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And The Valley Projects: 4/22

Well, somebody take the man.

thanks, jon
thanks, jon

School sucks. I've been trying to be an upstanding student and that detracts from projecting time. But it's better to have projected late than to not project at all.

The National Seeds

Miami (FL), Texas A&M, TCU, Louisville, Florida State, South Carolina, Texas Tech

Miami University of Florida (FL) (27-6) remains at the top of the projections following a series win at Duke. Miami just lost a midweek against FAU and has a rather large match up against Virginia this weekend. The Hurricanes' lone series loss of the year, Florida (34-6), comes into play in the second slot after a convincing sweep of Arkansas (convinving sweep of Arkansas) but as of writing sits a game behind Georgia in their Thursday-Saturday series.

Texas A&M (30-7) went into Super Bulldog Weekend and scored 10 runs in all three games against Mississippi State while two hours up north TCU (27-8) continues their barnstorming campaign through the Big Twelve by outscoring Oklahoma 25-5 in their clean sweep of the Sooners.

llvll (30-7) had a clean week beginning with a victory of their arch rivals Kentucky in Lexington before a sweep of Clemson, then turning around and beating Kentucky for a second week in a row. Trying to keep pace is Florida State (25-11) who suffered a major setback against Wake Forest, losing two of three.

South Carolina (30-8) got blown out against North Carolina in their midweek matchup before taking game one from Georgia. That's the only game they would end up taking from the Dawgs, as UGA sprung for an upset of the Cocks.

Rounding out the national seeds are the red hot Texas Tech Red Raiders (30-10). The Tortilla Throwers had a 10 game win streak going up until Wednesday night when New Mexico sprung up in game two of their midweek series to snap it. To make the deal sweeter, Tech can drive in the final nail in Texas' coffin for the season. Yeah, Texas Tech can basically end the Texas Longhorns' season in April. Try telling that to me six years ago.

The Hosts

UC Santa Barbara, Mississippi State*, North Carolina, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt, LSU, ULL, NC State, Michigan State

The Gauchos (25-7-1) swept Cal State Northridge after a tied series against the College of Charleston, but as you know by now, UCSB does not possess the proper facilities to host a regional. While moving the series to a minor league park would make more sense, moving them to another school's host site is more fun. And I'm all about fun, as if the Excel document wasn't proof of that enough. Hosting the hippies who don't believe in "artificial lights" are Mississippi State (25-12-1), the team that has the pleasure of playing inside The Box this weekend after getting boxed out at home against Texas A&M.

North Carolina (26-12) get bumped back in the pecking order after suffering a series loss to Virginia, which pumps the Cavaliers (24-16) into the field of 64. Also getting shuffled back a few paces is Ole Miss (28-10) who lost to field memeber Alabama (23-15) last weekend.

Vanderbilt (29-8) rebounded from their series loss against LSU (16-11) with a series win against Kentucky (23-13), who is seeing their grip on the bubble quickly vanish. Tennessee (21-16), Vanderbilt's opponents this weekend are another bubble team looking for a big foothold in their resume.

With their sweep of Mizzou (20-18), LSU retains their hosting status, but this time as a bona fide one seed, making it a regional of their own, transferring UCSB duties over to Mississippi State. Hey, that's who they play this week! LSU's rival self-labeled little brother ULL (25-12) also draws a hosting ticket after taking a series with Southeastern Louisiana.

To be honest, I don't think NC State (26-11) is nearly as impressive as their numbers (mainly that #7 RPI) lead you to believe they are, but numbers that high have to be translated into the field of 64. The Wolfpack did just take a series from bubble team Georgia Tech (25-12) in addition to Virginia. That series with Florida State getting rained out after a loss to the Seminoles is really probably what's holding back the Wolfpack in my mind. Or is it helping them?

Lastly is the token B1G bid, awarded this week to Michigan State (26-8) for being the least mediocre B1G team at this point in time.

The Rest Of The Field

The Baton Rouge Regional once again features a rematch with Southeastern, but the big draw is Seth "Someone Take Me To Sushi And Buy Me A" Beer's Clemson (25-12) who just got humbled by Clemson. The four seed in the regional is Dallas Baptist (24-11) out of the Missouri Valley Conference who is experiencing a down year by their standards. Because of this stacked death, your LSU Tigers possess the Regional Of Death Of The Week.

We're getting into the part of the year where we properly project less and take more and more stock in RPI. This means there was some re-ordering of the two and three seeds, including the entrance of some teams that were previously out of the field. Of course, RPI is never a completely accurate ranking, there are a lot of teams at or around the .500 mark that promptly got skipped in the selection process. However this actually benefits the Big Ten, who claim the last team in, Nebraska who are currently at a dangerous RPI of 80. I'm not proud of that, but their body of work was arguably better than the 20 teams or so in front of them.

Do two things this weekend: wear gold to remember Eddy Furniss and the 1996 National Championship team and