By Trey McCurry.
With Clemson making a strong late season push, TheClemsonInsider wanted to offer fans a brief glimpse into how the TCI staff thinks the hosting situation sits as of Thursday, May 12. These projections are through games as of May 11 and will be updated weekly until just before the host sights are announced. Keep in mind that these are rough projections and are likely to change depending on the outcomes the next few weeks.
As of today, it appears as if 11 teams are locks to host. Those teams are as follows: Virginia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Oregon State, Florida, Arizona State, Texas, North Carolina, Florida State, Southern Miss, and Georgia Tech. All of these teams have RPI’s in the top 13 spots and all have at least 35 wins. Barring a complete collapse or drastic change, we expect eight of these 11 teams to be national seeds with the others in very little danger of losing a host spot.
The next five teams are teams that we believe would host if the season ended today. Those teams are: Texas A&M, Rice, Stetson, TCU, and Cal State-Fullerton. While these teams still have a little room for error, they still have to potential to play themselves out of a host. Stetson and Cal State-Fullerton may be the safest of the five teams as the NCAA likes to spread regionals around to new places (Stetson) and there is a need for another West Coast regional (Fullerton). The three Texas schools are the ones that could be the most in danger. Texas A&M is probably the safest of the three, but is still not a lock. Rice and TCU need to keep playing good ball to be able to host in a couple of weeks.
Four schools are making a charge to break into the hosting ranks. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Clemson, and Oklahoma State are all schools that could potentially host if they can finish strong and have one of the teams ahead of them struggle down the stretch. Oklahoma and Arkansas may be the most likely to jump up as they are in a similar regional as the three Texas schools so they could be a natural fit. Clemson is streaking and has the numbers to host, but one of the factors working against the Tigers is that four ACC teams are already hosting. It is extremely unlikely that any one conference will get five host spots unless one some of the other teams really fall down the stretch. Oklahoma State may be the longest shot of the four teams in that they have some of the lower numbers and would need more help from others to jump into one of the 16 host spots.
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Team records, Warren Nolan RPI, and Boyd’s World RPI are as of May 12. The NCAA RPI is as of May 10.