Fresno State is thriving from a postseason model that actually works
- Caption under a photo in this article by Rivals.com's Kendall Rogers
First things first, let's get this out of the way: I really like college baseball. Love the ping of the bats. Love the tradition. Love the College World Series, even. But college baseball boosters are fooling themselves if they see their sport as some great model of equity and fairness. Equally foolish is pretending college baseball's championship is superior to anything, particularly college football's.
Some celebrate the elevation of the little guy like this year's champion Fresno State. It's a great story, and I don't want to detract from that, but pronouncing their rise as why the college world series is superior to say, college football, is laughable. Fresno State was a good team, not a great team in a year with several great teams like Miami and Arizona State. That both they and fringe top 25 opponent Georgia were in the final speaks volumes to the inefficiency of college baseball's postseason model.
Their ascent proves just how open the model is, but what you gain in inclusion, you lose in, you know, accuracy. College baseball's championship ends up being more fabled than college football's when it's all said and done. I do give credit to college baseball for going to a "best of three" championship series, but that's nothing compared to Major League Baseball's "best of seven" and that model is itself deeply flawed. Too much statistical noise and factors outside of the actual quality of a team work their way into the actual outcomes when the only control is double elimination in regionals and best of three in the championship.
Thus: Fresno State and Georgia instead of say, Arizona State and Miami.
Did I mention just how flawed the actual allocation process is? The tournament committee continues to use the horrid and inaccurate RPI in selecting teams, and then unfairly allocates where those teams end up, working against western squads in particular. But college football is the bad guy. Right.