Possible NCAA format change?

There have been suggestions that the NCAA baseball tournament go to a three-week system of three-game series to get the field from 64 to 8 for Omaha. It’s probably not going to happen because it would either shorten the regular season by a week or push the CWS into early July and ESPN is not keen about that for some reason (think they’re afraid they’ll lose the hot dog eating competition?). But it’s interesting to think about.

There would be 32 seeded first-round hosts under this system, but the other 32 teams might not be seeded; they could send us Oral Roberts or Misery State due to geography. One of the advantages of this plan would be to have mini-regionals in more parts of the country. If you did that this year, going by RPI, Illinois, Creighton, UConn, Indiana, BYU and Illinois State would all host (which means BYU would be Thursday-Friday-Saturday). Another advantage is that teams that lose the first game wouldn’t have to cook their pitching staff coming out of the loser’s bracket. It would be just another three-game series, albeit a lot more important.

From there, you’d seed for the second weekend. If we were the 3 seed, we’d play #30 which is … wait for it … Florida (if they get in at all). Then we’d play #14 in the super, which is UNC according to Warren Nolan.

Comments? Like it? Or just leave it alone, since the current system works pretty well?

I could live with that.

I like it the way it is now - but, there’s no doubt that a really good team can look very mortal when they’re down to their 5th starter and a worn-out bullpen. Playing 3 game series would more emulate the regular season and the rhythm that the players are in all year long.

Plus, in a year like this one, it could mean 3 bonus weekends at fabulous Baum-Walker.

I’ve heard that idea floated for a while. I like the system the way it is now, plus it repeats once the College World Series begins - double-elimination quadrants followed by a best-of-three series. If the pre-CWS format changes, then the CWS format probably would need to change, too, to be consistent.

I can’t see the NCAA adding more games to the postseason. The baseball postseason is already the longest. Arkansas played its first regional game on June 1 last year and played the final game of the championship series on June 28.

I like the current system pretty well, but I’m not sure it’s because of any strong preference, or just because I’m used to it. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea to extend the season any longer. 3 weekends plus the CWS is a long time. Anyway, it’s not something I think would bother me too much.

We went 5-1 last year to get to Omaha. Going 6-0 under this format would get you to Omaha. Yeah, you could also go 6-3, but if you come out of the loser’s bracket in the present format it requires 7-8 games anyway. It just spreads those six to nine games over three weeks instead of two. But it does unquestionably extend the postseason by a week.

I’m not sure what I think of that new format, but I know I like the way it is now. Seems like the best teams wind up in Omaha most of the time. I don’t even bother worrying about Ole Miss. Who knows what happens to them in postseason, but it happens every season.

Omaha stands for Ole Miss At Home Again