May 29, 2011

Field of Dreamers

Christmas Eve for college baseball


By Phil Stanton and Sean Ryan



Maydness (May Madness) is in the house.


The regular season is in the books, with 30 automatic bids awarded. Some were expected, but there were several surprises. Now the bubble teams have to sweat out the next few hours before the Field of 64 is released.


We’ll take a final look at our Field of Dreamers (as of 9 p.m. ET Sunday). We may make a change or two in the morning after we sleep on it, but this is how we think the committee will select the at-large pool. RPI and strength-of-schedule info (as of 8 p.m. ET Sunday) are courtesy of Warren Nolan at


Automatic bids only (19)

 America East – Maine

Atlantic 10 – Charlotte

Big South – Coastal Carolina

Big Ten – Illinois

Colonial – James Madison

Horizon – Wright State

Ivy – Princeton

Metro Atlantic – Manhattan

Mid-American – Kent State

Mid-Eastern – Bethune-Cookman

Missouri Valley – Creighton

Northeast – Sacred Heart

Ohio Valley – Austin Peay

Patriot – Navy

Southland – Texas State

Southwestern – Alcorn State

Summit – Oral Roberts

West Coast – San Francisco

Western Athletic – Fresno State


Multiple-bid leagues


ACC (7) – Virginia (automatic), North Carolina (1), Florida State (5), Clemson (7), Georgia Tech (8), Miami (14), NC State (31)

  [solid seven for ACC]
Atlantic Sun (3) – Belmont (automatic), Stetson (21), Jacksonville (43)

  [Stetson with strong RPI, won regular-season title. JU finished second with solid RPI]

Big East (2) – Seton Hall (automatic), Connecticut (47)

  [UConn finished first in regular season]

Big 12 (6) – Texas A&M (automatic), Texas (12), Oklahoma (17), Baylor (33), Oklahoma State (34), Kansas State (44)

  [KSU had series win over OU plus 2-0 vs. OU in Big 12 tourney]
Big West (2) – Cal State Fullerton (automatic), UC Irvine (42)

  [UCI solid in second place]

Conference USA (4) – Rice (automatic), UCF (18), Southern Miss (20), East Carolina (29)

  [strong quartet for C-USA]

Mountain West (2) – New Mexico (automatic), TCU (28)

  [surprising Lobos join regional-host Horned Frogs]

Pac-10 (6) – UCLA (automatic), Arizona State (10), Stanford (23), Arizona (24), Oregon State (30), California (41)

  [solid top five, Cal beat teams below in standings] 

Southeastern (8) – Florida (automatic), Vanderbilt (4), South Carolina (6), Arkansas (13), Georgia (16), LSU (22), Mississippi State (25), Alabama (36)

  [Ole Miss was close, only one good series win vs. South Carolina]

Southern (2) – Georgia Southern (automatic), Elon (49)

  [Elon was regular-season champ and had series win over NC State]

Sun Belt (3) – UALR (automatic), FIU (27), Troy (46)

  [FIU with strong RPI & second-place finish, Troy was regular-season champ]


We tried to think as the committee would. Our debate for the last spot was between Elon and Dallas Baptist. Elon won the regular-season title in the Southern Conference, posted a RPI of 49 and had strength of schedule of 76. Independent Dallas Baptist had a RPI of 54 with two wins over TCU, one over Rice and Oklahoma State, and a 1-2 record vs. Texas A&M. But the Patriots have a strength of schedule of 160.


Last five in: Elon, Troy, Kansas State, Jacksonville, California


First 10 out: Dallas Baptist, Ole Miss, ETSU, Southeastern Louisiana, St. John’s, Texas Tech, Cal State Bakersfield, Hawaii, Mercer, Oregon


(photo courtesy of MAAC)