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And The Valley Projects: March 12th

Just when you think you’ve got all the answers, I CHANGE THE QUESTIONS

The WWE just had their first (?) roster shakeup and while I’m not exactly sure what it is, it inspired me.

Up until now, we’re been running these projections and guessing what the postseason field would look like if the season ended on that day.

No more.

We’re far enough into the season to have a solid RPI base to look to for determining the best teams in the country. So we’re going to hop onto that format for the most part to tell us the seeding, but the good ole eye test will still play a huge part in what we’re (I’m) doing here.

So, what major changes does this new strategy provide us?

WatsonTiger Excel Productions, LLC.

The National Seeds

Oregon State, TCU, Louisville, Clemson, Texas Tech, Arizona, North Carolina, South Carolina

Nothing at all, nothing changes. That’s some free life advice for you. Good job Adam, we’ll see you next week, and remember to DON’T! GET! ELIMINATED!

Just kidding, but really the top eight national seeds all still held firm thanks to everybody except South Carolina (21-11) winning, and the Gamecocks held on thanks to almost everybody behind them losing.

Oregon State (28-1) drew their win streak to 23 games thanks to a sweep of defending PAC-12 Champion Utah and right now are just flying at a different level than every other team.

The Hosts

Florida, Kentucky, LSU, Virginia, Long Beach State, Wake Forest, Houston, Michigan

Here is where the shakeup really took hold. I didn’t even look at last week’s field when I set this week’s, I just went down the RPI list and after the eye test before dropping them in.

The first team on the board is Florida (22-11), who dropped a shocker against Tennessee. With a series win I don’t think the Gators stay in the back eight and really missed a prime opportunity to slide into a national seed slot. Kentucky (22-11) also suffered the same fate as the Gators, this time at the hands of Mississippi State. THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU MEET A STRANGER IN THE ALPS.

It wasn’t pretty, but LSU’s (22-11) series win against Arkansas was enough to not only keep them in the thick of the regional hosts, but also bolster their standings in the RPI and by extension the regional hosts standings.

Virginia (24-10) has rattled off six in a row since dropping a series to Louisville and their immediate schedule is pretty favorable: at Virginia Tech for three, Longwood, James Madison (probably the best game in this stretch), and three more against Notre Dame. Also, they don’t have to play conference mates and hosts Wake Forest (24-10) who just lost to Louisville, but thanks to the shakeup sneak into the regional field.

Long Beach State (20-11) took two of three from UC Santa Barbara, beat USC, and swept UC Riverside to enter the regional hosts due to the shakeup.

Houston (23-9) I was more iffy on, as their recent run has good and bad aspects to it. The good is a weekend sweep of East Carolina to add to a sweep of UC-Irvine and the bad is the fact that they swept ECU after a series loss to UCF and back to back midweek losses against Rice. I decided to take a flier on them though.

And lastly, I’m still giving Michigan (26-7) the Token B1G Regional Host bid. Whatever.

The Rest Of The Field

The biggest shakeup the switch in seeding style was that the small schools were either dropped down or cutoff entirely. Thanks in part to a 1-3 weekend against Columbia and Creighton, St. John’s (23-5) fell from regional host all the way to three seed. Ouch. Despite this, McNeese (23-9) actually held on to their two seed by virtue of a rock solid RPI.

The only reasons teams like Rhode Island (16-13) and Old Dominion (25-9) made the cut at the end was because for the second straight week, the SEC hit the hard cap I set for each conference. LSU’s opponent this weekend Ole Miss (21-12) as well as Tennessee (17-13) and Missouri (24-9) missed the field because of this.

The Baton Rouge Regional draws two teams that LSU is used to welcoming in Southern Miss (26-8) as a two seed and Jackson State (18-11) as the SWAC AQ. But some new spice is in the three hole, as ex-Tulane boss David Pierce’s Texas (23-13) comes riding into town. There are four storylines to follow there, all you have to do is pick one of the following:

  1. New Job For Pierce, Same Regional
  2. Mainieiri vs. The Job He Turned Down
  3. 2009 College World Series Rematch
  4. Texas? As A Three Seed?

Like I said, spicy indeed.

The Regional Of Death Of The Week

Actually feel like The Winston-Salem Regional gets it this week. The jury is still out on Wake Forest, but we know the type of team Vanderbilt (21-13) is in the postseason and the potential Southeastern Louisiana (20-12) has, but Bethune-Cookman (21-15) can scrape and looks to run away with the MEAC regular season crown.

Happy Easter you fools, but remember this one thing: