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Quest For a National Seed: Still Have Work To Do

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Subtitle: The Quest To Avoid Louisville In The Supers For The Umpteenth Time, oh Go to Hell NCAA!

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the final week of conference play, here's where we stand according to the rankings (and when they were last updated):

RPI: 10th (May 13)

Baseball America: 7th (May 11)

USA Today: 10th (May 11)

Teams ahead of us in the RPI that we may need to pass:

#9 Missouri State (MVC) 38-10

#8 aTm (SEC) 42-9

#7 TCU (Big 12) 40-9

#6 Florida (SEC) 38-14

#5 LSU (SEC) 44-8

#4 FSU (ACC) 37-16

#3 Miami (ACC) 39-13

#2 UCLA (Pac 12) 37-12

#1 Dallas Baptist (MVC) 39-10

Railing against the RPI and their ridiculous system of rankings (especially for baseball) is another column for another day *cough, VTPhD, cough.  However, we know that the NCAA baseball tournament selection committee never follows the RPI rankings exactly, so we may well be higher than #10 in their eyes right now.  I wouldn't bet on it, though, as Louisville - who is the #2 team in the nation according to some polls - is somehow ranked below us at #11.  No, it is not entirely due to us beating them Tuesday (though VandyImport does get his barrel because of this).

The way I see it, the committee is likely to make 4 SEC teams National seeds, but certainly no more.  They might shock us and just choose 3, but in that case, we're screwed, so let's not let that enter our brain-space right now, okay?

Okay.

Of the teams above us, I don't think there's a snowball's chance in hell that the NCAA seeding committee picks two schools from the Missourah Valley Conference, but I also don't think they'll overlook Dallas Baptist's #1 RPI ranking (no matter how ridiculous it is that they're #1 and a behemoth like, say, LSU is #5 - seriously, fuck the RPI for baseball).  So good bye, Missourah State.  You might not even get a 1 seed.

That leaves us with just one more team to jump, right?

No.  The RPI has Louisville ranked #11, which is just ludicrous.  Louisville is going to be a National Seed, unless the station wagon carrying them careens off of a cliff upon driving over a banana peel.

In other words, we still need to jump two teams.  Well, kind of...

How We Become One of the 4 SEC Teams to Get a National Seed

Scenario 1: Destiny In Our Own Hands

This one's simple.  We sweep Ramajama this weekend and win the SEC Tourney Crown.  I can see no scenario in which this happens and the NCAA screws us out of a National Seed.  Of course, even in this scenario, there is an outside shot the committee screws Louisville due to RPI and makes them come to Nashville for the Supers.  Fuuuuuuck that.

Scenario 2: Destiny's Child

We sweep Ramajama and do pretty well in the SEC Tourney down in Hooverville (pretty well defined as getting to the semi-finals at least).  In this scenario, we would need one of aTm or Florida to get swept  and/or lose their final weekend series and pretty much go 2 and Cue in Hooverville.

2a) aTm plays Ole Miss, so this is the series I will be watching with hawk eyes all weekend.  What do the Fightin' Ackbars have to say to aTm?

Oh yes, this has "trap series" written all over it.  The Ackbars have been a middling team all year, but they have the pitching (potentially) to make aTm go aTm in Oxford.

Chances Ole Miss Sweeps aTm out of Contention:

5/10

2b) Florida finishes with 3 games at home against Auburn.  While the Never Nudes in the Swamp might chafe their thighs with their jorts enough to be made mildly uncomfortable, you must not forget one thing:

Chances Early Cuyler is Wrong and Auburn Avenges Last Week's Sweep at the hands of Ramajama to Sweep Florida:

2/10

I don't think we're ready for that particular brand of jelly.

Scenario 3: The Highlander

3a) With UF taking the rubber match in extras against us last week, our only chance to take the "Head-to-Head" against them is to have to face them twice in Hoover.  This is possible, but not highly probable.  We would have to face them relatively early, knock them into the loser's bracket, and then face them again in the finals.  If this happens and we take both, we should get the National Seed over UF (unless, of course, the NCAA selection committee has already decided by that Sunday, which they do some times.  Again, fuuuuuuck them.)

3b) We have to face and beat aTm once, preferably knocking them out of the tournament.  We've not played them this year, so this might sway a committee member who's on the fence about Vandy or aTm.

...and that's pretty much it.  1) We need to win big in Hoover this week and next.  2) Either UF or aTm must falter.

Of course, the NCAA selection committee could just fuck us both and stick with the RPI.  That's not ideal, but if they keep both Vandy and Louisville as a Regional Host, but not a National Seed, we'll avoid each other in the first two rounds.

That's... unlikely.