clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NCAA Baseball bracketology: Who are the 64 teams

All this proves is that I can read and scratch my head (among other anatomical parts). I have to be careful since I don't have a lot of hair up there. Just look at standings and you should come to the same conclusion. Look at RPIs to help out. Don't forget strength of schedule. Don't forget road wins and home losses. Don't forget your wallet.

Could a MWC team be the final team standing in the CWS in 2015?
Could a MWC team be the final team standing in the CWS in 2015?
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Best of the Rest: Big Boys Rule (sometimes called the retch rule)

I've covered the possible winners and bid getters for the Mountain West Conference, West Coast Conference, Western Athletic Conference, and the Big West. As I've done in the past I also then put which teams get a bid in the other conferences; all of them! If you want a pro's take on this you can read Mark Ethridge's take on the same thing on the site. I didn't look past his first take on the ACC so I can appear somewhat independent in thought (no wise cracks). Oh, I've worked on this over a week so some standings have changed a bit but not by much.

America East (1)
Cinderella looks to strike again as Stony Brook is leading the conference by a comfortable four games and appears to be the only bid.

American Athletic (1)
Boy, this is one tough conference. There are eight teams and all but Cincinnati have a chance for the regular season title and four are tied for the lead. Cincy does have a possibility of winning the title but they would have to run the table (not likely) and they have lost 30 games which tells me no chance. The other teams have similar records with wins in the low 20s and losses in the 10s. Nothing spectacular. Memphis and Houston both have 29 wins with 13 and 15 losses, respectively. Again, nothing spectacular. I expect neither will reach 40 wins which means Memphis is the likely bid.

Atlantic 10 (1)
This is another "pick ‘em" conference as eight teams are either tied at the top or within two games of the leaders. Heck, a weekend series could change all that. The best bets are St. Louis (one game back) or George Washington (one of three leaders). St. Louis has 28 wins and that's what I based my choice.

Atlantic Coast (3)
The ACC is one of the big boys and is always a threat to send a team to CWS and possibly winning it all. This year it has a new kid on the block in Louisville and they are doing just fine, thank you very much. There are two divisions in the ACC and Louisville is leading one comfortably and Miami is leading the other. The third team I consider is Florida State as they have 33 wins and could be in the 40 win circle by season's end.

Atlantic Sun (1)
This conference looks like a one bid conference and that team is North Florida. They are tied for the lead and have 32 wins which is six more than any other team in the conference.

Big 10 (4)
Another big boy conference and it looks that it might get four bids. Illinois is in first and is an excellent 36-6 overall. They are good and I thought they might be earlier in the year when I checked them for returning vets. There are four other teams with at least 30 wins but they can't all win out and that could prove troublesome. Iowa, Ohio State, and Maryland are all positioning themselves to be counted in. Nebraska has 30 wins but have 16 losses and are back a ways in the standings. It looks tough for them.

Big 12 (2)
Ah, yes, the Big 12. I still remember when it was the Big 8 and was arguably the best football conference in the land. Did I tell you I attended the Oklahoma Nebraska football game when they were both undefeated? Wow, what a game that was. 1971 I think. They ended up 1 and 2 in the nation and Colorado came in number three and the only two losses they had were to Nebraska and Oklahoma. Boy, can I get distracted. This conference looks like a two-bid. I have a feeling, a feeling deep inside (who sang that?) that the conference will get more and that's wrong. The Big 12 has this happen far too much. Oklahoma State is leading, barely, and TCU has a better record so I'm going with them with TCU being the conference champ also.

Big East (1)
Remember when the Big East was a baseball power as well as basketball? It ain't that way anymore. This conference is like my dog which had a few parts removed , if you get my drift. This conference gets one bid and I'm going with the Blue Jays; Creighton.

Big South (2)
Here's a little known conference that has four pretty good teams. That would be Coastal Carolina, Radford, Liberty, and Winthrop. I know that Liberty and Radford have pretty good RPIs which count strongly in their favor. These four have at least 30 wins but it will take 40 wins to get a bid if they don't win the regular season championship. Again, I don't see all four teams getting 40. They'll just end up scratching each other's eyes out. I'm going with Coastal Carolina and Winthrop. I don't have time to check this but SOS probably plays a big part in this and it will for all four teams. Until then, two bids.

Big West (2)
Now here's a conference I follow a bit and know. I vote for all nine teams. Not really. UC Santa Barbara and UC Irvine are the class of the conference but Fullerton has sex appeal and Long Beach has done well with a tough schedule. Consider this, however, as Fullerton is only two games over .500. How can you go with that? Al Davis, folks, Al Davis. Figure the top two teams in the conference get a bid.

Colonial (1)
College of Charleston is having an excellent year at 32-9 and UNC Wilmington is also doing fairly well. Sigh. I still think only one gets in and COC looks like the bid.

Conference USA (2)
Rice seems to have a life-time pass to the CWS and is in first place but Florida Atlantic is biting at their heels and their overall record is 5.5 games better. I'll take both.

Horizon (1)
This is a conference with no outstanding team but the two leaders are good enough that at least one will get a bid. Wright State is in second but has the much better overall record. They split with leader Illinois-Chicago earlier and there is one run difference in the two games. That's close. Wright State.

Ivy (1)
The Ivy League is always the first to finish and nail down the sole bid the league will get. Dartmouth is the perennial power and is again this year. In the other division both Columbia and Penn are having decent years and could win the league tournament. Dartmouth.

Metro Atlantic (1)
This conference is characterized by a bunch of programs that are hovering around the .500 mark. The second place team is Quinnipiac with Rider a game up. One bid, one team, and my choice is Quinnipiac.

Mid-American (1)
The MAC is not known for baseball but they always put in one team that makes its presence felt in the CWS. Usually that Kent State but maybe not this year. Central Michigan is leading their division and has a decent overall record and Ohio is the leader in the other division with Kent State tied with them. At this point I'd choose Central Michigan but watch out for Kent State.

Mid-Eastern (1)
Only one team with a winning record and that's Norfolk. Any questions?

Missouri Valley (2)
One of the most powerful of the mid-major conferences and one that could get three bids. Wichita State is the known commodity here but this team ain't one of my choices as they are struggling this year at 17-26. The leader is Dallas Baptist with Missouri State a close second. Both have excellent records so I think both will make it. The surprise is Bradley which I thought was going to have a poor year but have done really well. They are 29-11 and have an outside chance but I'm sure there is a .500 team in the Big 12 that can ace them out. Right?

Mountain West (2)
I've talked about the MWC already with Nevada the class of the conference and San Diego State doing well also.

Northeast (1)
Snowbelt conferences are always at a disadvantage because the first real practices these teams usually get are the games they play in warmer areas and those are hard to win. By the time they get their game on, it's past the midway point and they're under .500 when they start winning. Too late. Wagner is the class of this conference and should get the bid.

Ohio Valley (1)
The leader is Southeast Missouri State and they have, by far, the best record in the conference at 28-15 which tells me that this is a one bid conference.

Pac 12 (4)
The Pac 12 is an elite baseball conference and normally sends at least four and sometimes six to a regional somewhere. This year is no different other than Stanford, for the first time in a while, will be left out. UCLA will probably host a regional, if not a super regional, as they are one of the best teams in the nation. Arizona State and Southern Cal are also in a good position to be picked. Cal and Arizona should get some consideration with Cal being more likely.

Patriot (1)
Navy is leading and has the only decent record. The Middies look like the team to beat in this one bid conference.

Southeastern (4)
Ah, yes, the SEC. The ultimate of the big boys. I have to be realistic so I will say that many teams in the SEC are good if not very good. However, I'm going to be conservative when I pick my teams. Vandy and Florida in one division and Texas A&M and LSU in the other. That's four but I suspect two more will squeeze in also. Those two could come from Auburn, Missouri, or South Carolina. I just wish those teams would hit the road a bit more for OOC games to really show their stuff. I've been harping on that for years and I ainta gonna stop.

Southern (1)
Wofford has the best record in the conference but is having troubles in their conference games so are mired in third and 2.5 games out. Ahead of them are Mercer and Samford which both have only decent records. The rep could be any of the three.

Southland (1)
A huge conference with 13 members. Southeastern Louisiana is the class of the conference and leads by 3.5. I see no other possibility in this conference other than by a late push by one to overtake Southeastern Louisiana and they would have to collapse. It's happened before. Huge conferences like this make last place a whole new experience. How'd you like to be in 13th place?

Southwestern (1)
The SWAC is also large (ten teams) but only one stands out and that's Alabama State. You have to realize that when I write these and then you read them, they are out of date. Alabama State is in a fairly comfortable situation leading their division by two games but they have lost two in a row. The team right behind them has lost four in a row so read into that what you will. One bid.

Summit (1)
Oral Roberts has a comfortable lead and a good record over all the others. They also are on a small streak (four in a row) so they're in. Barring the weird, of course.

Sun Belt (1)
A few years ago the WAC expanded and had teams from Texas such as Texas State, UTSA, Dallas Baptist, and UT Arlington. They also had Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State. Then all hell broke loose and the WAC pretty much self-destructed. It became a no football conference which spelled death for many of the teams. San Jose State left to go to the Mountain West where they've done anything but thrive (ha!) and the others went to conferences farther east such as the Sun Belt. I miss those old days as it was a lot of fun watching teams from a long ways away that you'd probably not see if they were not conference members. Yes, again, it's all about money. Mid majors are in trouble and some may want to go the way of the WCC, Big West, or WAC; drop football. Leave it to the big boys and let them die in the future. I am a fan of college football and a big fan of San Jose State (see ha above) so it pains me to say that. Ooh, how'd I get off on this string? I, uh, ok, let me start over. South Alabama is in front by two followed by two others with post-season designs; Georgia State and Louisiana Lafayette. Georgia State has a fairly good baseball history but I have to go with SA right now.

WAC (1)
The WAC is a fairly weak conference with the winner of the conference tournament guaranteed a spot and no other team. Sacramento State is in fourth place and I love their pitching. Bakersfield has been on a roll as of late and Grand Canyon and Seattle are still players. I'm putting my money on the Hornets.

West Coast (1)
The cream has risen to the top as San Diego is in the lead followed closely by Pepperdine. San Francisco was leading for a while but has dropped back and has a losing record so they are in trouble if they are looking at the post-season. San Diego is leading by 1.5 games but that could all change this weekend as the two meet to decide things. I like the Waves but, sometimes, talent wins out. Oh, that's right, they both have some. Good series coming up. Looks like a one bid conference to me.

So, if my addition is correct, I have 47 teams in. I tend to be conservative but that's a ridiculously low number. Where do the other 17 come from? The big boys will have their say and probably add at least two (ACC, Big 12, Pac 12, SEC). That's eight but figure ten. That still leaves seven to come from somewhere. I'm guessing surprise winners of conference tournaments that have one automatic bid so they get in and maybe the loser of the championship game but only if it was the favorite. Other than that, your guess is as good as mine.