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May 30, 2006

SCS.comThe 2006 college baseball selection committee has drawn a good deal of criticism, and the field is still less than 48 hours old. Powerhouses were left out, teams from the power conferences were let in as four seeds, and one squad was rewarded as the one seed in one of the most intimidating parks in America.

I am going to share a few gripes that I have about this field and the overall lack of thought that I think was put into the selections.

First of all, how can the SEC get two teams with 13-17 records (Arkansas and Auburn) into the Tournament in 2005, yet LSU, who went 13-17 this year, is left out? The Tigers beat Alabama, who is a national seed, just last week in Birmingham. Last year Auburn did not make the conference tourney and made the NCAA Tournament even though Arkansas went two and out in Birmingham. Were there anti-LSU people on the committee or did they just not do thier homework?

Mississippi State was 12-17 and missed the trip to Birmingham, but they got in this year. I think MSU is worthy, but if the Bulldogs get in, then LSU should have gotten in. The SEC should have had nine teams in, but only eight got bids. The selection committee did not do the right thing in the LSU vs Mississippi State debate.

What makes the committee think that seeding a Big XII team fourth is going to go unnoticed? If the Missouri Tigers, who are 31-25, are not good enough to be a three seed, then they should not get a bid. This token bid may have cost LSU or Wake Forest a bid. Both Wake and LSU would mop the floor with Mizzou.

And why did Jacksonville University get an at-large bid? How many of you can send me an e-mail and tell me what league the Dolphins play in without looking it up? The best teams are supposed to get at-large bids, and this year they did not.

If we are going to hand out bids to mid-majors, what about Missouri State? Can any committee member tell me that Jacksonville is decidedly better than the Bears?

Now we can talk about seeding. How is it rewarding to Oklahoma State for the Cowboys to be given the one seed in a regional where 10,000 fans will be on hand, most cheering heavily against the Pokes? OSU swept Oklahoma two weeks ago, so why not give Stillwater a regional and send the Sooners to Fayetteville, giving the Hogs the one seed they deserve?

Arkansas went 18-12 in the SEC and had more top 25 wins than any other SEC team. The Hogs also no-hit O-State earlier this year. Did OSU get rewarded or receive a bad draw?

How can TCU be a four seed if Southern Miss, Evansville, and Jacksonville - just to name a few - are 3 seeds? TCU has been in the hunt from start to finish while the aforementioned teams got bids without accomplishing as much as the Frogs.

Some of the regionals are stacked, while others are downright brutal. Some of the decisions made have this writer scratching his head. The Chapel Hill Regional should end up in a route. UNC will dominate that bracket, as the opponents should not score if the Tar Heels apply themselves. That is not saying UNC will be in Omaha, just that they got one heck of a draw.

The only regional site that I question the one in Norman. That bid should have gone to Stillwater. Raleigh, North Carolina was also another place that was deserving of a regional.

Teams work hard all year to have a chance to make the NCAA tournament, and it should not be a knee jerk reaction when the committee decides where and who is sent to play postseason ball. I wish that a little more attention would have been paid to the facts this year during the selecting.

But I'm going to enjoy the torunament anyway. Don't you just love that ping of spring?

 > Talk about it in The College Corner...

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