Musings on where we'll end up in the post CWS Baseball rankings

OK…so I get many of you will say “who cares…we didn’t get to Omaha”…and I understand. If that’s your mindset, this post isn’t for you. Better you just move on.

I was just thinking about it. I haven’t looked back at all the seasons, but it seems to me that when the Razorbacks have gotten to the CWS, the final, post-season poll have the “Omaha 8” ranked 1-8…or, at least, in the top 10. And in general, I guess I don’t have a problem with it.

But this is a different season, as far as we are concerned. Our metrics and consistency have been off the charts…until the Supers.

Think about this - had the NC State series been in the regular season…and we lose 1 game to 2…I think there’s a good chance we still are ranked #1. Our lead over the pack was so great that we had some “slack” between us and the field. Right now - our RPI is as much ahead of the current #2 in RPI, as the gap between #2 and the 19th team in the country. And that’s AFTER we lost our last 2 games.

So - at worst - we’d be #2 in the polls based on our body of work and how far ahead we were. There’s NO WAY we would fall to #9. No way. And that’s based on following the Baseball polls for several years, including this year. It isn’t as knee-jerk as Basketball and especially Football, especially once you get into the second half of the season and there is a lengthy track record to judge the ranking on. It’s not just about what just happened the past week. When we lost 3 in a row very early in the year, waaaay before we ran off on the next 10 weeks of dominance, we only dropped a couple of places.

Realistically, i’d rank us 3rd or 4th in the Final poll. You can’t deny - and I won’t - that the “Tournament” (i.e, CWS) is the way a Champion is named in College Baseball. But that doesn’t mean that the regular season doesn’t matter. To name a champion - yes. But for the rest of the rankings? No, they shouldn’t. You just can’t toss 3 months of borderline historic dominance (if not always to the eye, consistently in the results) out because we lost ONE too many games one weekend…by 1 run.

By the way, we will also finish with THE #1 SOS, so we didn’t do it against weak opposition And there’s a very good chance that we end up being the #1 HR hitting team in the country (Tennessee would have to stay in the CWS and get hot…or NC State needs to get hot and stay hot all the way to the end to have a chance). And, we had the best pitcher…arguably, player…in the country.

I say we’re top 3, but we won’t be voted that high. It will be an absolute crime if we aren’t top 5. Almost certainly, we will be ranked behind teams we have a winning record against face-to-face, in addition to the other large lead we have in other metrics.


depends on who wins the National Championship…we beat Tenn;Vandy;Miss State;Texas in the regular season and/or the post season…i can see us ranked behind N.C.State but no worse than #5…based on overall record and the pollsters realizing that if we played N.C.State more than 3 games…we’d probably win a best of 7…and both Vandy and Tenn are now on the verge of elimination…just my 2 cents worth

I believe we will be number 9. I think we should be either 2nd or 3rd. 2nd if NC ST wins the CWS championship against a team we beat during the regular season. 3rd in any other Omaha scenario.

OP here…

As predicted, Arkansas finished with the best RPI (by quite a bit) even though they didn’t get the opportunity to further pad their resume by feasting on the big fish in Omaha (as the other top rated teams…notably MSU…did).

Still, we did it against the #1 SOS in the country. The thing is, unlike most teams year after year, we DIDN’T need to have Omaha to measure us against the best…because our schedule in the regular season already did that in an unprecedented way for a top ranked team.

We had THE best W/L record (won the most, lost the least) in the country (except Fairfield, which is like comparing a Juco Schedule to MLB). Again, without the bonus games at the CWS.

Arkansas had an incredible 30-10 record vs. Q1 teams (the next best record was Vandy’s 27-15). 9-3 vs. teams that made it to Omaha (9 of those games away from Baum-Walker). 5-0 vs. the final 3 teams standing (Vandy, MSU, Texas).

Was consensus (across all the recognized Polls) #1 the last 2 months of the season.

Won EVERY series through the ENTIRE regular season.

Led the SEC in runs scored.

Led the SEC in fielding.

2nd in the SEC in runs allowed.

Led the NATION in Home Runs (again…no extra games in Omaha to pad that total).

If the NC State series was just a late-season series, it’s a 90% chance Arkansas would have stayed at the top of the polls the next week (their lead was SO huge that they still had the best resume, by far).

It wasn’t; so, unfortunately, the penalty is that we DON’T go to Omaha, and CAN’T win the Championship.

But we’re, without a doubt, in the top 3 teams in the country. People conflate the Tournament with ranking. They shouldn’t

The Tournament is the Tournament. The winner is named Champion. Everyone knows and agrees with that.

That doesn’t mean they’re the “best” team, but it does mean by the rules we all have agreed to, they have a right to be named Champions and acknowledged as such.

But, should a Vandy team we beat the only time we face them (with Kumar on the mound) be ranked ahead of us because they got lucky and NC State had to vacate due to Covid? The same NC State that beat Vandy when at full strength and would likely have moved past the Commodores if not for the Covid fiasco? The same Vandy that got butt-whipped by MSU two consecutive games (the same MSU we throttled 3 straight games on their home field)? Just because they were in the finals of a Tournament?

Absolutely not.

I hate that a team we whipped like a mule won the Championship. Had we not stumbled in the final 2 games vs. NC State, we’d have had a chance to directly put them in their rightful place instead of Vandy (who we would have beaten again). But…we DID stumble…for the only time this season. It just happened to come at the wrong time. So as much as I hate it, I have to accept that MSU is the Champion.

But I will not accept that we’re any worse than #3. In truth, with all respect to NC State and what they accomplished, I still know if we’d have played them 5 times in Baum, 5 times at their place, and 5 times on a neutral field, we’d have won 8-10 of them. But we’ll never play those games to be sure, and I have to accept that they did beat us when it counted, be it by 1 run in both games. That’s baseball.

By the way, I had a spirited debate with Rogers and Fitt of D1 Baseball the past week or so, arguing these same points. At first, their response was that it’s unusual for a team not playing in Omaha to finish higher than 9th in the final rankings. But - this IS an unusual case, and it appears that after taking a deeper look at the metrics (most of them presented here), they had a change of heart.

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