than that of the Gophers. And the Gophers have put together some decent baseball teams, they don't tend to be cellar dwellers. This indicates to me that there is a lot of opportunity to impove attendance. The average Big Ten attendance is 1064 per game. The Gophers could double attendance and still have attendance that is below average. I think there is good reason to think that with the new stadium we will see better attendance than at the Metrodome.
I hope the new AD improves the marketing, there is nearly none for baseball. The Star Tribune has its grid of sports events in the corner, showing what major events are going on in the next week. They will show the minor events for that day in small print beneath it. The AD can put some pressure on to inclide Gophers baseball in that grid. That time of year, the grid isn't crowded. That would get more people paying attention to the existence of Gophers baseball.
Nonetheless, I'll try a quicker version this time. We'll see how quick it ends up, but here goes.
First, I'm glad to argue/debate. You are one of the few posters on Gopherhole that seem to care about Gopher baseball and college baseball in general. I'm glad to bounce some things off of someone.
I agree, most years the top team in the ACC, Big 12, PAC 12, and SEC is better than the top team in the B1G. Many years, the top 2, 3, and 4 teams are arguably better. However, I don't like to assume anything. I like teams to actually play on the field to decide it. It doesn't matter to me how many blue chip recruits a team has. There is talent in the B1G. There are A LOT of players out there that are good. Sports are hugely popular in this country. So, if teams from the "power conferences" play minimal games against teams from the B1G, how can it be known that one conference's 6th or 7th place team is better than the B1G's 3rd place team. There is NEVER a large enough sample.
My point about the B1G getting 4 hosts and 4 #1 seeds is that IF the B1G did get such a scenario, I think the B1G would perform quite well in the NCAAs. They NEVER will, nor will they probably EVER deserve 4 host sites and four #1 seeds. But, are we sure the ACC deserves 5 hosts and #1 seeds? 7 bids total with the remaining two teams being #2 seeds? I have my doubts the ACC is that loaded. I think North Carolina and Florida St. look to be legit #1 seeds. The rest of the three #1 seeds (Miami(Fla.), N.C. State, and Virginia), I'm not convinced. All they have is high RPIs. Their resumes are nothing special yet they were all rewarded for the NCAA tournament.
I looked up the top 8 ACC teams and the top 8 B1G teams. The reason I picked 8 is because a lot of the "experts" out there seem to think WF (who would be the 8th ACC bid if they were to have gotten in) should have been in. A lot of those same experts don't think Michigan State should have been in. Anyway, I wanted to see how many wins the top 8 teams from both conferences have against non conference opponents that made the NCAA tournament. Since the two conferences rarely play, I don't know what other way to compare them. Once they get into conference play it is a "their word versus ours" type of situation as to how impressive beating certain teams within their conference is.
Here is what I found:
The top 8 ACC teams won 22 games versus non conference opponents that made the NCAA tournament. 6 of those wins were on the road and 1 was a neutral site game.
The top 8 B1G teams won 26 games versus non conference opponents that made the NCAA tournament. 12 of those wins were on the road and 5 were at neutral sites.
Well, I think the B1G results are more impressive. So, just for fun I'm going to replace the 7 ACC teams in the NCAA tournament with the top 7 B1G (I'm putting the Gophers in over Illinois, I don't care if they won the head to head!!) teams. Here is what the "hypothetical" match-ups would look like:
#1 Purdue (instead of Florida St.)/ #4 UAB
#1 Indiana (North Carolina)/ #4 Cornell
#1 Penn St. (N.C. State)/ #4 Sacred Heart
#1 Nebraska (Virginia)/ #4 Army
#1 Michigan St. (Miami,Fla.)/ #4 Stony Brook
#2 Ohio St. (Clemson)/ #3 Coastal Carolina
#2 MINNESOTA (Georgia Tech)/ #3 College of Charleston
I think the B1G is going to have a really good chance to have 2 or 3 teams (or more) advance to the Super Regionals. Their favorable seeding and the fact they are hosting have given them some favorable match-ups in the first round. Indiana and Penn State could hold out their #1 starter for their opponent in the winners bracket game. Maybe Purdue and Nebraska would as well though I feel like it would be more of a risk. If they win their first round game, they now have another advantage because they will be playing a team that has already used its #1 starter versus the #2 or #3 seed. You don't get these advantages when you get 1 or 2 bids and VERY RARELY get a #1 seed and host.
Here are some nice results from the B1G in the NCAA tournament that show me they can play with the "power conferences":
2003- Ohio St. eliminated #4 National Seed Auburn and won the Regional
2007- Michigan eliminated #1 National Seed Vanderbilt and won the Regional
Minnesota eliminated #8 National Seed San Diego in the San Diego Regional facing their ace Brian Matusz
2009- Minnesota (#2 seed) and Ohio St. (#3 seed) reached the Regional Finals
2010- Minnesota (#4 seed) reached the Regional Finals at Fullerton ****
2011- Illinois (#4 seed) reached the Regional Finals at Fullerton
****You mentioned that the Gophers ran out of pitching against CSF. CSF started Dylan Floro on Friday in game #1 versus Rosin. They came back and started him on 2 days rest against Lubinsky in the winner take all game. When he was ineffective, they replaced him with a "ringer" named Raymon Hernandez who somehow became eligible for the first time all season during the Regional. After him, they pitched game #2 starter Noe Ramirez on 1 days rest!
Last thing, 5th place Michigan St. will be a fun test case. It's a tiny sample but I'm interested to see how they do in the Palo Alto Regional. If they win the Regional I would think it may affect how many bids the B1G can get going forward. Personally think the B1G is a 3-4 bid league most years. The power conferences should probably get 5 or 6 teams in most years. That is what I think the separation is.
Sorry, this didn't end up being a "quick" version.
Last edited by Gophers2Omaha; 05-30-2012 at 06:59 PM.
Interesting read, and thanks for doing the research. It would definitely help the B1G if MSU had a good tournament. I'd say winning 2 games (2nd place) in their regional would have to be considered a success.
And Purdue can't flame out, either. Perception-wise if Purdue bombs it'll be "bash the Big Ten" time. I think the Boilers are the conference's most dangerous representative in quite some time. They need to win their regional, preferably beating Kentucky once or twice in the process.
I will still argue about the 6 place team in a southern conference being better than the third place team in the B1G, especially in a 3 game series or in regionals. I agree playing it on the field is the best, but untill it happens(you mention the Gophers getting to the regional finals 2 years in a row, they never won it even when having to be defeated twice) I will just have to believe what my eyes tell me when I watch the games. The B1G has to be competative at the regional level more often that 1 out of 3 years with the best teams. They also need to win a regional more often that 1 out of 6 years. Believe me it killed me watching the Gophers lose 2 straight to CSF and did little for the status of the B1G. Purdue has to win a regional.
Also, if you ever make it to Lincoln for a game, would like to buy you a beer and discuss. We will be going to the B1G tourny in Minneapolis next year, that is a given, maybe we will run into you there.
Last edited by Lincoln gopher; 05-31-2012 at 06:43 AM.
The B1G teams are seriously hurting my arguments right now. Michigan State goes 0-2 and Purdue is now in major trouble at 1-1. Plus, the Boilers were basically handed game #1 from Valpo with all of their throwing errors so that win wasn't exactly an impressive performance (besides Haase on the mound). Purdue needs to start playing a lot better or they will be gone tomorrow.
At least the ACC is looking pretty shaky so that part of my argument holds some water. Big 12 struggling also. Pac 12 #1 seeds are doing well. Then there's the SEC. 14-2 so far. Wow.
All things considered, I'd say landing 3 teams in the Super Regionals is a strong representation for the Northern/Eastern schools.
Best of luck to Kent State, Saint John's and Stony Brook. Will be rooting for all 3 of 'em to get to the CWS.