Is a rematch with the 'Noles in TCU's future?
In a matter of just days, the official field of 64 for the 2011 NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament will be announced- making this the last week that we'll be gazing into the crystal ball to see where (and who) TCU will be playing once it begins.
For most of the year, Baseball America has not put out full regional projections. Instead, they've put out a "Stock Report" that actually takes a much more in-depth look at the selection process. In this week's edition, BA's Aaron Fitt lists TCU as being "on the bubble" in terms of hosting a Regional, but in the sub-group that he believes will be granted hosting duties. Among the teams that he believes are nipping at the Frogs' heels (read: teams you should be rooting against in their respective conference tournaments) are Miami, Central Florida, Stetson, Clemson and future Big East rival UConn.
College Baseball Daily agrees that TCU will end up hosting the first weekend of the tournament, but they've laid out a fairly difficult gauntlet for the Frogs in their latest regional projections. The #2 seed in that hypothetical Fort Worth Regional would be Clemson, who is 39-17 on the year with an RPI ranking of #9- six spots ahead of TCU. Whether it ends up being the Tigers or not, the message from CBD is that the Frogs should expect the NCAA to send a very formidable opponent their way. The winner of that foursome (which also would include Southeastern Louisiana and Michigan State) woud face the winner of the Tallahassee Regional- hosted by projected overall national #8 seed Florida State. Don't you know the Seminoles would like the chance at revenge against TCU!
According to the latest projections from Southeastern Baseball, TCU might be seeing some familiar faces as they try to get back to Omaha. Their version of the Fort Worth Regional includes Oklahoma State and Texas State, who went a combined 1-3 against TCU this spring, as well as James Madison (the alma mater of Charles Haley, not the president). Should the Frogs survive that weekend, Southeastern Baseball has them slated for a third consecutive trip to Austin for the Super Regionals. The potential for TCU-Texas III and Mavs-Heat II to be going on at the same time is probably enough to prescribe half of the readership of Spit Blood, young as you all may be, some kind of blood pressure medication.