There is plenty of speculation out there that the SEC could get as many as three national seeds when the NCAA baseball tournament field is announced tomorrow. Nothing changes in that regard, though we can pretty safely assume that the league will get no more than three.
That's because the power trio from the SEC East -- Florida, South Carolina and Vanderbilt -- were the only SEC teams named as hosts for the regionals that will begin this weekend. In that case, the SEC comes in behind the ACC -- with a whopping five of the sixteen spots -- and ties the Pac-10, which also has three. The other true power conference in college baseball, the Big XII-ish, has two. Cal State Fullerton, Rice and TCU are the only schools from "non-BCS" conferences, as it were, to host regionals.
There are no real surprises on the SEC side, though Arkansas might have wanted to get a regional for winning the SEC West. The Razorbacks had an RPI of 14 going into this weekend. What is kind of surprising is who leapfrogged the Hogs -- Arizona State, as dxf04 notices, with an RPI of 42; and Oregon State, with an RPI of 24, also below Georgia (22) and LSU (23), who didn't even make the SEC tournament. (The Beavers have also dropped the first two games of their series against Oregon, which took some time off before starting to play baseball again in 2009.) Arkansas certainly didn't hurt its case in Hoover by playing through Saturday.
Oregon State's selection could be good news for LSU, which despite its RPI is kind of a bubble team. Auburn helped their fellow Tigers by losing out in Hoover to finish the season at .500 even. Teams have to finish with a winning record to make the field.
Your regional sites:
Atlanta (Georgia Tech); Austin (Texas); Fullerton (Cal State Fullerton); Chapel Hill (UNC); Charlottesville (Virginia), Clemson (Clemson); College Station (Texas A&M); Columbia (South Carolina); Corvallis (Oregon State); Fort Worth (TCU); Gainesville (Florida); Houston (Rice); Los Angeles (UCLA); Nashville (Vanderbilt); Tallahassee (FSU); Tempe (Arizona State).
The rest of the info on the tournament field -- including which SEC teams made the cut in the 64-team, double-elimination tournament -- will be announced tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. We'll also have a comment thread/live blog, in case you were wondering.