Counting this week, just six weekends remain in the college baseball regular season for 2014.
So you know what that means, right?
Yep, time to start those regional projections.
And for the first time in 10 years, the Red Raiders are solidly in the two media organizations doing projections.
Baseball America on Thursday released its midseason projection, which usually signfies the beginning of them doing one once every week or two. BA had nothing but good things to say about the Red Raiders, making them a No. 2 seed in the Gainesville, Fla. regional hosted by Florida.
The Red Raiders have an official NCAA RPI of 17 as of this week and are No. 15 according to Boyd's World and 17 by Warren Nolan. A quick calculation shows the Red Raiders are 5-4 vs. NCAA RPI Top 25 teams and 11-8 vs. NCAA RPI 100 teams, which makes them a solid, legitimate regoinal contender.
The other teams in BAs Gainesville regional with Florida and Tech are NO. 3 seed North Carolina State, which possesses projected top-round draft pick Carlos Rodon, and Saint Louis as the 4 seed.
BA also liked the Big 12, putting six teams in the regionals. Texas is the only host, while Kansas (at South Carolina) and Oklahoma (at Oregon State) are 2 seeds. West Virginia (at Kentucky) and TCU (at Houston) are 3 seeds. The Big 12 has the No. 2 confernece RPI in the nation.
According to BA:
"Texas Tech (No. 15) and West Virginia (No. 24) are the strongest RPI teams in that eight-team cluster, while Oklahoma (No. 86) and Oklahoma State (No. 109) have a lot of RPI work to do. The Sooners have opened conference play with series wins against Kansas State and Kansas, and we anticipate their RPI will continue to climb as they go through Big 12 play, so we’re aggressively projecting them to land a No. 2 seed. The Big 12 has a deep pool of regional contenders, but few sure things, so trying to project how many bids it will get is difficult. We’ll go with six."
College Baseball Daily has done weekly regional projections since the season began, a tough assingment especially early on. CBD has consistently had the Red Raiders (25-11, 5-7 in Big 12) as a No. 3 seed, first at Nashville (Vanderbilt) but more recently at Houston (1 seed) with Rice (2 seed) and William and Mary (4 seed).
Of course, there's a long way to go, but Tech has a shot at improving both its conference record and RPI in the next six weeks, with three of its final four Big 12 series at home plus solid RPI games against Dallas Baptist (twice), New Mexico and TCU left on the schedule.
I doubt the Red Raiders would be able to host unless they finish in the top 2 in the Big 12, and they need to get on a hot streak to do so. But as long as they don't do a complete nosedive (like in 2010), then the prospects for them to be a regional team at the end of the year are strong.
Just something to chew on this weekend as Tech takes on Kansas State.
See ya at the yard, meat.