Evaluating the national seeds, other Oxford Regional notes

Well it certainly looks Ole Miss was in the mix for a national seed but came up short.

There was a lot of conversation about Ole Miss and LSU competing for a top eight spot. Each no doubt was hoping the other would get eliminated as each kept winning in Hoover.

Both went 3-1 in the SEC tournament.

For the SEC, it was all or none. There a record seven regional hosts, but nobody else got in. Kentucky and Alabama are both 15-15 in conference play. That’s usually a magic number for an NCAA bid for an SEC team, but not when those SEC teams have RPIs in the 60s like Kentucky and Alabama both do.

In terms of the national seed, there were four for the SEC. In terms of the last one that went to LSU it seems the committee valued a hot team rather than head to head competition.

LSU had a better May, but Ole Miss won the head-to-head meeting in Oxford two games to one.

LSU was 13-11 against the RPI top 50, Ole Miss 13-13.

LSU claims three wins against Florida in the last two weeks. Ole Miss had three wins over RPI top seven teams in Texas A&M, South Carolina and Vanderbilt, plus another top 50 win against Georgia.

Texas Tech was awarded the No. 5 national seed, which I found interesting.

Mike Bianco on Saturday gave an impassioned plea for the committee to – and I’m paraphrasing here – do the right thing. By that Bianco meant the committee should award regional hosts and national seeds on merit, and not some sort of spread the wealth, feel-good mission.

Tech is the only one that stands out. If you look at the RPI – and like it or not that’s what much of this is based on – the ACC and SEC were clearly the best conferences this year.

The Big 12 was third, but it’s a distant third. The ACC has an RPI of .7522, the SEC at .7500. Third is the Big 12 at .6037, much closer to the fourth league, the Pac-12, which at .5954 has its regular season champion, Utah, playing as a four seed in Oxford.

I don’t pretend to know what all the numbers mean. I’m just looking at them as a ranking. I assume the committee knows what those numbers mean.

Tech individually has a 14 RPI compared to Ole Miss’ 5. Tech went 13-5 against the top 50 while Ole Miss was 13-13.

What might Tech’s resume have looked like had it played more top 50 opponents?

The Red Raiders lost a non-conference series 2-1 to Cal State Fullerton. They split with the Pac-12’s Cal, which has an RPI of 67 and finished eighth in that league.

Tech also lost a non-conference game to Arkansas, one of the two SEC teams that did not make the SEC tournament.

That was the only SEC team the Red Raiders faced. They did split two mid-week games with Florida State the first weekend in April.

So while the LSU and Ole Miss resumes were so similar you could probably flip a coin, it doesn’t look to me that Tech needs to be seeded ahead of either one.

In other news …

Bianco said Brady Bramlett will start Friday night against Utah and that the rest of his regional rotation is wait and see. I think it’s pretty safe to assume David Parkinson will start the second game, which is usually the toughest of the regional if both of the higher seeded teams win.

When you think about it, it’s pretty amazing what Ole Miss has done with the instability of its weekend rotation this season.

Elsewhere, catcher Henri Lartigue, the Rebels’ leading hitter at .362, is working his way through concussion testing successfully at this point.

If there is no setback Lartigue will run today, be evaluated again tomorrow and possibly resume baseball activity on Wednesday. He is on track to play in the regional if he continues down this path.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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  • JB

    it appears now thats all letf in the path of Ole Miss to Omaha is, possible, Tulane in the Oxford Regional, Miami and/or Florida Atlantic in the Miami Super Regional – Rebels have had their backs to the wall in previous meeting, and i believe they will take care of business once again. on to Omaha.

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