I had an interesting conversation with RPI enthusiast Boyd Nation for Rebel Sports Radio yesterday.
Nation lives and works in Birmingham. He's from Grenada and is a 1988 Mississippi State graduate.
He's been computing and publishing RPI numbers for quite some time at his website BoydsWorld.com.
He's also studied how RPI affects the actions of the NCAA baseball tournament selection committee.
He points out that committees change, and each has its own personality, but RPI always plays a significant role. Also of great importance with any given committee is a team's finish in its conference standings.
Clearly, the sweep of Tennessee has the Rebels in position to earn host status for the NCAA tournament. They are not in complete control there. Other factors will be in play, and as Mike Bianco pointed out Sunday, the Rebels may need the right teams to lose this weekend as well as having big success against a surging Vanderbilt team that is coming off a series win at LSU.
There is a general feeling, though, that the 14th SEC win, earned on Sunday, was a huge step in earning the NCAA at-large bid that escaped the Rebels last year.
Here's Nation: “Even if they were to go 0-5 from here (three at Vanderbilt, two in Hoover), they could conceivably drop to a 3 (seed), but I think they're a solid 2 at this point. They're at 20 in the RPI. The resume is there. Most of those SEC teams sitting four through nine right now will end up as 2 seeds. You have to try and stand out in that crowd and not end up below it. I think they have an outside shot to play into a 1, but other than that, I think they go in as a 2.”