Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekly RPI Report (T-3)

By Samuel Chi

With the post-season less than a month away, it's time for us to take a good look at the Titans' prospects, in terms of seeding and hosting possibilities. So here's the first RPI Report of the season.

As of today, the Titans are ranked No. 2 in the RPI. With 11 of 12 remaining games against teams in the top 100 RPI, the Titans have a strong chance maintaining their high ranking. According to Boyd's report, Fullerton needs to go 7-5 to stay in the top 8 in RPI, presumably locking up a national seed.

The feeling here is that the Titans would have to do better than that. A top five ranking, plus finishing no worse than tied for second in the Big West, should be good enough for Fullerton to get a national seed, thus ensuring all of its regional and super regional games would be played at Goodwin Field.

(On the other hand, since the Titans are a worse-than-mediocre 13-8 at home and an amazing 19-4 away from Goodwin ...)

If the Titans win 10 of their final 12 games, getting at least a series win against both Cal Poly and Long Beach State, that should take care of things. By going 10-2, the Titans should finish in the top five in the final RPI and no worse than tied for second in the Big West.

Here's a look at all the potential national seed contenders:

1. North Carolina (ACC) - Lock, leads ACC Coastal
2. Cal State Fullerton (Big West) - Probable, trails UC Irvine
3. Georgia Tech (ACC) - Likely, trails UNC in ACC Coastal
4. Texas (Big 12) - Probable, leads Big 12
5. Rice (C-USA) - Lock, leads conference
6. Miami (ACC) - Unlikely, 15-12 in ACC
7. UC Irvine (Big West) - Lock, leads Big West (ironically, the 'Eaters have just about no chance of staying in the RPI top 8)
8. Florida (SEC) - Likely, leads SEC East
9. Arizona State (Pac-10) - Likely, leads conference
10. Clemson (ACC) - Unlikely, trails Florida State in ACC Atlantic
11. TCU (MWC) - Unlikely, leads conference
14. LSU (SEC) - Likely, leads SEC West

The breakdown:

Lock (3) - North Carolina, Rice, UC Irvine
Probable (2) - Fullerton, Texas
Likely (4) - Georgia Tech, Florida, Arizona State, LSU
Unlikely (3) - Miami, Clemson, TCU

If everything goes according to form, this weekend's Florida-LSU series in Baton Rouge should produce the final national seed.

The first national seed forecast:

1. North Carolina, 2. Rice, 3. Cal State Fullerton, 4. Texas, 5. UC Irvine, 6. Georgia Tech, 7. Arizona State, 8. LSU

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