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Regional Hosting: Long Beach State versus USC


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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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Friday, May 27, 2005

Regional Hosting: Long Beach State versus USC

In a recent article on, Mark Etheridge interviewed Charlie Carr (Florida State), the Chairman of the NCAA Division I baseball committee (no link to the story - in the paid area). Here's what Mr. Carr had to say about how the teams that make the tournament are analyzed, and selected to host:
"The first thing we look at is obviously record, then quality wins, quality losses if there is such a thing, our NCAA RPI rankings as our rankings are a little different than the other two out there, recent losses whether its how they have done down the stretch the last ten or twenty games, the teams record vs Top 25 teams, the teams record vs Top 50 teams, their Conference RPI, Conference Strength of Schedule," said NCAA Baseball Committee member Charlie Carr, who was in town to watch the ACC Baseball Tournament, "But none are more important than the other."

So what goes into selecting the regional sites? Is it the bid or are there other factors?

"Bidding use to be the most important part of the decision but it no longer is. There are several factors including the same ones used for selecting teams, we have 40-50 schools with bids out and they must at least bid a minimum of $35,000."
If there is to be a 3rd Regional in the far west (in addition to Oregon State and Fullerton, who appear to be locks to host), it likely comes down to USC v. Long Beach State. On the factors Carr discusses, here's how they compare:
                     USC           Long Beach State
Record 35-18 36-20
RPI .594 (#16) .593 (#17)
Last 10 games 7-3 4-6
Last 20 games 12-8 12-8
vs. Top 25 RPI 9-5 7-8
vs. Top 50 RPI 13-11 10-10
Conf. RPI .551 (#4) .544 (#5)
The RPI I use is from Boyd's World. It is generally very close to the official NCAA RPI, which it doesn't see fit to publish. UC Irvine's RPI is just outside the Top 50 (at #53). The Dirtbags went 2-1 against them, and USC 1-1. Texas Tech is 52nd in RPI, and USC was 1-0 against them. These games may factor into games vs. Top 50. I didn't compare conference strength of schedule, but the Pac 10 likely edges out the Big West in this category - but not by a lot.

The Beach has the edge in quality wins. They won road series against 3 highly ranked teams - ASU, Baylor and Wichita State - taking 2 of 3 in each. And they won the only series lost by Fullerton this year, winning 2 of 3 at home. USC went 3-0 against the Dirtbags, but lost series against Stanford, ASU, Arizona and Oregon State. I, too, am unsure what a quality loss is.

Long Beach State may still overtake USC in RPI. The Trojans have 3 games left, at home against Stanford starting tonight. Fullerton, a team the 49ers played 6 times, has 3 at UC Riverside this weekend. Fullerton wins significantly improve the Beach's RPI. LBSU is only .001 behind USC, so it won't take much to jump over them.

posted on 5/27/2005 by Jeff Agnew

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