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The Usual Smorgasbord

Publication Date: June 7, 2005

The Regionals

In the end, the big surprise in the regional round was the dog that didn't bark -- there were almost no surprises. The highest-ISR team won fifteen of the sixteen regionals, with #36 Tennessee over #35 Wichita State at home as the only trivial exception. To some extent, that's a function of the four-team regionals, which don't lend themselves all that much to drama, but it's really not that probable that there were so few upsets last weekend. I have no idea what this means, of course.

A quick digression (I'm allowed to digress in the second paragraph as long as I make it through the first one; it says so right here in my Super-Secret Columnist's Handbook): I've been accused of trusting the ISR's too much here lately. That's a sign that I need to find better shorthand, mostly. I don't think the ISR's are flawless (and I usually point out cases where they're probably wrong and constantly try to find ways to improve or replace it), but which would you rather read: "Enormous State is better than Vine Covered U.", or, "The ISR's show that there's a strong probability that ESU is better than VCU"? I'll work on improving that balance, though.

The Supers

This coming weekend features some examples of one of our best and worst dichotomies -- the bad job the committee does guarantees that there will be some pretty exciting matchups that should take place in Omaha that actually take place before them. We already got that with the amazing Long Beach regional last weekend; this week we get some really top-notch teams squaring off in Oxford and Corvallis (and isn't that a sentence you never thought you'd see?). The odds for this weekend and for winning the CWS, according to the ISR's:

Tulane                 66/12
Rice                   34/ 2
Oregon State           64/19
Southern California    36/ 6
Baylor                 58/ 4
Clemson                42/ 2
Mississippi            45/ 5
Texas                  55/ 8
Georgia Tech           60/ 4
Tennessee              40/ 1
Florida                52/ 3
Florida State          48/ 2
Nebraska               62/ 7
Miami, Florida         38/ 2
Cal State Fullerton    70/19
Arizona State          30/ 3

These don't take home field into account, and in this case, they probably should, since I can't think of any reason the normal HFA wouldn't apply for the supers. If you adjust for it, then the Ole Miss-Texas matchup is almost even.

Season Dates Changes

What will probably end up being the most significant event of the week didn't actually happen on a field, and those involved did their very best to completely bury the news. In this well-hidden announcement, we found out that the championship/competition cabinet approved a plan to set a common starting date for the season beginning with the 2007-2008 school year -- in other words, the 2008 season. The announcement also shows a starting date for the 2007 season, but that may be an editing error left over from a previous version, as it's listed as an example.

The plan is for practice to start on February 1, competition to start the last Friday of February, and the CWS to stay with the same dates. The 56-game limit is to be maintained.

The first obvious effect of this is that there are going to be a lot more midweek games. This means either more starting pitchers or more teams going to the actual three-man rotation with decent middle relief I've recommended before. It also means that there will be some class time issues, especially for teams with travel problems.

The opposite side of that coin is that there will be fewer weekends to schedule around -- most years there will be thirteen regular season weekends, which leaves only three for those leagues with ten conference weekends. The teams can go two ways with this; hopefully we see fewer South Carolina-Radford type matchups and don't lose any of the better tournaments or interregional matchups.

Pitch Count Watch

Rather than keep returning to the subject of pitch counts and pitcher usage in general too often for my main theme, I'm just going to run a standard feature down here where I point out potential problems; feel free to stop reading above this if the subject doesn't interest you. This will just be a quick listing of questionable starts that have caught my eye -- the general threshold for listing is 120 actual pitches or 130 estimated, although short rest will also get a pitcher listed if I catch it. Don't blame me; I'm just the messenger.

Date   Team   Pitcher   Opponent   IP   H   R   ER   BB   SO   AB   BF   Pitches
Jun 03 Tennessee Luke Hochevar Austin Peay State 8.0 9 5 5 4 9 31 35 141(*)
Jun 04 Maine Steve Richard Southern Mississippi 6.2 5 0 0 4 0 22 27 128
Jun 04 Pepperdine Kea Kometani Rhode Island 8.1 5 1 1 2 10 32 36 127
Jun 04 Florida State Bryan Henry Auburn 9.0 6 3 3 2 10 31 34 126
Jun 04 East Carolina Brooks Nevada-Las Vegas 8.1 5 1 1 4 8 29 35 143(*)
Jun 04 Arizona State Erik Averill Coastal Carolina 9.0 8 3 3 3 8 35 38 136
Jun 04 Arkansas Nick Schmidt Texas 9.0 10 2 2 3 8 37 40 141
Jun 04 North Carolina A&T Primus Oral Roberts 7.2 10 6 6 2 7 34 41 158(*)
Jun 04 Tennessee James Adkins Winthrop 9.0 4 2 2 3 15 30 33 141(*)
Jun 04 Rice Joe Savery Louisiana State 7.1 7 2 2 1 10 27 28 136
Jun 05 Nebraska Zach Kroenke Creighton 9.0 7 2 2 2 13 33 35 145(*)
Jun 05 Texas Adrian Alaniz Miami, Ohio 9.0 7 5 2 1 9 34 36 122
Jun 05 Cal State Fullerton Ryan Schreppel Arizona 8.2 6 2 2 4 6 30 34 138
Jun 06 Stanford Greg Reynolds Baylor 11.0 10 4 4 1 10 41 44 151(*)
Jun 06 Louisiana State Jason Determann Rice 7.1 11 4 4 4 9 29 34 129

(*) Pitch count is estimated.

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Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> The Usual Smorgasbord About the author, Boyd Nation