Big 10 Baseball - A little history

AuroraHawk

HR Heisman
Dec 18, 2004
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Took a late lunch at my desk and did some digging. Thought that some on here would like to view some historical data . . . expanding upon @KyleHuesmann 's tweet from last week.

2014 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (21-3) (9) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Nebraska (18-6) (33) - at large
Illinois (17-7) (56) - no invite
Minnesota (13-11) (118) - no invite
Michigan (13-11) (108) - no invite
Michigan State (11-13) (100) - no invite
TOTAL - 2 teams; Illinois left hanging with 17-7 record and #56 RPI rating. Clearly not a stellar year in the Big 10. Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois were the only B1G teams with RPI ratings less than 100.

2015 Big 10 - Top 6 teams- conference record - RPI - invite status
Illinois (21-1) (13) - at large
Iowa (19-5) (29) - at large
Maryland (14-10) (42) - at large
Michigan (14-10) (61) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Michigan St. (14-10) (51) - no invite
Indiana (12-10) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams; Indiana likely got a bid because of its RPI. Top 3 received at large. All with RPI less than 50. We will never know if Michigan would have gotten in as an at large since it won the tournament. Given that MSU did not get in with same record and better RPI, it is fair to conclude that Michigan winning the B1G tournament was likely a good thing.

2016 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (16-7) (50) - at large
Nebraska (16-8) (53) - at large
Ohio State (15-9) (36) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (15-9) (104) - no invite
Michigan (13-10) (39) - no invite
Illinois (12-12) (55) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams; RPI and "name" didn't save Michigan this year. Nebraska's second place victory likely sealed its bid - even after going 0-2 in the B1G baseball tournament as a #2 seed. Given its RPI, OSU likely gets an invite but mooted the point with the close victory over Iowa in the B1G tournament championship game. Notable . . Indiana's 3rd place tie with OSU did not get them into the dance; likely hurt by its #104 RPI rating.

2017 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (16-7-1) (54) - at large
Michigan (16-8) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-8) (72) - no invite
Maryland (15-9) (44) - at large
Iowa (15-9) (80) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (14-9-1) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams. Would Iowa have received an at large bid if it didn't win the tournament? The 3rd place Gophers would say "no" as they were on the outside looking in with a better record and a better RPI. Maryland, with its #44 RPI ranking, received an at-large despite finishing behind Minnesota in the B1G standings. Notably, Indiana also received an at-large bid even though it finished 1.5 games behind Minnesota; its #34 RPI likely tipped the balance in its favor over #72 RPI Minnesota.

2018 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (18-4) (12) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Purdue (17-6) (40) - at large
Michigan (15-8) (63) - no invite
Illinois (15-9) (50) - no invite
Indiana (14-9) (34) - at large
Iowa (13-9) (78) - no invite
Ohio State (14-10) (46) - at large
TOTAL - 4 teams. 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th place finishers. 3rd place Michigan (#63 RPI), 4th place Illinois (#50 RPI) left out. 5th place Indiana (#34 RPI) invited. 7th place Ohio State (#46 RPI) invited. Certainly looks like RPI played a role here. #12, #40, #34 and #46 RPI teams get invites; #50, #63 and #78 left out of the NCAA tournament. Perhaps OSU making it to B1G tournament final four teams tipped the scale? Well . . 4th place Illinois also made final four teams in that tournament and was left hanging. Illinois also beat Indiana twice in the B1G tournament that year and won 1 of 3 games in Bloomington (lost one of the games in 10 innings) . . . and Indiana received an at large. Indiana was 38-17 overall; Illinois was 33-20 overall.

2019 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (17-7) (35) - at large
Michigan (16-7) (19) - at large (finishes 2nd in CWS)
Illinois (15-9) (38) - at large
Nebraska (15-9) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-9) (64) - no invite
Ohio State (12-12) (118) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Iowa (12-12) (106) - no invite
TOTAL - 5 teams. Clearly, OSU only qualified by winning the B1G tournament. Otherwise, the bids would have gone to the top 4 teams - all of whom had RPIs at #40 or better. Minnesota had the same B1G record as Nebraska but was 29-27 overall and had an RPI of #64.

2020 Big 10 - CANCELLED DUE TO COVID - IOWA GETS SHAFTED

2021 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (31-12) (30) - automatic; conf champ
Maryland (28-16) (56) - at large
Michigan (27-17) (94) - at large
Iowa (26-18) (76) - no invite
Indiana (26-18) (107) - no invite
Ohio State (22-20) (102) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams. Michigan benefits from its 2019 CWS runner-up status and a messed up COVID schedule which called accuracy of B1G's RPI ratings into question. Michigan's selection was not without a fair number of critics.

Is Iowa in the tournament if it finishes in the top 3 of the B1G? Here are the latest 3rd place finishes:
2014 - Illinois (17-7; 56) - no bid
2015 - Maryland (14-10; 42) - invite
2016 - Ohio State won tournament
2017 - Minnesota (15-8; 72) - no bid
2018 - Michigan (15-8; 63) - no bid
2019 - Illinois (15-9; 38) - invite
2021 - Michigan (27-27; 94) - invite

Currently Iowa sits at 23-12 overall (RPI = 57). If it can win its mid-week games and 9 of its final 12 B1G games, it will finish 17-7; 35-15.

At 17-7, Iowa would need the following teams to finish as follows to catch them:

Rutgers (currently 12-3); would have to go 5-4 against Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan
Illinois (currently 11-3); would have to go 5-4 against Indiana, Nebraska, Penn State
Maryland (currently 9-3); would have to go 8-4 against Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan, Purdue
Michigan (currently 8-4); would have to go 9-3 against Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers

Going to be a fun weekend of games. No head-to-head match-ups. Real easy to figure out whom to root for.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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Took a late lunch at my desk and did some digging. Thought that some on here would like to view some historical data . . . expanding upon @KyleHuesmann 's tweet from last week.

2014 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (21-3) (9) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Nebraska (18-6) (33) - at large
Illinois (17-7) (56) - no invite
Minnesota (13-11) (118) - no invite
Michigan (13-11) (108) - no invite
Michigan State (11-13) (100) - no invite
TOTAL - 2 teams; Illinois left hanging with 17-7 record and #56 RPI rating. Clearly not a stellar year in the Big 10. Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois were the only B1G teams with RPI ratings less than 100.

2015 Big 10 - Top 6 teams- conference record - RPI - invite status
Illinois (21-1) (13) - at large
Iowa (19-5) (29) - at large
Maryland (14-10) (42) - at large
Michigan (14-10) (61) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Michigan St. (14-10) (51) - no invite
Indiana (12-10) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams; Indiana likely got a bid because of its RPI. Top 3 received at large. All with RPI less than 50. We will never know if Michigan would have gotten in as an at large since it won the tournament. Given that MSU did not get in with same record and better RPI, it is fair to conclude that Michigan winning the B1G tournament was likely a good thing.

2016 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (16-7) (50) - at large
Nebraska (16-8) (53) - at large
Ohio State (15-9) (36) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (15-9) (104) - no invite
Michigan (13-10) (39) - no invite
Illinois (12-12) (55) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams; RPI and "name" didn't save Michigan this year. Nebraska's second place victory likely sealed its bid - even after going 0-2 in the B1G baseball tournament as a #2 seed. Given its RPI, OSU likely gets an invite but mooted the point with the close victory over Iowa in the B1G tournament championship game. Notable . . Indiana's 3rd place tie with OSU did not get them into the dance; likely hurt by its #104 RPI rating.

2017 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (16-7-1) (54) - at large
Michigan (16-8) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-8) (72) - no invite
Maryland (15-9) (44) - at large
Iowa (15-9) (80) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (14-9-1) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams. Would Iowa have received an at large bid if it didn't win the tournament? The 3rd place Gophers would say "no" as they were on the outside looking in with a better record and a better RPI. Maryland, with its #44 RPI ranking, received an at-large despite finishing behind Minnesota in the B1G standings. Notably, Indiana also received an at-large bid even though it finished 1.5 games behind Minnesota; its #34 RPI likely tipped the balance in its favor over #72 RPI Minnesota.

2018 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (18-4) (12) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Purdue (17-6) (40) - at large
Michigan (15-8) (63) - no invite
Illinois (15-9) (50) - no invite
Indiana (14-9) (34) - at large
Iowa (13-9) (78) - no invite
Ohio State (14-10) (46) - at large
TOTAL - 4 teams. 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th place finishers. 3rd place Michigan (#63 RPI), 4th place Illinois (#50 RPI) left out. 5th place Indiana (#34 RPI) invited. 7th place Ohio State (#46 RPI) invited. Certainly looks like RPI played a role here. #12, #40, #34 and #46 RPI teams get invites; #50, #63 and #78 left out of the NCAA tournament. Perhaps OSU making it to B1G tournament final four teams tipped the scale? Well . . 4th place Illinois also made final four teams in that tournament and was left hanging. Illinois also beat Indiana twice in the B1G tournament that year and won 1 of 3 games in Bloomington (lost one of the games in 10 innings) . . . and Indiana received an at large. Indiana was 38-17 overall; Illinois was 33-20 overall.

2019 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (17-7) (35) - at large
Michigan (16-7) (19) - at large (finishes 2nd in CWS)
Illinois (15-9) (38) - at large
Nebraska (15-9) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-9) (64) - no invite
Ohio State (12-12) (118) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Iowa (12-12) (106) - no invite
TOTAL - 5 teams. Clearly, OSU only qualified by winning the B1G tournament. Otherwise, the bids would have gone to the top 4 teams - all of whom had RPIs at #40 or better. Minnesota had the same B1G record as Nebraska but was 29-27 overall and had an RPI of #64.

2020 Big 10 - CANCELLED DUE TO COVID - IOWA GETS SHAFTED

2021 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (31-12) (30) - automatic; conf champ
Maryland (28-16) (56) - at large
Michigan (27-17) (94) - at large
Iowa (26-18) (76) - no invite
Indiana (26-18) (107) - no invite
Ohio State (22-20) (102) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams. Michigan benefits from its 2019 CWS runner-up status and a messed up COVID schedule which called accuracy of B1G's RPI ratings into question. Michigan's selection was not without a fair number of critics.

Is Iowa in the tournament if it finishes in the top 3 of the B1G? Here are the latest 3rd place finishes:
2014 - Illinois (17-7; 56) - no bid
2015 - Maryland (14-10; 42) - invite
2016 - Ohio State won tournament
2017 - Minnesota (15-8; 72) - no bid
2018 - Michigan (15-8; 63) - no bid
2019 - Illinois (15-9; 38) - invite
2021 - Michigan (27-27; 94) - invite

Currently Iowa sits at 23-12 overall (RPI = 57). If it can win its mid-week games and 9 of its final 12 B1G games, it will finish 17-7; 35-15.

At 17-7, Iowa would need the following teams to finish as follows to catch them:

Rutgers (currently 12-3); would have to go 5-4 against Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan
Illinois (currently 11-3); would have to go 5-4 against Indiana, Nebraska, Penn State
Maryland (currently 9-3); would have to go 8-4 against Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan, Purdue
Michigan (currently 8-4); would have to go 9-3 against Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers

Going to be a fun weekend of games. No head-to-head match-ups. Real easy to figure out whom to root for.
So basically.........Big Ten AND National Championship!!?? :D
 
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ssckelley

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Thanks for putting this together. Anyone that says RPI doesn’t play a factor must not be familiar with how the selection committee works. You can’t just assume if Iowa wins X amount of games or finishes in a certain place they will be an at large. If Iowa finishes in the high 40s or 50s they will be on the bubble.
 
Feb 25, 2008
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Thanks for putting this together. Anyone that says RPI doesn’t play a factor must not be familiar with how the selection committee works. You can’t just assume if Iowa wins X amount of games or finishes in a certain place they will be an at large. If Iowa finishes in the high 40s or 50s they will be on the bubble.
It's not that people don't think RPI is a factor.........................it's that RPI is trash.

Find a better way to select teams for your tournament, NCAA. :D
 

ssckelley

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Oct 11, 2021
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It's not that people don't think RPI is a factor.........................it's that RPI is trash.

Find a better way to select teams for your tournament, NCAA. :D

I agree RPI isn't a great system but baseball isn't like football or basketball where they can use a rating system like NET. Why I like RPI for baseball is because it rewards teams for being able to win on the road with winning records and hurts teams for playing teams with trash records (like WIU). Putting a system in place that rewards run differential would get complicated and would have the opposite effect, now I'm scheduling the WIU's so we can blow them out by 10 runs. Plus keep in mind this is college baseball where they don't have 2 dozen different rating systems in place. It might be as simple as not enough people care like they do in football and basketball and it isn't a big money maker for them to invent a better system.
 

HawkeyeGenius

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It’s been about RPI except for last year. Had Iowa taken one more from Michigan, they’d have been in different spots and Iowa probably gets in over them.
 

whatsup13579er

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Took a late lunch at my desk and did some digging. Thought that some on here would like to view some historical data . . . expanding upon @KyleHuesmann 's tweet from last week.

2014 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (21-3) (9) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Nebraska (18-6) (33) - at large
Illinois (17-7) (56) - no invite
Minnesota (13-11) (118) - no invite
Michigan (13-11) (108) - no invite
Michigan State (11-13) (100) - no invite
TOTAL - 2 teams; Illinois left hanging with 17-7 record and #56 RPI rating. Clearly not a stellar year in the Big 10. Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois were the only B1G teams with RPI ratings less than 100.

2015 Big 10 - Top 6 teams- conference record - RPI - invite status
Illinois (21-1) (13) - at large
Iowa (19-5) (29) - at large
Maryland (14-10) (42) - at large
Michigan (14-10) (61) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Michigan St. (14-10) (51) - no invite
Indiana (12-10) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams; Indiana likely got a bid because of its RPI. Top 3 received at large. All with RPI less than 50. We will never know if Michigan would have gotten in as an at large since it won the tournament. Given that MSU did not get in with same record and better RPI, it is fair to conclude that Michigan winning the B1G tournament was likely a good thing.

2016 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (16-7) (50) - at large
Nebraska (16-8) (53) - at large
Ohio State (15-9) (36) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (15-9) (104) - no invite
Michigan (13-10) (39) - no invite
Illinois (12-12) (55) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams; RPI and "name" didn't save Michigan this year. Nebraska's second place victory likely sealed its bid - even after going 0-2 in the B1G baseball tournament as a #2 seed. Given its RPI, OSU likely gets an invite but mooted the point with the close victory over Iowa in the B1G tournament championship game. Notable . . Indiana's 3rd place tie with OSU did not get them into the dance; likely hurt by its #104 RPI rating.

2017 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (16-7-1) (54) - at large
Michigan (16-8) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-8) (72) - no invite
Maryland (15-9) (44) - at large
Iowa (15-9) (80) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (14-9-1) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams. Would Iowa have received an at large bid if it didn't win the tournament? The 3rd place Gophers would say "no" as they were on the outside looking in with a better record and a better RPI. Maryland, with its #44 RPI ranking, received an at-large despite finishing behind Minnesota in the B1G standings. Notably, Indiana also received an at-large bid even though it finished 1.5 games behind Minnesota; its #34 RPI likely tipped the balance in its favor over #72 RPI Minnesota.

2018 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (18-4) (12) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Purdue (17-6) (40) - at large
Michigan (15-8) (63) - no invite
Illinois (15-9) (50) - no invite
Indiana (14-9) (34) - at large
Iowa (13-9) (78) - no invite
Ohio State (14-10) (46) - at large
TOTAL - 4 teams. 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th place finishers. 3rd place Michigan (#63 RPI), 4th place Illinois (#50 RPI) left out. 5th place Indiana (#34 RPI) invited. 7th place Ohio State (#46 RPI) invited. Certainly looks like RPI played a role here. #12, #40, #34 and #46 RPI teams get invites; #50, #63 and #78 left out of the NCAA tournament. Perhaps OSU making it to B1G tournament final four teams tipped the scale? Well . . 4th place Illinois also made final four teams in that tournament and was left hanging. Illinois also beat Indiana twice in the B1G tournament that year and won 1 of 3 games in Bloomington (lost one of the games in 10 innings) . . . and Indiana received an at large. Indiana was 38-17 overall; Illinois was 33-20 overall.

2019 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (17-7) (35) - at large
Michigan (16-7) (19) - at large (finishes 2nd in CWS)
Illinois (15-9) (38) - at large
Nebraska (15-9) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-9) (64) - no invite
Ohio State (12-12) (118) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Iowa (12-12) (106) - no invite
TOTAL - 5 teams. Clearly, OSU only qualified by winning the B1G tournament. Otherwise, the bids would have gone to the top 4 teams - all of whom had RPIs at #40 or better. Minnesota had the same B1G record as Nebraska but was 29-27 overall and had an RPI of #64.

2020 Big 10 - CANCELLED DUE TO COVID - IOWA GETS SHAFTED

2021 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (31-12) (30) - automatic; conf champ
Maryland (28-16) (56) - at large
Michigan (27-17) (94) - at large
Iowa (26-18) (76) - no invite
Indiana (26-18) (107) - no invite
Ohio State (22-20) (102) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams. Michigan benefits from its 2019 CWS runner-up status and a messed up COVID schedule which called accuracy of B1G's RPI ratings into question. Michigan's selection was not without a fair number of critics.

Is Iowa in the tournament if it finishes in the top 3 of the B1G? Here are the latest 3rd place finishes:
2014 - Illinois (17-7; 56) - no bid
2015 - Maryland (14-10; 42) - invite
2016 - Ohio State won tournament
2017 - Minnesota (15-8; 72) - no bid
2018 - Michigan (15-8; 63) - no bid
2019 - Illinois (15-9; 38) - invite
2021 - Michigan (27-27; 94) - invite

Currently Iowa sits at 23-12 overall (RPI = 57). If it can win its mid-week games and 9 of its final 12 B1G games, it will finish 17-7; 35-15.

At 17-7, Iowa would need the following teams to finish as follows to catch them:

Rutgers (currently 12-3); would have to go 5-4 against Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan
Illinois (currently 11-3); would have to go 5-4 against Indiana, Nebraska, Penn State
Maryland (currently 9-3); would have to go 8-4 against Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan, Purdue
Michigan (currently 8-4); would have to go 9-3 against Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers

Going to be a fun weekend of games. No head-to-head match-ups. Real easy to figure out whom to root for.
Thanks for doing that Aurora. What sticks out to me the most is Illinois getting the shaft twice at 32-21 (17-7) RPI 56 and 33-20 (15-9) RPI 50.

I wont feel comfortable with Iowa's resume this season unless they can get their RPI to 49 or better. They won't have the Q1 games to hang their hat on, 3-3 there is probably as good as it's going to get.

To me reading through this confirmed what I've expected all along. RPI carries greater weight than conference position. Finishing 3rd or 4th in the B1G doesn't matter as much as finishing in the 40s rather than the 60s in the RPI.
 
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BigOHawk

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Thanks for doing that Aurora. What sticks out to me the most is Illinois getting the shaft twice at 32-21 (17-7) RPI 56 and 33-20 (15-9) RPI 50.

I wont feel comfortable with Iowa's resume this season unless they can get their RPI to 49 or better. They won't have the Q1 games to hang their hat on, 3-3 there is probably as good as it's going to get.

To me reading through this confirmed what I've expected all along. RPI carries greater weight than conference position. Finishing 3rd or 4th in the B1G doesn't matter as much as finishing in the 40s rather than the 60s in the RPI.
Wow, Iowa had a great RPI in 2015, was a fun season! Yeah, any final numbers around the Illinois references above is going to leave us biting our nails again in a few weeks. Truly 1 game at a time, win the weekend series, take the midweek games and do some damage in BTT. The last BTT was painful, Iowa went 2 and BBQ and IIRC only scored 1 run total in 2 games.
 

AuroraHawk

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What sticks out to me the most is Illinois getting the shaft twice at 32-21 (17-7) RPI 56 and 33-20 (15-9) RPI 50.

Illinois leapfrogged some B1G teams in 2013.

2013 - Big 10 Top 6 - Conference Record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (17-7) (13) - automatic; conf. tournament winner
Ohio State (15-9) (53) - no invite
Nebraska (15-9) (46) - no invite
Minnesota (13-8) (88) - no invite
Illinois (14-10) (44) - at large
Michigan (14-10) (144) - no invite
 

whatsup13579er

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Illinois leapfrogged some B1G teams in 2013.

2013 - Big 10 Top 6 - Conference Record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (17-7) (13) - automatic; conf. tournament winner
Ohio State (15-9) (53) - no invite
Nebraska (15-9) (46) - no invite
Minnesota (13-8) (88) - no invite
Illinois (14-10) (44) - at large
Michigan (14-10) (144) - no invite
RPI! RPI! RPI! RPI! ; )

That's a head scratcher. Illinois lost the season series to tOSU and Nebby and didn't play a Q1 game OOC.
 

HawkeyeGenius

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Warren Nolan now has Iowa going 17-7 in conference play and winning the remaining two midweek games. The predicted RPI is 47. This prediction has Iowa losing 2/3 at Nebraska and 1/3 at MSU. It has Iowa sweeping Purdue and IU. Iowa would finish 2nd to Rutgers in this scenario.

Iowa gets in with this result right? The answer is maybe. Conference tournament games impact RPI too and 0-2 would not make me feel comfortable. I’m to the point where I’m saying Iowa needs to go 1-2 in the conference tournament at minimum as well preferably 2-2 or better.
 

BigOHawk

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Warren Nolan now has Iowa going 17-7 in conference play and winning the remaining two midweek games. The predicted RPI is 47. This prediction has Iowa losing 2/3 at Nebraska and 1/3 at MSU. It has Iowa sweeping Purdue and IU. Iowa would finish 2nd to Rutgers in this scenario.

Iowa gets in with this result right? The answer is maybe. Conference tournament games impact RPI too and 0-2 would not make me feel comfortable. I’m to the point where I’m saying Iowa needs to go 1-2 in the conference tournament at minimum as well preferably 2-2 or better.
Agreed, absolutely cannot lose that first game in conf. tournament.
 

AuroraHawk

HR Heisman
Dec 18, 2004
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Took a late lunch at my desk and did some digging. Thought that some on here would like to view some historical data . . . expanding upon @KyleHuesmann 's tweet from last week.

2014 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (21-3) (9) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Nebraska (18-6) (33) - at large
Illinois (17-7) (56) - no invite
Minnesota (13-11) (118) - no invite
Michigan (13-11) (108) - no invite
Michigan State (11-13) (100) - no invite
TOTAL - 2 teams; Illinois left hanging with 17-7 record and #56 RPI rating. Clearly not a stellar year in the Big 10. Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois were the only B1G teams with RPI ratings less than 100.

2015 Big 10 - Top 6 teams- conference record - RPI - invite status
Illinois (21-1) (13) - at large
Iowa (19-5) (29) - at large
Maryland (14-10) (42) - at large
Michigan (14-10) (61) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Michigan St. (14-10) (51) - no invite
Indiana (12-10) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams; Indiana likely got a bid because of its RPI. Top 3 received at large. All with RPI less than 50. We will never know if Michigan would have gotten in as an at large since it won the tournament. Given that MSU did not get in with same record and better RPI, it is fair to conclude that Michigan winning the B1G tournament was likely a good thing.

2016 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (16-7) (50) - at large
Nebraska (16-8) (53) - at large
Ohio State (15-9) (36) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (15-9) (104) - no invite
Michigan (13-10) (39) - no invite
Illinois (12-12) (55) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams; RPI and "name" didn't save Michigan this year. Nebraska's second place victory likely sealed its bid - even after going 0-2 in the B1G baseball tournament as a #2 seed. Given its RPI, OSU likely gets an invite but mooted the point with the close victory over Iowa in the B1G tournament championship game. Notable . . Indiana's 3rd place tie with OSU did not get them into the dance; likely hurt by its #104 RPI rating.

2017 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (16-7-1) (54) - at large
Michigan (16-8) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-8) (72) - no invite
Maryland (15-9) (44) - at large
Iowa (15-9) (80) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Indiana (14-9-1) (34) - at large
TOTAL - 5 teams. Would Iowa have received an at large bid if it didn't win the tournament? The 3rd place Gophers would say "no" as they were on the outside looking in with a better record and a better RPI. Maryland, with its #44 RPI ranking, received an at-large despite finishing behind Minnesota in the B1G standings. Notably, Indiana also received an at-large bid even though it finished 1.5 games behind Minnesota; its #34 RPI likely tipped the balance in its favor over #72 RPI Minnesota.

2018 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Minnesota (18-4) (12) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Purdue (17-6) (40) - at large
Michigan (15-8) (63) - no invite
Illinois (15-9) (50) - no invite
Indiana (14-9) (34) - at large
Iowa (13-9) (78) - no invite
Ohio State (14-10) (46) - at large
TOTAL - 4 teams. 1st, 2nd, 5th and 7th place finishers. 3rd place Michigan (#63 RPI), 4th place Illinois (#50 RPI) left out. 5th place Indiana (#34 RPI) invited. 7th place Ohio State (#46 RPI) invited. Certainly looks like RPI played a role here. #12, #40, #34 and #46 RPI teams get invites; #50, #63 and #78 left out of the NCAA tournament. Perhaps OSU making it to B1G tournament final four teams tipped the scale? Well . . 4th place Illinois also made final four teams in that tournament and was left hanging. Illinois also beat Indiana twice in the B1G tournament that year and won 1 of 3 games in Bloomington (lost one of the games in 10 innings) . . . and Indiana received an at large. Indiana was 38-17 overall; Illinois was 33-20 overall.

2019 Big 10 - Top 7 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Indiana (17-7) (35) - at large
Michigan (16-7) (19) - at large (finishes 2nd in CWS)
Illinois (15-9) (38) - at large
Nebraska (15-9) (40) - at large
Minnesota (15-9) (64) - no invite
Ohio State (12-12) (118) - automatic; conf tourney winner
Iowa (12-12) (106) - no invite
TOTAL - 5 teams. Clearly, OSU only qualified by winning the B1G tournament. Otherwise, the bids would have gone to the top 4 teams - all of whom had RPIs at #40 or better. Minnesota had the same B1G record as Nebraska but was 29-27 overall and had an RPI of #64.

2020 Big 10 - CANCELLED DUE TO COVID - IOWA GETS SHAFTED

2021 Big 10 - Top 6 teams - conference record - RPI - invite status
Nebraska (31-12) (30) - automatic; conf champ
Maryland (28-16) (56) - at large
Michigan (27-17) (94) - at large
Iowa (26-18) (76) - no invite
Indiana (26-18) (107) - no invite
Ohio State (22-20) (102) - no invite
TOTAL - 3 teams. Michigan benefits from its 2019 CWS runner-up status and a messed up COVID schedule which called accuracy of B1G's RPI ratings into question. Michigan's selection was not without a fair number of critics.

Is Iowa in the tournament if it finishes in the top 3 of the B1G? Here are the latest 3rd place finishes:
2014 - Illinois (17-7; 56) - no bid
2015 - Maryland (14-10; 42) - invite
2016 - Ohio State won tournament
2017 - Minnesota (15-8; 72) - no bid
2018 - Michigan (15-8; 63) - no bid
2019 - Illinois (15-9; 38) - invite
2021 - Michigan (27-27; 94) - invite

Currently Iowa sits at 23-12 overall (RPI = 57). If it can win its mid-week games and 9 of its final 12 B1G games, it will finish 17-7; 35-15.

At 17-7, Iowa would need the following teams to finish as follows to catch them:

Rutgers (currently 12-3); would have to go 5-4 against Ohio State, Maryland, Michigan
Illinois (currently 11-3); would have to go 5-4 against Indiana, Nebraska, Penn State
Maryland (currently 9-3); would have to go 8-4 against Northwestern, Rutgers, Michigan, Purdue
Michigan (currently 8-4); would have to go 9-3 against Purdue, Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers

Revisiting this research. The 2014 result for Illinois makes my sphincter tighten a bit …
 

ssckelley

HR All-State
Oct 11, 2021
989
1,269
93
Revisiting this research. The 2014 result for Illinois makes my sphincter tighten a bit …

For good reason based on similar conference record and RPI. But the good news is Iowa is at 57 RPI with games to go. These tournament games count as neutral site so any wins in this tournament will help. If Iowa can get past PSU they will get a boost playing either Purdue or Rutgers because both teams have decent records. So there is opportunities to improve the RPI yet.
 

AuroraHawk

HR Heisman
Dec 18, 2004
6,127
7,847
113
Illinois was 32-21 (.603) that year and Iowa is currently 33-17 (.666).
And B1G has 5 teams with RPI better than 100 this year as opposed to 2014 when there was only 3. Thus, B1G is arguably deeper this year than 2014.

That written, the RPI metric is supposed to take all of that into consideration - including overall record (in theory, it exposes teams building a great record against weak competition).

I like Iowa’s position this morning better than on Thursday morning. They definitely sharpened the resume and made a strong statement. As fans, that’s the most we could have hoped for. If they mirror the regular season in the B1G tournament, an extremely compelling case can be made for at-large consideration.
 

DodgerHawki

HR Heisman
Nov 19, 2002
9,348
10,828
113
And B1G has 5 teams with RPI better than 100 this year as opposed to 2014 when there was only 3. Thus, B1G is arguably deeper this year than 2014.

That written, the RPI metric is supposed to take all of that into consideration - including overall record (in theory, it exposes teams building a great record against weak competition).

I like Iowa’s position this morning better than on Thursday morning. They definitely sharpened the resume and made a strong statement. As fans, that’s the most we could have hoped for. If they mirror the regular season in the B1G tournament, an extremely compelling case can be made for at-large consideration.
Yeah really they have played well for the past 2 months to make it so they have a legitimate shot to get in with a good showing at the Big Ten tournament. They don't have to win the tournament to get in a regional. That didn't seem possible the very good results over the past month or so.

Just hope they can play their best baseball. I know, everyone wants to do that. But they have a good team and a deep set of arms. That makes them dangerous in a regional setting, more so than the previous regional teams under Heller.