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Re: West Coast Bias
Someone needs to show up at the selection meetings with a list of MLB and MiLB players from each conference, both in numbers and quality. They’d argue those guys don’t play for those colleges anymore, but they’ve used the strength of schedule argument against them even when they did.
No question there is a bias against the west. Cohen who lead the committee from Auburn said the RPI is flawed yet it was used 100% in the selections. Next year let a West Coast rep lead the committee. Regarding weekday games. In most cases we schedule good opponents (USC, UCLA, LMU, etc.). UCI did schedule several games vs the Pac 12 and did very well but they are west coast teams. The Dirtbags do need to upgrade their non-conference schedule to include at least one series against a good SEC, ACC or Big 12 opponent.
On the disadvantages West Coast teams have and the controversial RPI system: “In Western baseball, we have a challenge. Much like a lot of our sports, a lot of the national experts, the announcers, those who are talking about college baseball, don’t get a chance to see our teams play as much. So that hurts us from the get-go.
“I think it’s time to take a good look at the RPI at all levels. Has it become antiquated for current day? (Does) it get artificially inflated in certain leagues or certain parts of the country (and) doesn’t benefit other parts of the country? Are we rewarding teams that are going out and trying their very best to schedule well, yet their geography might limit them to a certain degree?
“You can only play so many midweek games. We don’t have a lot of opportunities to play midweek games, to get on a bus, that are relatively affordable. We’ve got to get on airplanes (to) go play midweek games. That’s tough. So I think there can be a very robust, productive conversation around the RPI, and I welcome that and look forward to that happening.
“I’m disappointed that more teams in the West (didn’t make it). I think that the two teams in our conference (ASU and USC) were deserving of getting in. It’s a hard one for (UC) Irvine as well. That’s a tough blow not to get into the tournament for the record they had (38-17) and the kind of club they had and the kind of year they had.