Monday, May 11, 2009

Cross your fingers: Standings, rankings & scenarios

So, now that Mizzou has finished its Big 12 season with an explosive weekend against the ChickenHawks, what's next?

Roadrunners: First of all, there's till 3 games to play in the regular season: Cal State-Bakersfield comes to Simmons Field next weekend. Most of Columbia's attention will be on that other ball field, where MU Softball will be hosting an NCAA Regional. But the Baseball Tigers will be finishing off the regular season, and hopefully finishing off the lowly Roadrunners of Bakersfield

■ CA-B is in its first season as a Division 1 team.

■ The Runners are 9-32 on the season. 2 of those 9 wins came in a series win this past weekend against the even lowlier Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Boyd's World has Bakersfield ranked 253rd out of 302 in the NCAA.
National Rankings:
Baseball America dropped KU out of the Top 25, and Mizzou is back in, at #25.

■ KU dropped out of the Top 25, but MU did not even get a listing under "Others Considered"
Big 12 Conference Standings: 3 games or less separate the top 6 teams in the conference, with only a partial weekend of conference play left.

#1 Texas, 17-9, .654
#2 Missouri, 16-11, .593
#3 Kansas State, 13-9, .591
#4 Oklahoma, 14-10, .583
#5 Texas A&M, 14-10, .583
#6, Kansas, 13-11, .542
#7, Texas Tech, 11-13, .458
#8, Baylor, 10-13, .435
#9, Oklahoma State, 7-15, .318
#10 Nebraska, 5-19, .208
Texas and Missouri are both done with conference play. Kansas plays @ Kansas State, Baylor is @ Nebraska, Texas A&M is at Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State is at Texas Tech.

So what are the possible scenarios?

■ MU obviously cannot catch Texas for the #1 slot, since both are done with Big 12 play. In fact, nobody can catch Texas, by my calculations

■ Kansas State can pass MU with 2 wins over KU

■ Oklahoma and Texas A&M are tied and they play each other. A sweep by either would put them ahead of MU, but still short of UT because of an extra loss. If either team were to pull out a 2-3 series win, they would tie MU statistically. MU would win the tie-breaker of A&M, would lose the tie-breaker to OU.

■ Kansas would need to sweep Kansas State to "tie" with Mizzou (tie-breaker goes to MU)

■ None of the remaining teams can catch the Tigers. Baylor and Oklahoma State both have a shot at the 9th position, which would leave them out of the Big 12 Tourney, along with the hapless Huskers.
Probability is high that I miscalculated something in all that. But it appears that the worst the Tigers can finish is 4th. If anyone had told me a month ago that the Tigers would be in 2nd place at this late date, with no chance of finishing worse than 4th, I have laughed my head off. So would you.

Missouri's current RPI, as calculated by Boyd's World, is ranked 27th in the country. The official NCAA RPIs will be updated a posted Tuesday.

That should be good enough for the Tigers to be a #2 seed in a an NCAA Regional.

Oddly enough, a sweep by MU of Bakersfield next weekend would likely result in a small drop in MU's RPI, just because of the drop in the Tigers' strength of schedule that is factored into the equation. But it shouldn't be much of a dip.

After the final weekend, though, comes the Big 12 Tournament. How MU performs in those 3 or 4 games against tough opponents will have an impact on the RPI as well, and will factor into the NCAA committee's selection process. Based on the past few weeks, I am confident the Tigers will do well in the Big 12 Tourney. Wouldn't it be great to repeat the performance of MU Softball with a Baseball Tourney championship as well. That would top off a fantastic year for MU Athletics.

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