Regional Team???

BigOHawk

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With the giant caveat of . . .



. . . this.

2013 - Second place OSU (RPI #53) and Third place Nebraska (RPI #46) left out. 5th place Illinois (RPI #44) gets in. Two teams total.
2014 - Third place Illinois (RPI #56) left out. Two teams total.
2015 - B1G gets 5 teams. The 4 at-large teams had RPIs of 13, 29, 34 and 42.
2016 - B1G gets 3 teams. The 2 at-large teams had RPIs of 50 and 53 but finished first and second place in the conference. Michigan had an RPI of 39 (5th place) - left out. Illinois had an RPI of 55 (6th place) - left out.
2017 - B1G gets 5 teams. The 4 at-large teams had RPIs of 34, 40, 44 and 54. The team with RPI of 54 finished in first place in the conference. Minnesota in 4th place with RPI of 72 left out.
2018 - B1G gets 4 teams. The 3 at-large teams had RPIs of 34, 40 and 46. 7th place OSU gets in with a 46 RPI and 4th place Illinois left out with a RPI of 50.
2019 - B1G gets 5 teams. The 4 at-large teams had RPIs of 35, 38 and 40.
2020 - COVID cancellation.
2021 - COVID restricted play. 3 teams. 2 at-large teams have RPIs of 56 (Maryland) and 94 (Michigan). Numbers skewed because of conference only play.

From 2013 - 3rd place finishes:
2013 - 3rd place (RPI 46) - left out.
2014 - 3rd place (RPI 56) - left out.
2015 - 3rd place (RPI 42) - invited
2016 - 3rd place - automatic qualifier
2017 - 3rd place (RPI 72) - left out
2018 - 3rd place (RPI 63) - left out
2019 - 3rd place (RPI 38) - invited
2021 - 3rd place (RPI 94) - invited

From 2013 - Highest RPI from B1G invited to tournament as an at-large
2013 - #53 - Second place in regular season
2014 - #33 - Second place in regular season
2015 - #42 - Third place in regular season
2016 - #53 - Second place in regular season
2017 - #54 - First place in regular season
2018 - #46 - Seventh place in regular season
2019 - #40 - Fourth place in regular season
2021 - #94 - Third place in regular season

If you set aside the '21 COVID anamoly, there hasn't been a B1G team that has received an at-large berth with a RPI higher than #54. The only at-large invitations to teams with RPIs greater than 50 (3 times) have finished the regular season in either first place or second place (twice). The highest RPI of a third place finisher to receive an invite is #42.

By my review of the numbers, history suggests that there is an excellent chance of getting an at-large invitation if you finish with an RPI in the 40s OR if you finish first or second in the conference in the regular season and have an RPI below 55.

Other than the '21 COVID anomaly, since 2013, there is no historical precedent where a B1G team with a RPI in the 60s gets an at-large invitation, let alone precedent suggesting that a third place team with an RPI in the 60s receives an invitation.

The numbers don't lie. If Iowa finishes in 3rd place with an RPI in high 50s or low 60s, receiving an at-large bid would be a deviation from what has occurred since 2013 (again, excluding the weirdness of last year).

Don't get me wrong. I don't like it. In fact, I hate it. But, that's the history.
Superb analysis and data, many thanks! Next question would be, what do the bubble teams looks like? Soft bubble or strong contenders vs Iowa? I know Baseball America and D1 Baseball both projected Iowa IN as one of last 4 teams last week. Here's the bubble, looks weak to me with a few teams having .500 or below .500 conf records.

First Four Out​

65. Pittsburgh
66. Tulane
67. Texas-San Antonio
68. Alabama

Next Four Out​

69. North Carolina
70. Coastal Carolina
71. Middle Tennessee State
72. South Carolina

As stated many times, it is simply uncanny/bad luck/ironic we are literally in this same position every year for past several years meaning (RPI in 50's and 60's, need a few series wins against weaker teams and no flops in B10 tournament).
 

BigOHawk

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Translation...win both upcoming series (1 sweep would be gravy), win the last midweek game and at least 2 in Big 10 tourney and we are in IMO.
 

AuroraHawk

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Superb analysis and data, many thanks! Next question would be, what do the bubble teams looks like? Soft bubble or strong contenders vs Iowa? I know Baseball America and D1 Baseball both projected Iowa IN as one of last 4 teams last week. Here's the bubble, looks weak to me with a few teams having .500 or below .500 conf records.

First Four Out​

65. Pittsburgh
66. Tulane
67. Texas-San Antonio
68. Alabama

Next Four Out​

69. North Carolina
70. Coastal Carolina
71. Middle Tennessee State
72. South Carolina

As stated many times, it is simply uncanny/bad luck/ironic we are literally in this same position every year for past several years meaning (RPI in 50's and 60's, need a few series wins against weaker teams and no flops in B10 tournament).

Small correction. I don’t believe d1 Baseball had Iowa in the field as of last week. Also didn’t have them in last 4 out.

EDIT: Illinois was in their last 4 out. Only 2 B1G teams were projected in the field.
 

BigOHawk

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Small correction. I don’t believe d1 Baseball had Iowa in the field as of last week. Also didn’t have them in last 4 out.

EDIT: Illinois was in their last 4 out. Only 2 B1G teams were projected in the field.
Oops, you are correct, maybe the loss vs Illinois State booted them from the field ahead of the Purdue series. Will be interesting to see the projections tomorrow from D1 Baseball (although per Kyle..Kendall Rogers thinks Iowa should be IN), not sure how often BaseballAmerica updates. Another site called College Sports Madness seems a bit different from the other two and only has 2 big Ten teams.
 
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BigOHawk

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Small correction. I don’t believe d1 Baseball had Iowa in the field as of last week. Also didn’t have them in last 4 out.

EDIT: Illinois was in their last 4 out. Only 2 B1G teams were projected in the field.
Comparing Iowa vs. Illinois if 3 bid league...of course Illinois owns the series win however Iowa's other metrics look good. Illinois finishes with Nebraska and PSU, who has come to life recently winning 6 in a row.

Illinois - 26-19 overall, 12-6 conf, 9-10 road, 3-6 neutral, 76 RPI, SOS 85, losing record in Q1 and Q2 games
Iowa - 27-15 overall, 12-6 conf, 10-6 road, 5-3 neutral, 70 RPI, SOS 107, winning record in Q1 and Q2 games
 
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whatsup13579er

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Patiently waiting for this weeks projections to come out…


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HawkeyeGenius

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Superb analysis and data, many thanks! Next question would be, what do the bubble teams looks like? Soft bubble or strong contenders vs Iowa? I know Baseball America and D1 Baseball both projected Iowa IN as one of last 4 teams last week. Here's the bubble, looks weak to me with a few teams having .500 or below .500 conf records.

First Four Out​

65. Pittsburgh
66. Tulane
67. Texas-San Antonio
68. Alabama

Next Four Out​

69. North Carolina
70. Coastal Carolina
71. Middle Tennessee State
72. South Carolina

As stated many times, it is simply uncanny/bad luck/ironic we are literally in this same position every year for past several years meaning (RPI in 50's and 60's, need a few series wins against weaker teams and no flops in B10 tournament).
North Carolina annoys me last year and this year. I know they are an ACC team, but barely being over .500 (last year) or having a losing conference record like this year doesn't mean you should get in if you win a few series late because of your league. They are a prime reason why RPI is flawed.
 

BigOHawk

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North Carolina annoys me last year and this year. I know they are an ACC team, but barely being over .500 (last year) or having a losing conference record like this year doesn't mean you should get in if you win a few series late because of your league. They are a prime reason why RPI is flawed.
Yep agreed some pretty pedestrian resumes in there. .500 or sub .500 conf record shouldn't get you in automatically and yes, RPI is flawed.
 

BigOHawk

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Per Kyle H...good news! Wake Forest has a losing conf record but a #21 RPI..hmmm..
La Tech (RPI 50) and UCLA (RPI 66) for comparison.
Translation? TCB Iowa this weekend and next and we should be in!


Last Four In​

64. Louisiana Tech
63. Iowa
62. UCLA
61. Wake Forest


First Four Out​

65. Pittsburgh
66. Louisiana
67. North Carolina
68. Kentucky

Next Four Out​

69. Kennesaw State
70. Texas-San Antonio
71. Alabama
72. Clemson
 
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AuroraHawk

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Per Kyle H...good news! Wake Forest has a losing conf record but a #21 RPI..hmmm..
La Tech (RPI 50) and UCLA (RPI 66) for comparison.
Translation? TCB Iowa this weekend and next and we should be in!



Last Four In​

64. Louisiana Tech
63. Iowa
62. UCLA
61. Wake Forest


First Four Out​

65. Pittsburgh
66. Louisiana
67. North Carolina
68. Kentucky

Next Four Out​

69. Kennesaw State
70. Texas-San Antonio
71. Alabama
72. Clemson

d1 Baseball:
d1 Baseball does not have Iowa as a projected at-large team and does not include Iowa in its "First Four Out": https://d1baseball.com/projections/2022-field-of-64-projections-may-11/

BTW, d1 Baseball's RPI numbers are a bit different than Warren Nolan's numbers. d1 Baseball has Iowa sitting at #74 (Nolan has them at #73): https://d1baseball.com/nitty-gritty/

d1 Baseball only has Maryland (1 seed/Regional host) and Rutgers (3 seed) making the tournament.

College Sports Madness:
This site does not have Iowa making the field and, similar to d1 Baseball, only has Rutgers and Maryland from the B1G: https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/20531

College Baseball Nation:
This site does not have Iowa making the field. Again, Maryland and Rutgers are the only B1G teams projected to make it. Iowa is not in the "First Four Out": https://www.collegebaseball.info/post/may-10th-2022-ncaa-tournament-field-of-64-projection

In its analysis, CBN suggests that the B1G is a "2 or 3" team conference based upon conference RPI and lists Iowa, Illinois and Rutgers as "still having work to do": https://www.collegebaseball.info/post/college-baseball-bubble-watch-may-11th-2022

One important thing to keep in mind. There are 33 at-large spots available. Iowa's chances of an at-large bid are materially enhanced by regular season champions not getting upset in their conference tournament. Every year, it seems as if there are 2 or 3 teams that slip up in their tournament and a team that otherwise wouldn't have been invited "steals" a slot.

Even if you think Baseball America is spot on or Kendall Rogers that Iowa is a team that should get in if it wins its final two series, there can be little doubt that Iowa is, at best right now, being considered as one of the "Final Four In" teams.

I took a look at some of the numbers of teams who are listed among Iowa as "Final Four In" candidates. I hate to be a pessimist but, as of right now, I'm having a hard time seeing Iowa getting an at-large bid. Best case? Catch Maryland and/or Rutgers and Illinois falters to end season. Make the B1G tournament championship game and get a "signature win" (over Maryland or Rutgers) in the process. Practically no room for error.
 
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BigOHawk

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Yep similar to basketball you have to watch for bid stealers in conf tournaments especially as a bubble team like Iowa.
 

AuroraHawk

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Yep similar to basketball you have to watch for bid stealers in conf tournaments especially as a bubble team like Iowa.

As I read that the ACC may have 10-11 teams selected and the SEC may have 10 teams selected, I must admit to having some sympathy for teams in mid-major conferences who get left out of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament where P5 conferences get 7 or 8 teams invited and block good mid-major teams from having a chance to pull off tournament upsets. In college baseball, the B1G is nothing more than a mid-major in most years.

While I am not harboring any misconception that Iowa is a "secret" powerhouse (the team has flaws), I think that its pitching staff could present some significant problems in a short series. I could see Mazur winning the first game against a 2 seed and - if Schultz's breaking stuff is on - Iowa could give a 1 seed a tough match. If Iowa could win that game, playing in a championship game where the opponent's staff is depleted could get interesting. They could play themselves into a Sweet 16 situation.

I'd love to see them get the chance but I feel as if I'll be disappointed when the selections are announced . . . again.
 
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HawkeyeGenius

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As I read that the ACC may have 10-11 teams selected and the SEC may have 10 teams selected, I must admit to having some sympathy for teams in mid-major conferences who get left out of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament where P5 conferences get 7 or 8 teams invited and block good mid-major teams from having a chance to pull off tournament upsets. In college baseball, the B1G is nothing more than a mid-major in most years.

While I am not harboring any misconception that Iowa is a "secret" powerhouse (the team has flaws), I think that its pitching staff could present some significant problems in a short series. I could see Mazur winning the first game against a 2 seed and - if Schultz's breaking stuff is on - Iowa could give a 1 seed a tough match. If Iowa could win that game, playing in a championship game where the opponent's staff is depleted could get interesting. They could play themselves into a Sweet 16 situation.

I'd love to see them get the chance but I feel as if I'll be disappointed when the selections are announced . . . again.
Iowa needs to go 6-1 or better then all they can do is see where they are at entering the conference tournament. Even with a 6-1 or 7-0 finish you still couldn't afford to go 0-2 in the conference tournament. There are so many games you can point to that had Iowa just won two or three more they'd be in a much more comfortable position. A big part of the issue is five quad four losses. That number needs to be two or less.
 
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whatsup13579er

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d1 Baseball:
d1 Baseball does not have Iowa as a projected at-large team and does not include Iowa in its "First Four Out": https://d1baseball.com/projections/2022-field-of-64-projections-may-11/

BTW, d1 Baseball's RPI numbers are a bit different than Warren Nolan's numbers. d1 Baseball has Iowa sitting at #74 (Nolan has them at #73): https://d1baseball.com/nitty-gritty/

d1 Baseball only has Maryland (1 seed/Regional host) and Rutgers (3 seed) making the tournament.

College Sports Madness:
This site does not have Iowa making the field and, similar to d1 Baseball, only has Rutgers and Maryland from the B1G: https://www.collegesportsmadness.com/article/20531

College Baseball Nation:
This site does not have Iowa making the field. Again, Maryland and Rutgers are the only B1G teams projected to make it. Iowa is not in the "First Four Out": https://www.collegebaseball.info/post/may-10th-2022-ncaa-tournament-field-of-64-projection

In its analysis, CBN suggests that the B1G is a "2 or 3" team conference based upon conference RPI and lists Iowa, Illinois and Rutgers as "still having work to do": https://www.collegebaseball.info/post/college-baseball-bubble-watch-may-11th-2022

One important thing to keep in mind. There are 33 at-large spots available. Iowa's chances of an at-large bid are materially enhanced by regular season champions not getting upset in their conference tournament. Every year, it seems as if there are 2 or 3 teams that slip up in their tournament and a team that otherwise wouldn't have been invited "steals" a slot.

Even if you think Baseball America is spot on or Kendall Rogers that Iowa is a team that should get in if it wins its final two series, there can be little doubt that Iowa is, at best right now, being considered as one of the "Final Four In" teams.

I took a look at some of the numbers of teams who are listed among Iowa as "Final Four In" candidates. I hate to be a pessimist but, as of right now, I'm having a hard time seeing Iowa getting an at-large bid. Best case? Catch Maryland and/or Rutgers and Illinois falters to end season. Make the B1G tournament championship game and get a "signature win" (over Maryland or Rutgers) in the process. Practically no room for error.
FWIW IIRC Baseball America was 63/64 on their predictions last season.
 

Franisdaman

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Assuming Michigan (or a worse team in the standings) does not win the B1G Tournament, I think Rutgers and Maryland make it to the NCAA Tournament (duh) and a 3rd team (Illinois or Iowa) get in by the skin of their teeth.

When it comes to Illinois or Iowa, I think it will be a question of (1) did Illinois or Iowa finish stronger and (2) if they met in the B1G Tournament, who won? I hope the answer to both questions is Iowa. And I hope the Selection Committee considers the B1G to be at least a 3 team league, even if that 3rd team barely gets into the Tournament.

B1G Standings (after May 11 games) :
1. Rutgers (37-12, 16-5).............#44 RPI
2. Maryland (38-10, 13-5).........#14 RPI

3. Illinois (26-19, 12-6)...............#74 RPI
3. Iowa (28-16, 12-6)
................#71 RPI
...............................................................


5. Michigan (25-21, 10-8)..........#94 RPI
 

HawkeyeGenius

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Assuming Michigan (or a worse team in the standings) does not win the B1G Tournament, I think Rutgers and Maryland make it to the NCAA Tournament (duh) and a 3rd team (Illinois or Iowa) get in by the skin of their teeth.

When it comes to Illinois or Iowa, I think it will be a question of (1) did Illinois or Iowa finish stronger and (2) if they met in the B1G Tournament, who won? I hope the answer to both questions is Iowa. And I hope the Selection Committee considers the B1G to be at least a 3 team league, even if that 3rd team barely gets into the Tournament.

B1G Standings (after May 11 games) :
1. Rutgers (37-12, 16-5).............#44 RPI
2. Maryland (38-10, 13-5).........#14 RPI

3. Illinois (26-19, 12-6)...............#74 RPI
3. Iowa (28-16, 12-6)
................#71 RPI
...............................................................


5. Michigan (25-21, 10-8)..........#94 RPI
Rutgers still has work to do. They drop a game this weekend and they could fall into the 60's RPI wise.
 

whatsup13579er

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Assuming Michigan (or a worse team in the standings) does not win the B1G Tournament, I think Rutgers and Maryland make it to the NCAA Tournament (duh) and a 3rd team (Illinois or Iowa) get in by the skin of their teeth.

When it comes to Illinois or Iowa, I think it will be a question of (1) did Illinois or Iowa finish stronger and (2) if they met in the B1G Tournament, who won? I hope the answer to both questions is Iowa. And I hope the Selection Committee considers the B1G to be at least a 3 team league, even if that 3rd team barely gets into the Tournament.

B1G Standings (after May 11 games) :
1. Rutgers (37-12, 16-5).............#44 RPI
2. Maryland (38-10, 13-5).........#14 RPI

3. Illinois (26-19, 12-6)...............#74 RPI
3. Iowa (28-16, 12-6)
................#71 RPI
...............................................................


5. Michigan (25-21, 10-8)..........#94 RPI
The B1G isn't getting a 3rd team in with a 70+ RPI. In any scenario, the 3rd team has to improve there.

Texas AM just cancelled another midweek game to save their RPI in hopes of getting a host spot. The RPI needs to be improved or less weight placed on it or both.

Rutgers still has work to do. They drop a game this weekend and they could fall into the 60's RPI wise.
If they win the B1G regular season, they should feel pretty comfortable but their resume is certainly lacking. 2 Q1 wins and 20 Q4 wins. Only 9 Q1/2 games total.
 

HawkeyeGenius

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The B1G isn't getting a 3rd team in with a 70+ RPI. In any scenario, the 3rd team has to improve there.

Texas AM just cancelled another midweek game to save their RPI in hopes of getting a host spot. The RPI needs to be improved or less weight placed on it or both.


If they win the B1G regular season, they should feel pretty comfortable but their resume is certainly lacking. 2 Q1 wins and 20 Q4 wins. Only 9 Q1/2 games total.
Just looked it up. Crazy it's allowed.

 
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HawkeyeGenius

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The B1G isn't getting a 3rd team in with a 70+ RPI. In any scenario, the 3rd team has to improve there.

Texas AM just cancelled another midweek game to save their RPI in hopes of getting a host spot. The RPI needs to be improved or less weight placed on it or both.


If they win the B1G regular season, they should feel pretty comfortable but their resume is certainly lacking. 2 Q1 wins and 20 Q4 wins. Only 9 Q1/2 games total.
Rutgers is 2-4 against the top of the conference. They don't play Illinois. Kudos to them for several sweeps amongst the bottom of the league. If they drop a game against Bowling Green and finish tied or lower for the conference then they will be sweating it out.
 
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Franisdaman

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Yep similar to basketball you have to watch for bid stealers in conf tournaments especially as a bubble team like Iowa.

Iowa has won 12 of their last 16. They have tried to improve their nonconference schedule.

It's just frustrating that (1) they still have a poor RPI; (2) "the experts" still are not impressed in what they see; and (3) here we are again, sitting on the bubble.
 

AuroraHawk

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Rutgers is 2-4 against the top of the conference. They don't play Illinois. Kudos to them for several sweeps amongst the bottom of the league. If they drop a game against Bowling Green and finish tied or lower for the conference then they will be sweating it out.
If Rutgers wins or ties for the regular season championship (so long as it isn’t some weird 3 or 4 way tie), I think they’ll get in - regardless of RPI. However, history has not been kind to B1G teams. A tie for the regular season crown with a crap RPI and a sweep out of the B1G tournament could get interesting.

They’re in a good place unless they implode.
 

HawkeyeGenius

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Iowa has won 12 of their last 16. They have tried to improve their nonconference schedule.

It's just frustrating that (1) they still have a poor RPI; (2) "the experts" still are not impressed in what they see; and (3) here we are again, sitting on the bubble.
Beat the likes of Wichita State, Corpus Christi, and Illinois State then Iowa is probably safely in right now.
 

BigOHawk

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I think D1 would change their tune quite a bit if the RPI were 55 instead of 65 right now. That 71 point swing losing to Illinois State really, really hurt. Iowa is 71 points from 55 right now...
Ouch don't remind me! 71 point RPI loss in a home game vs Illinois State, yikes. Maybe we should have canceled THAT game! :)
 
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AuroraHawk

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It's incredible that literally one home game has that big of an impact.

It truly reflects the difficult situation in which Iowa's program finds itself. Through a set of circumstances that are irrelevant to this discussion, I had a wonderful telephone conversation with Coach Heller yesterday. Our conversation ultimately evolved into the RPI and the box in which northern teams are placed by the heavy reliance the committee places upon RPI and the need for mid-week games.

As much as we might all like to see Iowa schedule mid-week games against Notre Dame or Missouri instead of Illinois State and Western Illinois, there are a few factors working against that happening: (a) Both Notre Dame and Missouri are dead set against going on the road to play Iowa in a mid-week game and (b) Iowa's administration wants to limit the amount of class time missed by the baseball team. Left unmentioned (and I didn't ask) was whether expenses also played a role. South Bend is a 5 hour drive from Iowa City. Columbia is just under 4 hours. You can likely slice off some serious time by chartering a flight but the cost would be markedly higher.

Iowa will always be able to convince Western Illinois, Illinois State, Bradley, etc. to travel to Iowa City for a mid-week game. Gives those teams a chance to knock off a big, bad B1G program. Iowa needs those games to get the young pitchers some experience and stretch out their arms. However, when those games are "developmental" in nature, there is great risk that Iowa doesn't win that game. Very little upside from an RPI perspective for Iowa; lots of downside.

And, not to be the ultimate downer, but Coach Heller shared something with me that I didn't know. There is no B1G representation on the D-1 baseball committee. That committee is responsible for selecting the 64 team field. The Midwest Region rep is Bowling Green's (Mid-American Conference) AD and Indiana State's (Missouri Valley Conference) AD has an at-large position. Coach Heller indicated that the absence of a B1G AD really puts the B1G behind an eight ball because there is no "voice" on the committee actively supporting the B1G. If anything, it appears that the ADs from the Midwest Region appear to relish the fact that this is a situation where they can "stick it" to the B1G. For the members, see: http://web1.ncaa.org/committees/committees_roster.jsp?CommitteeName=1MBA

As for losing to ISU 3-2 in Iowa City in a mid-week game - fueled at least in part by a single ill-advised decision by Seeger to make an off balance throw to 1B in an effort to get an out - it is worth noting that #8 RPI Dallas Baptist lost 2 of its 3 games that it played against ISU. ISU is not a good team . . . but good enough to take a conference series against a high RPI opponent (projected as a #2 seed). Dallas Baptist also lost 2 of 3 games against fellow MVC team Bradley (who Iowa beat twice while losing none).

You could feel the frustration coming out of Coach Heller's mouth as he described the RPI system and how it negatively impacts what he's trying to do with Iowa.
 
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HawkeyeGenius

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It truly reflects the difficult situation in which Iowa's program finds itself. Through a set of circumstances that are irrelevant to this discussion, I had a wonderful telephone conversation with Coach Heller yesterday. Our conversation ultimately evolved into the RPI and the box in which northern teams are placed by the heavy reliance the committee places upon RPI and the need for mid-week games.

As much as we might all like to see Iowa schedule mid-week games against Notre Dame or Missouri instead of Illinois State and Western Illinois, there are a few factors working against that happening: (a) Both Notre Dame and Missouri are dead set against going on the road to play Iowa in a mid-week game and (b) Iowa's administration wants to limit the amount of class time missed by the baseball team. Left unmentioned (and I didn't ask) was whether expenses also played a role. South Bend is a 5 hour drive from Iowa City. Columbia is just under 4 hours. You can likely slice off some serious time by chartering a flight but the cost would be markedly higher.

Iowa will always be able to convince Western Illinois, Illinois State, Bradley, etc. to travel to Iowa City for a mid-week game. Gives those teams a chance to knock off a big, bad B1G program. Iowa needs those games to get the young pitchers some experience and stretch out their arms. However, when those games are "developmental" in nature, there is great risk that Iowa doesn't win that game. Very little upside from an RPI perspective for Iowa; lots of downside.

And, not to be the ultimate downer, but Coach Heller shared something with me that I didn't know. There is no B1G representation on the D-1 baseball committee. That committee is responsible for selecting the 64 team field. The Midwest Region rep is Bowling Green's (Mid-American Conference) AD and Indiana State's (Missouri Valley Conference) AD has an at-large position. Coach Heller indicated that the absence of a B1G AD really puts the B1G behind an eight ball because there is no "voice" on the committee actively supporting the B1G. If anything, it appears that the ADs from the Midwest Region appear to relish the fact that this is a situation where they can "stick it" to the B1G. For the members, see: http://web1.ncaa.org/committees/committees_roster.jsp?CommitteeName=1MBA

As for losing to ISU 3-2 in Iowa City in a mid-week game - fueled at least in part by a single ill-advised decision by Seeger to make an off balance throw to 1B in an effort to get an out - it is worth noting that #8 RPI Dallas Baptist lost 2 of its 3 games that it played against ISU. ISU is not a good team . . . but good enough to take a conference series against a high RPI opponent (projected as a #2 seed). Dallas Baptist also lost 2 of 3 games against fellow MVC team Bradley (who Iowa beat twice while losing none).

You could feel the frustration coming out of Coach Heller's mouth as he described the RPI system and how it negatively impacts what he's trying to do with Iowa.
Missouri did come up that one year on a whim when it was convenient for them. Ironically, neither ended up with an at large.

What about Eastern Illinois?
 

KyleHuesmann

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Missouri did come up that one year on a whim when it was convenient for them. Ironically, neither ended up with an at large.

What about Eastern Illinois?
Rather would play Southern Illinois. They are currently leading the MVC and were good last year too. Wouldn’t mind Omaha or Missouri State. Or why not call up his old home at Indiana State?
 

KyleHuesmann

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Rather would play Southern Illinois. They are currently leading the MVC and were good last year too. Wouldn’t mind Omaha or Missouri State. Or why not call up his old home at Indiana State?
I mean I guess we will find out in the fall. The schedule is already set I’m sure. Heller told me that he works on them 2-4 years in advance.
 
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whatsup13579er

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It truly reflects the difficult situation in which Iowa's program finds itself. Through a set of circumstances that are irrelevant to this discussion, I had a wonderful telephone conversation with Coach Heller yesterday. Our conversation ultimately evolved into the RPI and the box in which northern teams are placed by the heavy reliance the committee places upon RPI and the need for mid-week games.

As much as we might all like to see Iowa schedule mid-week games against Notre Dame or Missouri instead of Illinois State and Western Illinois, there are a few factors working against that happening: (a) Both Notre Dame and Missouri are dead set against going on the road to play Iowa in a mid-week game and (b) Iowa's administration wants to limit the amount of class time missed by the baseball team. Left unmentioned (and I didn't ask) was whether expenses also played a role. South Bend is a 5 hour drive from Iowa City. Columbia is just under 4 hours. You can likely slice off some serious time by chartering a flight but the cost would be markedly higher.

Iowa will always be able to convince Western Illinois, Illinois State, Bradley, etc. to travel to Iowa City for a mid-week game. Gives those teams a chance to knock off a big, bad B1G program. Iowa needs those games to get the young pitchers some experience and stretch out their arms. However, when those games are "developmental" in nature, there is great risk that Iowa doesn't win that game. Very little upside from an RPI perspective for Iowa; lots of downside.

And, not to be the ultimate downer, but Coach Heller shared something with me that I didn't know. There is no B1G representation on the D-1 baseball committee. That committee is responsible for selecting the 64 team field. The Midwest Region rep is Bowling Green's (Mid-American Conference) AD and Indiana State's (Missouri Valley Conference) AD has an at-large position. Coach Heller indicated that the absence of a B1G AD really puts the B1G behind an eight ball because there is no "voice" on the committee actively supporting the B1G. If anything, it appears that the ADs from the Midwest Region appear to relish the fact that this is a situation where they can "stick it" to the B1G. For the members, see: http://web1.ncaa.org/committees/committees_roster.jsp?CommitteeName=1MBA

As for losing to ISU 3-2 in Iowa City in a mid-week game - fueled at least in part by a single ill-advised decision by Seeger to make an off balance throw to 1B in an effort to get an out - it is worth noting that #8 RPI Dallas Baptist lost 2 of its 3 games that it played against ISU. ISU is not a good team . . . but good enough to take a conference series against a high RPI opponent (projected as a #2 seed). Dallas Baptist also lost 2 of 3 games against fellow MVC team Bradley (who Iowa beat twice while losing none).

You could feel the frustration coming out of Coach Heller's mouth as he described the RPI system and how it negatively impacts what he's trying to do with Iowa.
Next time you talk to him, tell him I want one the the white cursive I hats!

Obviously every midweek game can’t be a great game but it sure would be nice to get a marquee midweek game once a year. Hell I’d settle for just dumping W Illinois.

The conversation you described highlights the importance of those early season games. When Iowa has the chance to knock off Texas Tech or A&M or Okie State or LSU, they need to take advantage AND then care care if business in the B1G. Those marquee series just don’t happen very often in conference.