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TCU’s Road to Omaha will begin away from home

The NCAA announced Regional host sites on Sunday night. For the first time in Big 12 history, its regular season conference champion will not host a Regional in the NCAA Tournament

On Sunday night, NCAA Baseball announced the 16 Regional host sites and TCU’s Lupton Stadium was not selected. It’s an unprecedented move by the selection committee, as the Big 12 Regular Season Champion had been selected as a host site in every previous season in the current 64-team format

There are certainly teams on this listing that one could debate should be ranked below TCU:

  • Frog fans will likely be most frustrated by the inclusion of Oklahoma State, a team the Frogs beat twice on the road in Stillwater, but for the Committee the Friday Big 12 Tournament contest became the decisive data point.
  • The Committee was certainly focused on conference tournament play when it wanted to be: Florida was the 7-seed in the SEC and needed extra innings to win and escape the single elimination potion of that tournament, but ended up going on a long run that ended in the finals against Tennessee.
  • Auburn on the other hand did not advance beyond its single elimination contest with Kentucky, but that did not diminish it in the Committee’s eyes.
  • Maryland went 1-2 in the B1G Tournament, had zero Top-25 wins, and played the #118 strength of schedule.
  • While TCU fans can empathize with the small conference fighter, Georgia Southern did not win the Sun Belt regular season or conference tournament and has zero Top-25 wins (TCU has 7 such wins and, as you may have heard, a Big 12 trophy).

In any case, the Frogs will have an opportunity to travel to one of these destinations and prove the point by knocking out the assigned one-seed and advancing to the Super Regional.

The Frogs’ resume gets dinged for a sub-30 RPI, which is a measure of a team’s winning percentage, its opponents’ winning percentage, and its opponents’ opponents winning percentage. It’s a highly problematic metric which doesn’t account for many factors including margin of victory or any performance factor outside of wins and losses, but in college baseball it’s the only metric shown to the Committee on team sheets.

TCU wasn’t the only team to feel slighted by the Committee. Big 12 Conference Tournament Champion Oklahoma Sooners had 5 wins over hosting teams, a whopping 11 Top-25 wins, and finished at #19 in the all-important RPI. Notre Dame sits at #13 in the RPI and won its pool to reach the ACC Tournament Semifinals. Wake Forest & Vanderbilt each have top-10 RPI and weren’t really in consideration for hosting duties.

We will find out where the Frogs will begin their Road to Omaha and the College World Series when the complete 64-team bracket, including all seeds and Regional pairings, will be announced Monday May 30 at 11:00 AM Central on ESPN2. The Regional games will take place from June 3 to June 6.