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not seeing them either.
Was this analysis of every D-I program or just the "top" ones? If the latter, how did you decide "top" or "major"? Good stuff, by the way.
Any chance the bind that the late deadline puts college coaches in so much as registers for Selig and the rest of MLB?
Did the Dodgers save money on the scouting budget by stealing LSU's scouting reports?
"the tournament committee will have a hard time maintaining the traditional two regional hosts west of Texas in the future."
2007: 3 regionals west of Austin.
2008: 4 regionals west of Austin.
2009: 3 regionals west of Austin.
2010: 3 regionals west of Austin.
So it looks like three is the traditional number. It's probably still not enough, but some of the West Coast teams could help themselves by improving their facilities, although I suppose that's unlikely right now given the economy.
The regional is in UConn because the NCAA wants to increase the popularity of the game in colder climates, and someone had to get sent there. FSU was likely the victim of being in Florida. With two regionals there already, the committee might not have wanted a third, and since Boyd Nation has FSU's RPI at 14th, which is a better indication of their seeding than the conference tournament (see LSU for another example of this), FSU was a prime candidate. It sucks for the fans, but it's probably the only chance the Noles had of getting a 1 seed.
Does Ranaudo's performance in the opening round of the SEC Tournament solidify him as a first-round pick?
Yes, LSU could schedule a tougher non-conference slate, but your argument that the early season schedule is the problem is specious when you consider the Tigers started conference play 11-3. The bigger problems during the Tigers' season-ending slump have been injuries, a lack of depth after losing 7 key players from last year's team, and some bad luck (although in some of the series, even an extraordinary amount of good luck wouldn't have made a difference). If you want to boil it down to the most important factor, though, it's that this team just doesn't have enough pitching, a lack even more glaring due to Ranaudo's injury and subsequent struggles and Ott's recent performance.
if Ranaudo doesn't turn things around, how far do you think he'll drop given his poor season and his injury history?
I never thought I'd see someone from my undergrad alma mater, Lee University, on one of these lists. How often do players from programs that size show up on these lists?
As an LSU fan, all this list does is remind me of how close LSU was to a weekend rotation of Ranaudo, Colvin, and Von Rosenberg.
I enjoyed MLB.tv before it was available on Roku, but my viewing increased exponentially once I could easily stream it to my TV.
Since $18 million has been taken, I'll go $18.3 million.
It's a few miles north of the Westin, but Goose the Market has some great sandwiches.
On Mitchell, by "routes in the infield," did you mean "routes in the outfield"? (Not trying to play a game of gotcha, just making sure I understand the evaluation.)
Yeah, losing his spot definitely had something to do with it, but it's weird that the possibility of millions of dollars didn't do it first. You're right to point out the difference between Jones and Mitchell on the football field, and if Jones has a stand-out football season, it'll be interesting to see if he ever sees the diamond again.
From what I've read, no one had ever won a BCS and CWS championship before this year.
What a strange series. Neither Coleman or Ranaudo had their best stuff, yet the Tigers win the series. Texas' normally exceptional defense made some key mistakes, and while their pitching staff's depth was supposed to be their biggest advantage, they ran out of gas while LSU's bullpen, thought to be shaky, was effective. Meanwhile, the "small ball" team blasts one home run after another.
As for Chad Jones on the mound, my dad met him when he was senior in high school, and Jones said his high school coaches tried to get him to fully devote himself to pitching, telling him he could be a first-round pick as a left-hander who throws in the 90s. At the time, he just wasn't interested in pitching, but I guess he's changed his mind since then.
Thanks for great coverage all year, Bryan. Do your best Russell Moldenhauer impersonation and take a curtain call or four.
Yeah, not the best played game on the defensive side but definitely exciting. LSU's most consistent starter couldn't keep the ball down, and the "small ball" team makes him pay with five home runs, including a total of three from two guys you wouldn't think of as power hitters. Meanwhile, the deep Longhorns bullpen couldn't keep LSU off the scoreboard, and once again, they commit a key error in Omaha. It'll be interesting to see how each time responds tonight.
On a side note, I wonder how the NCAA determines who gets to umpire in the postseason because the guy behind the plate was extremely inconsistent. I doubt it affected the outcome as he was unpredictable for both sides, but if that guy is one of the best college umpires in the country, the NCAA needs to do something to improve the quality of umpires.
If you read my post, I'm referring to their defense in Omaha, thus the question about small sample size. Catch a replay of their game against Virginia alone, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Speaking of small sample size, their defense in the super regional was probably the worst they've played all year, although they usually still aren't on Texas' level.
I don't think it's official, but there is talk LSU will hold Ranaudo out for game 3 if the Tigers take the first game.
As for fielding, while Texas has certainly been better over the course of the season, they've faltered in Omaha while LSU's defense has been spectacular. Any reason to believe that trend will continue, or should we just consider it an exception due to small sample size?
I'd be interested in a similar comparison to Ben McDonald.
Are Jared Mitchell's strikeouts a cause for alarm? He's struck out 40 times in 116 at-bats this year.
That Sunday game between UF and Ole Miss was a strange one. Initially, I was excited to see Scott Bittle get the start, but in the first inning, he walked four and gave up two runs on one hit, which also happened to be the only ball hit fair during UF's at bat. That inning took an hour to play, and with the SEC's travel rule, I was wondering if the game would get past the fourth inning.
But after that, Bittle controlled the game, giving up only one more run in the next five innings, leading to the 5-3 win.
I'm not sure what the season stats say, but the Gators' battery was terrible at controlling the running game. The Rebels were 6-6 in stolen bases, including swipes by guys with 2 and 4 stolen bases on the season coming into the game.
I guess that double makes up for 2002. There's still 2005 to avenge . . .
I can't speak for the rest of those teams, but LSU has a long history of playing all the in-state teams, going back at least to the beginning of the Skip Bertman era. There are many reasons for this.
Of course, a large one is money. LSU averages a paid attendance of 9359 this year in a stadium with a seating capacity of 9250. While scheduling Florida State, for example, for a three-game series might improve paid attendance by a couple hundred each game,such a series would likely require LSU return the favor the next year, meaning you're still missing out on a great deal of money. I'd imagine the baseball program would be just fine without those three home games every two years, especially since there are some boosters who are big baseball fans, but the bottom lines of the softball, soccer, swimming, etc. teams would most likely be impacted.
In addition, LSU's trips to in-state teams' campuses provides a huge injection of money into those programs. Take LSU's recent trip to Tulane. The Green Wave's average attendance minus that game is about 2840. Despite increasing some ticket prices more than 100%, they drew 4980 for the LSU game. That's extremely important money to a program like Tulane right now, a school still recovering from Katrina.
It's not a totally self-less act, though. Bertman's reasoning was that the more good programs in Louisiana, the more kids would be interested in baseball, the more good baseball players would be in the state. And when it comes to in-state recruiting battles, LSU will win 95% of the time.
That strategy has been successful in promoting the sport, with schools like Tulane and ULL visiting Omaha in the past decade. ULM's Ben Sheets years were very competitive. Roger Cador at Southern has put out some high draft picks in recent memory (Rickie Weeks, Fred Lewis, Mike Woods), a program that LSU's baseball program has helped out with facilities and other costs. Northwestern St. has been a rung in the coaching ladder for the head coaches at Ole Miss, Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi St.
Taking that scheduling philosophy into consideration, it's easy to see why LSU has the 68th-ranked schedule. That approach has put Grambling State (295 ISR), Nicholls St. (191), UNO (186), La. Tech (170), McNeese St. (151), Southern (144), Northwestern St. (140), ULM (114), Tulane (89),Centenary (78), ULL (71), and SLU (65) on the docket. Keep in mind that Tulana, UNO, and ULL are having down years. Besides, their conference schedule has them playing series against 8 of the top 60 teams in the ISR, with one against the #2 team still to come, so it's not like they don't play against quality opponents.
While I'd like to see them upgrade teams like Harvard, UCF (although with a former Maineiri assistant there now, they may continue this series as a favor), and Villanova to teams closer to the top 60, I wouldn't want it to come at the expense of home games or trips to Louisiana schools since that would in turn affect the financial situation of several programs. So although I agree LSU could upgrade their schedule a bit, I think it's important to remember that we're not just talking about baseball. We're also talking about money, which always involves political decisions, and I think LSU is making the right one more often than not in helping baseball programs in an impoverished state. A lame decision would be to pull support from these teams.
not that it affects the article much, but isn't bumgarner left-handed?
is travel money doled out to visiting teams at a regional, and if so, where does it come from? from the host team's bid? from the NCAA?
i'm just wondering how much travel costs are likely to affect hawaii's shot at a regional, whether it be because hawaii would have a difficult time making enough money to offer a lucrative enough bid (not to mention they will probably have a hard time convincing visiting fans to make the trip in this economy, which might also affect their bid) or because the NCAA wouldn't want to cough up the extra money.
if the visiting teams are responsible for covering travel, do you think any ADs will try to sway the NCAA due to expenses?
i agree, interesting stuff.
i'm a bit biased, but i'd have to pick a seat at all three of the games pitting #2 LSU v. #7 Georgia this weekend.
Do you think LSU should worry about Ranaudo breaking down as the year progresses? His pitch counts have been reasonable thus far: 87, 90, 97, and 110. However, do you think the nearly entire season he missed last year will affect his durability this year?
By the way, Friday night in Baton Rouge featured two impressive starts. Paxton from Kentucky went 6 innings, gave up three earned runs, and struck out 14 of the 26 batters he faced. Ranaudo also went six, giving up three earned, and striking out 13 of the 29 he faced.
I was expecting to see Florida's name in that list after their 7-6 loss to Florida Atlantic last night.
what are your thoughts on LSU\'s pitching staff? the performance has been promising, but how bad are the offenses they\'ve been facing?
I think there\'s a typo on Hellickson\'s profile. He\'s from Iowa (IA), not Louisiana (LA).
yeah, i figured that much research on one team wasn\'t feasible, and if i were more motivated, i\'d do it myself. but i do appreciate your passing along manieri\'s comments.
now this has me wondering what the difference was in LSU\'s DE before and during their run at the end of the year.
In North Central Florida, we\'ve got, um, the original Sonny\'s BBQ? God, that\'s depressing.
For southern Louisiana, try boudin from Comeaux\'s or Don\'s:
I love Abita but am always mystified as to why Purple Haze is the brew that is easiest to find outside of Louisiana. Turbodog is a great dark beer, and their pecan ale is fantastic.
And +infinity to Tony Chachere\'s.
Harrison\'s convinced me to abandon my vegetarian diet.
I wonder if a Lipscomb grad had anything to do with it.