Per normal procedure, Mississippi State has put in bids to host an NCAA baseball regional and super regional, athletics director Scott Stricklin told me this morning. Doing so does not guarantee MSU will host, but it’s something you do just in case.
So how good a chance does State have of hosting? It’s within the realm of possibility, but the Bulldogs would have to do some damage in this week’s SEC Tournament, and even then it’s probably a long shot. But you never know.
(MSU opens Tuesday against Arkansas. CLICK HERE to read my column on the Bulldogs’ offense.)
A lot of fans will point to MSU’s strong finish when making a case to host. Winning 11 of its last 15 SEC games and sweeping No. 4 Kentucky certainly bolsters the résumé, but there are a lot of teams worthy of hosting, and only 16 will have the honor.
MSU last hosted a regional in 2003, going 2-2 and failing to advance (North Carolina won the regional). The Bulldogs hosted a super regional in 2007 after winning the Tallahassee regional, and that’s a scenario that could pop up again this year if the right teams lose.
MSU has a lot going for it as a host: A great facility, plenty of fan seating, and an ample press box. It all makes for a great atmosphere, as those who witnessed the 2007 super regional against Clemson can attest – I helped cover that series, so I can attest.
After sweeping UK, State’s RPI jumped to 24th according to WarrenNolan.com and 29th according to BoydsWorld.com. The latest projection from SEBaseball.com has MSU as a No. 2 seed in the Purdue regional, along with Indiana State and Valparaiso. Right now, the Bulldogs look like a solid No. 2.
Can they go beyond that and become a host?
“I have no idea,” Stricklin said. “Hope so, though.”