Virginia: 41-9 (21-6 ACC), RPI: 1, SOS: 18, 13-6 vs. RPI Top 50
The Cavaliers have the top RPI, strong SOS and many quality wins. They haven't lost a single series all season and have a fantastic conference record. In other words, UVA is a lock to get a national seed.
Florida: 34-18 (19-8 SEC), RPI: 3, SOS: 1, 23-12 vs. RPI Top 50
How can a team with so many losses receive a national seed? By having a fantastic RPI, the #1 SOS, and the most quality wins in the country. Not to mention UF leads the best baseball conference in college baseball. UF is a lock to receive a national seed.
Oregon State: 38-8 (20-4 PAC-12), RPI: 5, SOS: 65, 11-3 vs. RPI Top 50
The Beavers are the leaders of a great conference in the Pac-12 racking up an impressive number of wins. They have a huge series against Washington this weekend in what could determine the Pac-12 regular season title. Should they win that series, Oregon State will move into the lock category with UVA and UF.
Indiana: 35-12 (19-2 Big 10), RPI: 4, SOS: 35, 6-5 vs. RPI Top 50
Indiana is a team that impressed a season ago, defeating Florida State in the super regionals and advancing to Omaha. They returned a strong number of players from that squad and are having another fine season. With a very high RPI, and a great conference record the Hoosiers are in solid shape for a national seed. Their weak conference is a concern and should they lose their next series vs. Minnesota or the conference tourney, they may be sweating it come selection Sunday. There are numerous quality teams with great resumes in better conferences ready to take their national seed spot should Indiana slip up. I highly doubt they will as they have proven to by far be the best team in the Big 10, and worthy of a top 8 seed.
Louisiana-Lafayette: 46-7 (23-4 Sun Belt), RPI: 9, SOS: 111, 3-1 vs. RPI Top 50
UL Lafayette is a team that I'm not quite sold on yet. Sure they have a ridiculous season record with 46 wins, but are they national seed worthy? The Ragin' Cajuns have great RPI, but that's really it. There are teams that play in much stronger conferences with similar RPIs. ULL doesn't have many Top 50 RPI wins, due to the fact they play a very poor schedule. They do have a quality series win at Alabama and a mid-week win at LSU but neither of those teams are in the national seed picture and does one series win against a good team and one great mid-week win validate getting the nod over teams such as Miami, Vanderbilt, TCU, etc.? I don't personally feel it should, but think the NCAA selection committee will want to give a national seed to a non-power conference team should their resume be remotely worthy and this team fits the bill. ULL is certainly worthy of a regional host, but again I question their overall resume for a national seed. Should they slip up and not win their conference tournament, I think they lose their spot as a national seed.
Florida State: 39-12 (19-8 ACC), RPI: 2, SOS: 13, 14-11 vs. RPI Top 50
Florida State has been terrific in the 2014 campaign with a fantastic RPI and very strong SOS. They have a great conference record in a strong conference and have a high number of quality wins, coupled with no bad losses. Florida State is in fantastic shape for a national seed even though Miami is hot on its trails. The Canes have really surged in conference play but FSU still has the superior resume including the head-to-head series win. The question that has surfaced is whether the ACC will receive three seeds and if not who gets left out between the Noles and Canes. Right now FSU owns the edge and could further help their cause with another series win this weekend against Duke.
Vanderbilt: 38-14 (16-11 SEC), RPI: 7, SOS: 11, 17-12 vs. RPI Top 50
Ole Miss: 37-15 (17-10 SEC), RPI: 15, SOS: 25, 14-11 vs. RPI Top 50
South Carolina: 39-13 (16-11 SEC), RPI: 13, SOS: 34, 14-10 vs. RPI Top 50
Vanderbilt really strengthened their case with a big series win at Florida this past weekend. The Commodores have terrific overall record, a strong RPI, a great SOS, and many quality wins. What has them on the bubble is the fact the SEC has 3 teams battling for one or two spots for the conference now that UF is a lock. Vanderbilt is in a strong contest with Ole Miss and South Carolina. I give Vandy the edge over both due to a slightly stronger resume than the other two. Vandy has more quality wins, a higher RPI, and a stronger SOS than both the Rebels and Gamecocks. Yes, Ole Miss has the better conference record of the three but the race is close as both the Dores and the Gamecocks are just one game back of the Rebels. This weekend's series between South Carolina and Vanderbilt will essentially eliminate one of those two teams from national seed contention. Ole Miss travels to College Station to take on a tough Texas A&M team and could fall out of national seed contention with a series loss. Big weekend in the SEC coming up.
Miami: 38-14 (22-5 ACC), RPI: 10, SOS: 23, 9-8 vs. RPI Top 50
As mentioned earlier the Canes are having a phenomenal season, especially in ACC play after starting out the season so poorly. The Canes have a great RPI and have a good SOS. What really is aiding their case is that they have the best conference record in the ACC. Miami has a big weekend against North Carolina coming up in which they could capture the ACC regular season championship with a sweep. That would be a big feather in their hats in the claim for a national seed. Should Miami lose that series or even drop one game, giving UVA the championship, I think the Canes will need a strong ACC tournament to get the conference's third national seed. As of right now though, I think the ACC does have three national seeds in UVA, FSU, UM.
Texas Christian: 36-14 (15-6 Big 12), RPI: 12, SOS: 22, 14-8 vs. RPI Top 50
Rice: 34-16 (20-7 C-USA), RPI: 6, SOS: 4, 8-9 vs. RPI Top 50
The problem with the ACC or SEC getting three national seeds is that their will be a hard-luck loser somewhere feeling snubbed. Two of those teams could very well be TCU and Rice. The Horned Frogs have a strong overall record, a good RPI and SOS, as well as a nice amount of quality wins. The problems for the Frogs is that they don't lead the Big 12 and that they have four losses to teams outside the Top 100. Should TCU find a way to win a great conference this season they may snag a seed at the expense of a team from the ACC/SEC. If it doesn't happen, TCU will likely have a great resume that falls just short in comparison to other bubble teams. This weekend will define a lot for the Frogs.
Rice on the other hand, has a serious gripe for not having a national seed at the moment. They have a fantastic RPI and SOS. Sure they play in a weak conference, but doesn't Indiana? The difference could be in the record vs. RPI Top 50 in which Rice has a losing record compared to Indiana's winning record. The Hoosiers also have the higher RPI and better record in their weak conference and in the smallest of margins, every detail counts. However, should any team slip up and Rice finish with their conference championship, you could see the Owls as a national seed.
Top 8 Seeds:
3. Oregon State
4. Florida State
The race for the last 2-3 spots is very tight and is a fluid situation as the regular season approaches its end. This weekend could shake up the entire picture and I will have another edition next week. What are your thoughts on the national seed picture? Who would you have in the top 8 and why? Discuss below.