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Top Teams 2008

After Week Seven

  1. Alabama
  2. Penn State
  3. Texas
  4. Oklahoma
  5. Florida
  6. USC
  7. Georgia
  8. LSU
  9. BYU
  10. Missouri
  11. Ohio State
  12. Oklahoma State
  13. Texas Tech
  14. Utah
  15. Kansas
  16. USF
  17. North Carolina
  18. Miami
  19. Boise State
  20. Georgia Tech
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Sunday
Jun292008

LOL College Baseball

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.

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Reader Comments (2)

I agree 100%. No one can say with a straight face that Fresno State was the best team in the country in 2008. But they are the champions.

The difference is, baseball needs to wacky regional setup and the CWS to create drama and excitement, and the NCAA very knowingly set up a television-friendly playoff for that purpose. Otherwise it wouldn't even be a blip on ESPN's radar screen. So for baseball it works well. For football; totall unecessary.
June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCCC
I wish that it wasn't so TV-friendly. Did you guys hear that Detwiler had a thumb ligament injury? He only had one thumb! OMG!!! GO CINDERELLA!!! I'll take the old bowl tie-ins any day over Fresno, Giants over Pats, and George Mason. Cinderellas make you care when you didn't care to begin with. I'm still in favor of the plus-one, but for every multiple of 2 that gets in, you bastardize your sport 10-fold.
June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCody

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