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Dirtbags Crack Top 16 In RPI


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Dirtbags Crack Top 16 In RPI

Boyd's World is out this morning with updated psuedo-Ratings Power Index rankings (RPI - the NCAA doesn't publish the "official" RPI) and, despite losing 2 of 3 to Cal. State Fullerton, Long Beach State jumped from 19th to 16th. The RPI is one major factor used by the NCAA to decide which teams will be Regional hosts and #1 seeds (there are usually 2 or 3 Regionals hosted by a lower seed). With 16 Regional sites, jumping to the top 16 in RPI is big. Boyd's World will be updating the RPIs daily, now through May 29 (here). The Regional hosts will be announced on Sunday, May 29, on ESPN2 (bottom line) at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. The full 64 team field, and the seedings, will be announced on ESPN2 on Monday, May 30, at 8:30 a.m. Pacific, during the Road to Omaha Baseball Selection Show.

In addition to the Dirtbags #16 RPI, they are also in the top 16 of all 3 major Division I college polls, plus the National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Assn. rankings. Here's how the Beach sits:
11th in Baseball America
15th in Collegiate Baseball
16th in Sports Weekly/ESPN
14th in NCBWA
Long Beach State is also 6th in Iterative Strength Rating (ISR), Boyd's World's alternative to the RPI, and has played the 5th strongest schedule in D-I baseball.

The west coast (including Arizona) is likely to have either 3 or 4 Regional sites. Fullerton and Oregon State are locks for 2 of them, in my opinion. Each has a top 16 RPI, and each is at least a co-champion of their conference (Big West and Pac 10, respectively - both power conferences in baseball). The host for the other 1 or 2 sites comes down to Arizona, USC and Long Beach State (I believe ASU, by losing 2 of 3 to Arizona, dropping to #20 in RPI, and by sitting in 4th place in the Pac 10, is out of the running). I believe 3 games will have a lot to do with which school or schools is/are chosen:
Dirtbags at USC tomorrow.
Cal. at Arizona, 2 games, Friday and Saturday.
The game at USC may prove critical. The Trojans have already won both of their games against the Beach this year, and another victory will give them a sweep. In addition, their RPI is #18, so they are breathing down the Dirtbags neck. They are also 3rd in the Pac 10, behind Oregon State and Arizona.

If Arizona sweeps it's 3 game series against Cal. at home, the Wildcats will be co-champions of the Pac 10. Otherwise, they will finish in 2nd place. The result of the 3rd game will not be a factor in host site selection, with the announcement being made about the time that game begins. Arizona sits high in the polls, but has a #29 RPI. If they beat Cal. the 1st 2 games, my bet is they host - since Pac 10 champions usually host. But if they falter, that RPI may hurt them.

posted on 5/24/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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