LSU losses refocused team

Some interesting comments on the way the team reacted to the LSU losses: … u-letdown/

I certainly hope that’s the reaction, Matt. I’m still sick about that Saturday game. The Sunday game doesn’t bother me as much. It’s tough to sweep a 3 game series against a team as good as LSU, so I tend to chalk up the Sunday loss as the game LSU was likely to win. But that Saturday game…well, it still hurts.

Regardless, if we come back & sweep UGA this weekend, we’ll be no worse than tied for first & probably create a lot of space between us & the teams behind us. I know no SEC team is a gimme, but I can see us sweeping this series. Have to win at least two.

I get what you are saying. I chalk a lot of it up to it simply being baseball. You play so many games, that something can go off the rails. I think that is what happened on Saturday. It was a tough loss, but it isnt the end of it. I think this is a really good team and i think we win the SEC this year.

NE, I hope you don’t take this as a criticism, as it is not intended that way; moreover, you are one of my favorite posters here.

That said, one thing I continually see that makes me shake my head is that - when talking about an upcoming series against anyone NOT LSU, Florida or S. Carolina - many of our fans talk about "if we sweep them this week . . . ". Not “if we win the series this week” - that’s what I think we should be focused on.

Sure . . . sweeps are fantastic and always something to try for. And I wouldn’t ever want a coach that said to a team “OK - you’ve won the first two games of the series, so don’t worry about winning today”. But baseball is a different animal than just about any other team sport. Winning two out of three is a Championship level success rate (not the case in football; closer to true forbasketball). The very best baseball team can, and ocassionally does, get beaten badly in a single game by a clearly lesser team. Sometimes, an inferior team may even win a 3 game series against a superior opponent. But the ability of a team comes out in the long run, over the course of a baseball season. That’s why it has so many more games than the other sports.

I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. I just wish our fans would quit setting themselves up for disappointment by “assuming” or expecting sweeps of an SEC team just because they are not one of the “elite” teams that particular season. It’s appropriate to anticipate a series win - even if that doesn’t happen. But a sweep?

As for Georgia, I know this Arkansas team SHOULD win the series against this Georgia team, and I’m optimistic that they will. I will be disappointed - but not shocked - if Georgia wins two out of three. I don’t think that will happen, but it’s certainly got a decent chance of happening. In fact, their odds of them winning the series (winning 2 or 3 games) is just about the same as our chances of sweeping them.

I’ve got no problem with our slight disagreement here, Wiz. I’m thinking more about a sweep than a simple series win this weekend for two reasons, though. One is that UGA is one of the weaker teams in the SEC & we have them at home. Two is that by losing the home series to LSU, I consider us only about even of where I’d like to be. Had we won the LSU series, we’d be ahead of my purely subjective winning rate. (One sweep at home, no series losses on the road, & a series win against LSU is a very good record.) However, by losing the home series, even if it was LSU, we lost a little ground. Yeah, I know we’re still tied for first, but we need to get another sweep at home to be ahead of pace–at least in my mind. Auburn now looks like a tough series, especially on the road. It’s one we’re likely to lose. I badly want the UGA sweep for the cushion it’d give us. I don’t think we can win the SEC if we split all our home series 2-1 unless we win almost all the remaining road series.

I recall one of your earlier posts where you gave the numbers “15” & “20” as keys. 15 SEC wins almost certainly gets us into the NCAA. 20 puts us in contention for the title. We’re on pace to get 20, but barely. Sweep one or two more at home & our chances of getting there are very good. I won’t be devastated with a 2-1 UGA series win, but I badly want to sweep them.

I’ve always said in college baseball the priority is win the series, don’t get swept, sweep - in that order.

20 wins is the equivalent of winning every series while getting no sweeps. That’s exactly where we are even though we got here by getting one sweep & losing one series. 20 wins gives us a good chance to win the SEC & almost certain to host a regional. 21 will get us a host spot, but not necessarily the SEC title or a national seed. Right now I still harbor strong hopes of 21-22 SEC wins. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect more than that. Heck, 26 is now our max. But I could see us getting 14 more wins & only losing 4 more. I’m sure 22 would just about guarantee us the SEC title & probably a top 8 seeding. (I haven’t looked at numbers to know how good our chances would be for a national seeding with under that many SEC wins, but in light of our non-conference record, I’d think we’re in pretty good shape for the possibility.)

I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but one thing to consider with regard to hosting is how we end up relative to our SEC brethren. Obviously, one interpretation of this is simply the SEC baseball standings. But another that will get a long look is how we stand in comparison with the others in the RPI. Having the best conference record in the SEC West will have value, but if there are 4 or 5 other SEC teams ahead of us in the RPI, it may damage our chances of hosting (not EVERYONE from the SEC can host).

It’s an interesting year in that we get a break, for once; we don’t play the top 3 from the Eastern division - in no particular order, Florida, UK and S. Carolina. While that’s good (potentially) for our record and SEC standing, it does hurt us a bit in SOS. However, because of the way RPI is calculated (25% your record, 50% your opponents’ record, and 25% THEIR opponents’ record), it is important to win the series vs. Georgia, Tennessee and Vandy. It is our only chance (outside of, perhaps, the SEC Tournament) to gain some SOS value from the strength of the SEC East.

I don’t think series wins changes the calculations. You could sweep some and not win a series and get there, too, just as we have so far.