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A Quick Look At This Weekend

79.0   46.2    9.2    3.7   Louisiana State
10.1    2.7    0.1    0.0   Minnesota
10.9    2.9    0.2    0.0   Baylor
 0.0    0.0    0.0    0.0   Southern

Boyd World's CWS odds.

According to Boyd World's ISR, we have a 79% chance of winning this regional.  Honestly, I think he is undershooting it.  Minnesota is ranked 40th in the ISR  and Baylor is ranked 37th (LSU is 5th).  This isn't to say both teams stink, but neither is really on LSU's tier.  It's not like Virginia is the 2-seed, like in UCI's regional. 

Baylor, especially, is barely in the field.  Their selection is one of the most questionable of any at-large team.  Baylor went 29-24 on the season, and only 10-16 in the 10-team Big 12.  They staggered down the stretch, losing 7 of their last 10.  OK, they upset Irvine back in March, but this is not a scary team at first glance.

Minnesota is a pretty good team, finishing 2nd in the Big Ten (and we should take note Illinois finished fourth).  But the conference champ, Ohio St, is a 3-seed in Talahassee.  That kind of gives you an idea of their strength. 

LSU drew a regional in which the 2-seed could have very easily been a 3-seed and a 3-seed which probably should have missed the tournament.  Southern, nothing personal, is one of the very worst teams in the field.  This is about as easy a regional as a team could possibly get.  Still, LSU has to show up, it's not like Minnesota is gonna roll over or anything.  But this is not exactly a tough draw.  If LSU fails to advance, it's a massive failure. 

For perspective, look at Arizona St's* draw: They got Oral Roberts (44th in the ISR), Cal Poly (18), and Kent State (82).  ORU went 16-2 in their conference and boasts a terrific pitching staff.  Cal Poly finished third in the Big West behind two national seeds.  Poly took two of three from Rice and California.  They managed to beat Fullerton once.  They have played, and beaten, some tough teams.  OK, Kent's not exactly a power team, but they did win 42 games.  That's ASU's reward for getting the #5 national seed. 

*I know Irvine's regional has gotten the most pub, but the team that screwed there is UVa.  Virginia was a borderline 1-seed, but instead got a 2-seed in the regional of the #6 national seed.  They are going to travel across the country and face the best pitching prospect since Prior in Strasburg.  UCI might benefit by having the awesome 2-seed have to come out of the loser's bracket after playing against the best amateur pitcher on earth.