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Bracketology Weekend #1

We are four days into the 2024 college baseball season and there are already a lot of storylines. The #2 team in the country did not win a game on opening weekend (only played one) and we saw regional type games in 40 degree weather in February. This week's bracketology did not see too much change from the preseason. Seeds may have moved, but a lot of that comes from such a small sample size. I will break down any major changes in the same format as last week. First the Power 5, then Mid-Majors, then the Small Conference teams. So lets dive into it!





POWER FIVE:

  • SEC (11): Florida, Arkansas, LSU, Texas A&M, Tennessee, South Carolina, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia

  • ACC (9): Wake Forest, Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, NC State, Miami, Louisville, and Florida State

  • Big 12 (7): TCU, Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas State, West Virginia, and Oklahoma

  • Pac 12 (4): Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona , and Oregon

  • Big 10 (2): Iowa & Indiana


Let's start with where I was wrong in the preseason bracketology. First, my apologies go out to Alabama. I forgot this team hired a great head coach and is loaded with talent. Having them in my first four out shows I was wrong as they now sit as a 2 seed in the Corvallis regional. Second, I am sorry to Kentucky for forgetting how much I love that program. They are now a 2 seed in the Durham regional, which comes from their impressive sweep on the road to preseason Big South favorite USC-Upstate. Finally, I send my heartfelt "I am sorry" to Arizona. I picked your rival school to be in the Field of 64 and after an impressive weekend series with Northeastern, I remembered that I made this same mistake last year. For that reason I have the Wildcats comfortably in as a 3 seed in the Knoxville regional.


Now to the conference that I feel most wrong about. The Pac-12 had seven teams in my preseason bracketology and this week we are down to four. Three teams that made the initial bracket find themselves on the outside looking in. Call it an overaction, but I did not like what I saw from Stanford in their series loss to Cal St Fullerton. Stanford is getting a lot of mixed reviews from experts and there is reason to believe they will make the Field of 64. However, after this weekend I am skeptical of the overall depth of the Pac 12 and they could not afford to lose a series like this. I also removed USC and Arizona State. USC does not look like a good team through one weekend. Losing all three games by 3+ runs that they played against programs who aren't considered Field of 64 caliber teams (minus GCU who I think wins the WAC) isn't very promising. It is still early, but it goes back to my opinion on the Pac 12, which is also why I dropped Arizona State out after winning their weekend series with Santa Clara. I just feel this might be a 4-bid league and if so, the Sun Devils look like a program who just narrowly misses.


One last notable change in the Power 5 category comes in the Big 10. CBC's Noah Darling said that Iowa's loss to Lehigh on Sunday shouldn't hold too much weight against their overall resume. I disagree strongly. Iowa always struggles in the RPI category and that loss really hurts their hosting chances. This weekend's trip to Jacksonville will decide whether or not this Iowa team has any shot of hosting. I was very impressed with Indiana going 2-1 in Conway this weekend. I believe the Big 10 will get a host this year, so I will declare Indiana to be that team.


Mid-Majors:


  • CAA (3): Northeastern, Campbell, and UNC-Wilmington

  • Sun Belt (3): Coastal Carolina, Southern Miss, and Troy

  • C-USA (2): Dallas Baptist & Sam Houston State

  • Big West (2): UC-Santa Barbara & Cal St Fullerton

  • American: (1): East Carolina

  • A10 (1): VCU

  • Mountain West (1): San Jose State

  • Mid-American (1): Kent State


Well hello 3-bid Sun Belt. Last week I mentioned how much I like Troy and that they were the first team out for me. Well Trojan fans, welcome to the Field of 64. After a dominant opening weekend, I decided it was time to get on board the bandwagon. The Sun Belt is a great league and three bids just makes sense. This Troy team has the offense to compete with anyone and I expect this ball club to have a very special season.


Also, I was curious how you get to No Where. I have the Nobodies from No Where hosting a regional and replacing Coastal Carolina as the last regional host site. The Campbell Camels (Nobodies from No Where) really showed a lot coming back to take the series over the UCSB Gauchos this weekend at home. After dropping the season opener 20-8, the Camels showed they are a talented group who could easily be in the hosting conversation. Campbell is this year's Indiana State for me. The Camels have a lot of challenging games left on their schedule, so I expect their RPI will keep them in hosting conversations.


The only other note in this Mid-Major category comes from the decision to swap Cal St Fullerton for UC Irvine. The Anteaters did nothing wrong last weekend, but I have determined this is a 2-bid Big West. The Titans were impressive in their series win over Stanford and that had me welcome Fullerton to a last four in spot and have Irvine as a part of the first four out.

Small Conference:


  • Missouri Valley (1): Indiana State

  • Southern (1): Samford

  • West Coast (1): Santa Clara

  • Southland (1): Nicholls

  • Big South (1): USC-Upstate

  • WAC (1): Grand Canyon

  • ASUN (1): Lipscomb

  • America East (1): Binghamton

  • Horizon (1): Wright State

  • Ohio Valley (1): Southeast Missouri State (SEMO)

  • Patriot (1): Army

  • Ivy (1): Penn

  • MAAC (1): Rider

  • Summit (1): Oral Roberts

  • NEC (1): Central Connecticut State

  • SWAC (1): Alabama State


The Small Conference category of this exercise will not change much until conference play gets rolling. I only had one change, with Nicholls being my new Southland representative. I want to take this spot to quickly shout out two programs who really impressed me this weekend. First I want to mention Grand Canyon, who went 2-0 with an impressive 8-1 win over USC. The Lopes are poised to have a strong OOC resume and with Oregon and Nebraska coming to town in the coming weeks, I look forward to seeing what they bring to the table. The other team I want to highlight is Indiana State. The Sycamores got big wins over Louisville and UConn, who I both had firmly in to my Field of 64. The Sycamores seem posed to run back their successful 2023 campaign.


Let me know what you think in the comments. Did I wrongly seed your favorite team? Who am I sleeping on? What team am I way too high on? All feedback is good, and I look forward to talking baseball all season long with you.

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