In the middle of watching FSUs 8-3 win over NC State to clinch the ACC Championship, I flipped my laptop on and went to ESPN. There, the 16 host sites for the regional were announced, and of those 16 sites, Tallahassee was not one of them.
So, for winning the ACC, FSU did earn themselves a number one seed, but now must travel on the road, thereby losing any type of home-field advantage in the Norwich Regional, to be played in Connecticut. The Huskies, the number two seed in the regional, instead get the right to stay at home, not live out of a hotel, and relax.
Despite the NCAAs attempt to give FSU a pat on the back for winning the ACC, this is a pure slap in the face. While number one seeds have traveled before (most recently 2008 when Arizona traveled to Michigan, and even in 1996, when FSU went to Stanford), 15 of the 16 number one seeds are playing out of their own backyard.Now, NCAA Committee Chairman Tim Weiser said its about not sacrificing the competitive integrity, and the ability to put a regional site at a location that hasn’t historically had one is good for college baseball.
Well, Tim, you did sacrifice the competitive integrity. However, there are two ways you can bring back that integrity:1. Wait until the bracket is announced and let that be the time you are announcing the site locations.
Be honest, you’re discussing the locations anyways, but why announce it the day before, when teams are still playing for something? Granted, FSU was not in the top 16 in RPI (which the NCAA uses to determine seeding) during the week of the ACC Championships, and the sweep at Clemson did hurt. However, FSU turned it around, and in the most recent RPI, are ranked number 14.
Of the 16 hosts, three are not in the top 16 of the RPI. South Carolina (17), Oklahoma (18) and UConn (23). Oklahoma and UConn weren’t even in the Top 16 the week prior, and neither of them won their conference tournaments. Therefore, what I am reading is that the Selection Committee decided on their sites before the conference championships even began. Way to dilute your own championships, gentlemen and ladies. The conference championships give teams a second chance, much like in basketball, but they don’t announce at-large teams that earn bids. Give those playing the conference tournaments a second chance at a host bid.2. Move around the eight other hosts that are not national seeds.
Want to move FSU? Great, wonderful! What about the 7 other teams not given national seeds? The eight teams given national seeds are given home field throughout the Regionals and Super Regionals, meaning if Louisville loses their Regional, and FSU wins theirs, yes, FSU could host the Super Regionals. Getting away from that though, if the Selection Committee wants to bring baseball to other areas, then take the eight teams that are hosting, and lump them in with the rest of the field, and make it as neutral as possible. So now, eight locations get baseball games for a weekend, and competitive integrity is maintained, just like the NCAA wants.FSU is a number one seed for this weekend, but if the chips fall and they’re playing number two Connecticut in Norwich, CT, for the Regional Championship, well, who really is the one seed, and who really is getting the advantage?