1st Team All-American
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Darlington SC
College Stock Report: Week 12
College Stock Report: Week 12
This time of year, a hefty majority of all questions submitted in our weekly college chat, as well as those sent via e-mail or Twitter, center around the battle for postseason positioning. Our readers want to know how the races for national seeds, host sites and at-large bids are shaping up, so every Tuesday we’ll examine how the postseason picture has shifted over the weekend. Rather than get bogged down in the jigsaw puzzle that is a full field of 64 projection, we’re not going to worry about which regionals teams get sent to. We’re just looking at who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the bubble. This discussion is weighted much more toward performance and remaining schedule than projection based on talent, but it’s also not intended to show what the field would look like if the season ended today. We’re still looking ahead.
During this discussion, we will reference the pseudo-Ratings Percentage Index rankings at boydsworld.com, because the NCAA’s official weekly report does not include Monday’s games. We’ll also reference the useful RPI Needs Report at Boyd’s World, which provide rough guidelines for what each team needs to do in order to reach important RPI benchmarks (like top 45, for at-large position, and top eight, for earning a national seed, etc.) at the end of the season. And we’ll make use of records against the top 25, 50 or 100 in the RPI—there is some margin for error with those figures, but they are accurate enough to serve our purposes.
We’ll get to at-large chances in a bit, but let’s start with a look at which teams are on track to earn national seeds and which are on track to host regionals through the first 12 weeks of the season:
SECURE TEAMS: The eight national seeds listed above; Indiana, Florida State
ON THE BUBBLE (IN): UCLA, Arkansas, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Clemson, Louisville
ON THE BUBBLE (OUT): Arizona State, South Alabama, Kansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, Oklahoma, Rice
Changes from last week: Arkansas and Clemson replace Arizona State and Oklahoma as hosts. The hosting picture seems to become more jumbled each week.
The Sooners’ hosting ambitions are in trouble after they went 1-3 last week against Dallas Baptist and West Virginia, dropping them to 11-7 in the Big 12 (part of a three-way tie for first place). Kansas State now looks like the stronger Big 12 hosting candidate, with a better RPI (No. 25 vs. No. 44) and a better record against the top 50 (6-5 vs. 1-1). But the Wildcats still have to travel to Kansas and then face the Sooners (presumably with Dillon Overton back on the mound, making OU more formidable) in the last two weeks, so we’re not convinced K-State will finish strong. Oklahoma can still boost its RPI into the top 32 with a strong finish against Oklahoma State and Kansas State, so don’t dismiss OU’s chances yet, but for now it is on the outside looking in.
Arkansas is a tough case. The Hogs are climbing in the RPI, but they’re still just No. 38, and for an SEC team to host it needs to be in the 20s. But Arkansas is a strong third-place team in the SEC (15-8, two games ahead of fourth-place South Carolina), and that carries a lot of weight. We also expect the Razorbacks to finish very strong against a favorable remaining schedule (vs. Tennessee, at Auburn), and they could further boost their RPI in the SEC tournament. We expect Arkansas to win 20 or 21 SEC games in the regular season, and that’s definite hosting material.
Mississippi State and South Carolina are much stronger in the RPI (at No. 10 and 11, respectively), and both are above .500 in the stout SEC (13-11 and 13-10, respectively). The Bulldogs have the better top 50 record (14-13 vs. 7-10), and the Bulldogs get to host the Gamecocks in two weeks, which is a big opportunity to boost their chances. MSU also must travel to Ole Miss this weekend. South Carolina gets Georgia this weekend. If both teams finish 3-3 to get to 16 wins in the SEC, to go with their robust RPIs, we think both could host regionals, giving the SEC five hosts.