Posted: 4:14 p.m. Thursday, May 23, 2013
By Doc Harper
Baseball America: Arkansas was moved to the outside of the bubble after the disappointing series loss to Auburn. Can the Hogs get back in it with a good performance at Hoover? Here's what they say:
One change from last week: Mississippi State replaces Arkansas as a host.
The Hogs’ hosting case was predicated on the notion that they’d finish strong and boost their RPI into the 30s, at least, by the end of the regular season. But Arkansas lost two of three at Auburn to end the season and finds itself ranked 49th in the RPI heading into the SEC tournament. That RPI is closer to the at-large bubble than the hosting bubble; only Arkansas’ third-place finish in the SEC and its 5-1 record against hosting candidates South Carolina and Mississippi State keep the Razorbacks in this discussion at all. But Arkansas must hope it can boost its RPI about 20 spots with a deep run in Hoover in order to have a shot, and even that might not be enough.
Perfect Game USA: They bumped Arkansas to a #2 seed in the Manhattan (Kansas St) regional along with Sam Houston State and Illinois State. Here's what they say about the Hogs:
Keep an eye on Arkansas as the week progresses. The Razorbacks still have an RPI in the 40s entering the SEC tournament, but the overall resume is very respectable. Arkansas is 7-7 vs. RPI Top 25, 15-15 vs. RPI Top 50 and 15-16 vs. RPI Top 100. The Hogs clearly have a lot of work to do, but the SEC tourney could be a major resume booster.
Southeastern Baseball: They also have Arkansas as a #2 seed in Manhattan but with Seton Hall and Illinois State.
Chasing Omaha: #2 seed in Manhattan with New Mexico and South Dakota State.
College Baseball Daily: They dropped Arkansas all the way to a #3 seed in the Chapel Hill (UNC) regional. They have UNC-Wilmington as the #2 and Army as the #4. From what I've seen this season, this site tends to be more of an outlier. This site didn't didn't even have Arkansas in the field back on April 4th, due solely to Arkansas' RPI. If they happen to be right, I'll eat crow, and wha tan absolutely brutal draw that would be.
So Arkansas is clearly just outside of the hosting discussion after dropping the series to Auburn last week. The Hogs definitely have a chance to boost their RPI this week, and the victory over Ole Miss yesterday certainly helped, but beating LSU today would be huge. Of course, going to Manhattan wouldn't be too bad. That's an easy drive from Northwest Arkansas, and I would think the Razorbacks would have a really good shot of winning it.