A nickel. Or a quarter. Or heck, maybe a fancy Sacagawea dollar. That's what gave Pepperdine the right to be home team for game 3 on Monday night. It doesn't matter that their record isn't as good as TCU's. It doesn't matter that TCU earned a national seed and the right to host a Super Regional.
No. None of that matters to the NCAA. Instead, a coin flip made that decision. That's right, Friday at a pre-series meeting, there was a coin flip for game 3. The first game, the host team is home team. The second, the visiting team is home team. Makes perfect sense. So what should we do to trick things up? COIN TOSS.
How very Bud Selig of you, NCAA.
People will certainly make the argument that TCU is already host, and that should be enough, citing home field as the real advantage. To that I say, this isn't basketball. Or football. Or hockey.
Baseball is the only sport where having home field actually provides an on-field advantage: a guaranteed last chance to score. Home field in football doesn't mean you get the ball with 2 minutes left. Home field in basketball doesn't earn you extra free throws. Being the home team matters infinitely more in baseball than in any other sport.
Ask Indiana fans how they feel about the coin toss right now. After all, that's what put Stanford up in the bottom of the 9th rather than the top, allowing a Tommy Edman home run blast to end the game, and their season. As the No. 4 national seed, Indiana should have been afforded the opportunity to bat in the bottom of the inning. They weren't, because money, always the reason for doing anything for Mark Emmert, was literally the deciding factor.
Just so you don't think this is sour grapes because TCU lost, I voiced these same complaints after TCU beat Sam Houston State on Saturday. The host team should be the home team. Sure, I'm frustrated that TCU lost today, but that's more related to them leaving nine runners on base today. That makes 20 for the series.
At the very least, it should be set up to be home-away-home. I can understand something structured like that, and in the end, the host team still gets the advantage they earned.
Instead, it's a big LOL NOPE, as the NCAA once again farts and falls down.