As TCU fans, we are all aware of the chaos that can come with polls and rankings (12/7/14 is a day that will live in infamy). As crazy as polling can be in football, college baseball has its own ranking chaos. There are several different well-respected publications that offer their opinion on who the best teams are and if you pay attention to only one or two of them, you might see some crazy outliers that can negatively alter your opinions.
Of all these publications, there are six that most fans pay attention to the most: Baseball America, D1 Baseball, Collegiate Baseball News, National College Baseball Writers Association, USA Today Coaches Poll, and Perfect Game. Each of these websites do fine work covering the game of college baseball, but their perspectives often times do not line up with each other. For this reason, I have been making my own composite ranking based on these six rankings. By taking an average of the six rankings, we can hedge outliers and create a more coherent picture of who the top teams in the nation are.
As of 3/21, here are composite rankings:
|WC||25||UC Santa Barbra||UR||4.56|
|WC||26||Long Beach State||UR||4.19|
|dropped out: Michigan, ULL, Oregon|
The "StDev" is the amount of volatility surrounding each team. For example, all six rankings believe Florida is the number 1 team, therefore, their standard deviation is zero. On the other hand, the rankings highly disagree on where to place Missouri State...two rankings have them unranked while three others have them in the top 15.
Another reason I wanted to keep these rankings is to see how the conferences are doing as a whole. To do this, I have taken the composite scores from the rankings above and assigned point values to each position (number one rankings = 25 points, number 2 = 24, etc). This is how it shakes out:
For simplicity's sake, I have rolled up all the mid-major teams into one "conference" labeled "Wild Card". As you can see, the SEC and ACC completely dominate the top 25. Our beloved Big 12 is being carried solely by TCU (with a little help from OSU).
Finally, I like to get a gauge on how each ranking publication feels about each conference's level of play. Much like the conference rankings above, I accumulated overall ranking points for each conference broken down by publication. This is what is looks like:
|Baseball America||Percentage||D1||Percentage||Baseball News||Percentage||NCBWA||Percentage||USA||Percentage||PG||Percentage|
In bold, I have highlighted the high's and low's for each conference (I apologize if it is hard to see, I am limited by the posting format of this blog). Through two weeks of data, nobody favors the SEC and ACC more than the coach's poll. As for the Big 12, Perfect Game are our friends so far while Baseball America does not think too highly of our level of play.
I will continue to track these charts as the season goes and hopefully some people will find it interesting. Why do they matter? It probably doesn't. But to make an argument for them, it could give some insight on who will be national seeds and who will host regionals. As we know, getting a national seed is a fast-track to Omaha.
Based on how play has shaken out so far this season, I strongly believe the national seeds will be made up of three teams from the ACC, three from the SEC, one from the PAC (Oregon State), and one from the Big 12 (TCU). As for potential wild cards, Missouri State has the best shot but will probably need either TCU or Oregon State to slip up in order to get a national seed.
A lot can change as the season goes and I for one will be glued to my TV and laptop each weekend to watch this season unfold.