I’ve thought all year that Arkansas was one of the eight best teams. The Razorbacks didn’t get a top eight seed, but they will finish in the top eight of the polls.
I had a feeling this was a team that would rally when it needed to in the postseason because of the motivation from last year, the experience and the coaching. The West was also a lot better than people gave it credit for being. They are playing their best baseball at the right time.
Good analysis Matt. Something sure has clicked since end of regular season and SECT. The team looks more relaxed even after losing the lead in 9th inning yesterday, they still played loose and won it in walkoff fashion.
Definitely proves — yet again — that RPI is not a good predictor of a team’s success and certainly not a good way to measure the quality of a team. Maybe the ptb will begin to see that and de-emphasize this silly metric.
They are hitting on all cylinders at the right time and just think……Mr. Moore isn’t hitting it at same level as last year and if he can up his level just a tad more in the CWS then this can be a very dangerous team to try and knock out!
I also love the fact that we didn’t have to play a game 3 and our pitchers get an extra day of rest and so do guys like Turner!!!
RPI is and has always been a strength of schedule measure, and our NC schedule was frankly terrible. We played one really good NC game, and Stanford kicked our butt. So we pretty much got the RPI we deserved. It didn’t help that in the SEC schedule rotation we didn’t play Tennessee or Georgia. And we lost too many games against the teams we did play.
DVH realizes he didn’t make a good schedule and will correct that going forward. Too many in-state games, for sure. Sometimes you get lucky and schedule a team that surprises everyone; we did that last year with the series at La Tech. Nothing like that this year; if anything the teams we played (except for Stanford) all underachieved.
But they do need to figure out a way to adapt NET to baseball. NET has its flaws too but at least it’s more than a SOS metric.
I sure didn’t think the offense was good enough.
I was wrong. They are pitching better. There’s still the goof ups like hitting batters with the lead and giving up hits on 0-2 and 1-2 counts!
The hogs were snake bite yesterday on the game of inches on Slavens ball to short center and Robert Moore’s ball up the middle. Both of those plays should have played a run. NC got to gift runs for them to have a chance to get the go ahead run in the 9th by a player that was batting around 125 for the year and hadn’t had a RBI since February! Our hogs seem to be focused and playing with some fight and energy now! They have a tough draw in Omaha! The Standford / UCONN winner will be next up!
It was a bad series loss from an RPI perspective, but aside from the final game at Alabama, I didn’t feel like they were playing bad at the end of the season. Dave Van Horn said as much at the SEC Tournament when he made a comment along the lines of, “I don’t feel like we’re playing bad. We’re just not making winning plays.”
The offense was not playing to its potential, but the games were mostly competitive, even if it took a comeback to make it that way. I thought they looked like a team that was tired and tight from the pressure to hold on to the division, regional host, top-eight seed, etc. More than any other sport probably, baseball has peaks and valleys, and that was this year’s low point that lasted about two weeks.
You could feel a different energy when the team went through practice on Thursday in Stillwater. The time off and away from the game did wonders for them.
Just before the stretch you reference was one that included series wins over Ole Miss and Auburn, and toss-up series with Vanderbilt and Texas A&M. I said at the time that I thought some of those teams were underrated. On our podcast, Bubba and I were banging the A&M drum about three weeks before they got onto the national radar. I thought Ole Miss looked like a different team when Kevin Graham got healthy.
But to your top-eight point, some of the best teams struggled down the stretch in the regular season. Oregon State and Oklahoma State are a couple that come to mind, and I think there were others who don’t come to mind at the moment. That’s why when Arkansas was in the running for a national seed that I asked if we were sure they weren’t a top-eight team. Aside from Tennessee, teams just didn’t separate themselves this year like they typically do.
When the entire regular season was assessed, I thought Arkansas passed the eye test relative to most of the other teams that I watched. They all have their flaws.
Agree, but invariably, the teams that make Omaha are all ranked in the final Top 10, if not Top 8 (last year, we snuck in at number 6 or 7, I believe).
And OF COURSE our team last year was a Top 8 team. As I’ve posted/argued before, we were the true Champions by every metric last season except winning the damn Tournament at the end of the season. Best record in the country against THE #1 SOS in the country… That’s even more dominant than what Tennessee did this year! And we had a better record against the teams in Omaha than any other team - including the team that won the Tournament (MSU).
As I posted before, we should have been voted #2 in the final poll. Everyone knows we were better than MSU - and we proved it three times on their own field. But College Baseball names it’s champion based on this Tournament we’re currently involved with, so you have to give #1 to the team that wins it. But #2 ought to go to the team that has earned it all season long. We lost fewer series than any team in the nation; ours just happened to come in the last week, and to the arguably hottest team in the country at that point. That one series - one game, when you come down to it - shouldn’t have knocked us 8 spots down the rankings, under teams that we had mostly beaten on the field.
The hogs had failed to hit with runners in scoring position at keys times of games all season. It really started to snow ball in game 1 at Texas A&M. Down 1 run with runners on 2nd and 3 no outs and didn’t score to tie or take the lead! The bumpy ride continued to Hoover and our hogs woke up at OKST. The hits are happening now and the quality start have followed suit. I hope DVH and Hobbs can use the next 5 days to see what can be done for Wiggins and some other on the pitching staff to gain some control and command. I hope Tygart can find his mojo in Omaha. It would be huge for him to be solid especially with Smith showing on back to back days he isn’t as effective. There won’t be any cupcakes in Omaha so you need to be sharp.
The hogs side of the bracket in Omaha awaits 2 more entires the opponent for the Hogs and
Ole Miss. that should give a slight advantage to both teams. I hated to see Ole Miss make it and Also would hate to see Auburn make it too.
The hogs have beat both Ole Miss and Auburn this season and lost 1 game to Stanford in February . DVH will have a plan regardless of who the hogs play.
The old foul ball play from our last visit to Omaha keep pooping in games the hogs play where balls fall to the ground between 3 players I sure hope that don’t happen again.
Hitting was not good with RISP for most of the year, I agree, but this overlooks what I think was a key stretch in late April and early May when Arkansas did have a lot of big swings with runners on base.
At Auburn, for instance, Arkansas hit .300 with runners on base and .314 with runners in scoring position. In the two victories, those stats jumped to .381 and .345.
The hitting numbers were great in the final game at Texas A&M. Arkansas had several multi-run homers against Ole Miss. The hitting was fine the first two games against Vanderbilt.
Maybe it’s just me, but I think there was a stretch late in the year that was undervalued by many. It was the time when I thought the team showed a lot of improvement, even though the win-loss didn’t overwhelm.
This quote from Nate Thompson from that time stands out: “We’ve talked all season about how everything that happens to us, whether it’s something enjoyable or not, is for our benefit if we choose for it to be. It’s a learning opportunity and something we can use to enhance our performance at the end. I think a lot of those experiences that we’ve been going through are things that we’re trying to use now to be at our best.”
I never doubted the talent or the coaching. There was a reason the coaches voted this team so high most of the year. They know the players and the coaches better than most here know them. And they also know the other teams well. There were posts here that said the SEC was down. I did not believe that then or now.