My thoughts about this week:
Ridiculous, that’s what I think. The human rankings from D1 Baseball, Perfect Game, USA Today, and CBN are absolutely laughable this week. Dropping the Red Raiders 8, 8, 9, & 11 spots respectively is nothing short of assinine. The Red Raiders dropped two one-run games, on the road, in front of record crowds, against elite pitching. We’re not talking about some kind of embarrassing blowout here, they lost to a 2018 CWS team on the road in conference play, and they didn’t get swept! The University of Texas set a single-game attendance record for regular season play on Saturday with almost 7,900 people packed into Disch-Falk Field. They also set a weekend attendance record of over 22,000. It was a postseason atmosphere and no baseball team is yet in postseason form.
I know the only thing that truly matters here is the NCAA RPI and it’s obviously very strong, but to flat out punish Texas Tech for two one-run losses bookending the Big 12 Pitcher of the Week performance from Caleb Kilian is just flat out silly. I’m generally a fan of these outlets, one in particular usually does a very good job, but they are all desperate to move Texas, other perennial powers, and basically every SEC team up as quickly as possible. I will also just take CBN out of the conversation. This “poll” is literally one guy. I’d be willing to bet the farm that he’ll keep Tech at 15 or below until conference sweeps force other outlets to move them back up.
If you think I’m being too harsh then answer me this: How can D1 Baseball justify dropping Texas Tech from 11 to 19 after losing to Texas with all of the qualifiers I mentioned above, but at the same time move Texas up from 12 to 9? Is it a disappointing team in a bad loss, or were they a good victory for the Longhorns? You’re not going to convince me they’re both. Another example is Baseball America. While they only dropped Tech a reasonable four spots from 9 to 13, they pumped Texas up six from 10 to 4. Hmmm, I wonder why? Maybe they’re infatuated with David Pierce’s black-rimmed glasses. Or maybe, just maybe, they wanted to crank UT back into their Top 5. Crazy I know, Tech fans are the unreasonable ones though, there’s never bias or impropriety out there, we’re just conspiracy theorists.
Each week I’ll bring you a roundup of all of the rankings I can find out there on the interwebs. I’ll effort to post these on Wednesday when most have updated for the week. Early in the season, I’ll hide those that haven’t come out of their winter naps yet and just bring you the active stuff.
A few things about the rankings:
Do they all matter?
No, absolutely not, most of them are worthless and only exist because a baseball/statistics nerd decided to make them. Some are an attempt by various outlets to keep RPI live rather than updated weekly by the NCAA. Many are wholly subjective in the case of those from various news outlets or composites of many rankings affected by outliers. Some also update at odd times, like on Friday.
Does that mean I won’t include them?
Also, absolutely not. I’m going to include every ranking, RPI, composite, and strength of schedule I can find. It doesn’t matter how “legit” they are, I’m going to put them on the list. I like seeing them change and move fluidly over time. It’s also nice to see that even some of the top recognized lists are subject to knee-jerk reactions.
Why include it if it doesn’t matter?
Because we count everything in baseball.