College Baseball Bubble Watch (May 3rd, 2022)

The college baseball regular season is winding down, and we're just a few weeks away from Selection Monday.


There are 72 teams in contention for an at-large bid come Selection Monday. If there are no bid-stealers from conference tournaments, that leaves 55 teams competing for 31 spots. In other words, the bubble is going to shrink a lot before the end of the year.


Here are the leagues with a chance at earning an at-large bid.



Leagues With Potential At-Large Teams (17 Conferences)


ACC (12)


Locks (5): Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Louisville, Notre Dame


Should be in (3): Florida State, NC State, Georgia Tech


Work left to do (2): Wake Forest, Pitt


Bubble about to burst (2): Clemson, North Carolina


Clemson was swept by Louisville last weekend but moved up in the RPI. The Tigers are hanging on a thread. Several teams are hovering around .500 in ACC play, an important threshold for ensuring an at-large berth.


American (3)


Work left to do (2): Tulane, ECU


Bubble about to burst (1): Houston


Tulane, ECU, UCF, and Houston are duking it out at the top of the American standings. UCF (RPI 97) likely doesn't have a path forward unless they win the American tournament. However, both Tulane and ECU will have a shot if they don't earn the automatic bid.



ASUN (2)


Should be in (2): Liberty, Kennesaw State


Both Liberty and Kennesaw State have top 40 RPIs and have a clear shot at at-large bids.


Big 12 (6)


Locks (1): Oklahoma State


Should be in (1): TCU


Work left to do (4): Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Texas, West Virginia


Several of the Big 12 teams are currently weighed down by their RPIs, which is keeping them from being locks. Oklahoma (31), TCU (32), West Virginia (42), and Texas Tech (50) will all become locks if they can maintain top 30 RPIs over the next few weeks. Texas (RPI 23) will need to stay near .500 in conference play to become a lock (currently 9-9)



Big East (1)


Work left to do (1): UConn


UConn with its 35 RPI and 37-8 overall record will be under consideration come Selection Monday should they slip up in the Big East tournament.


Big Ten (5)


Should be in (1): Maryland


Work left to do (4): Rutgers, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan


The Big Ten currently checks in at eight in conference RPI, which sets the Big Ten up for two to three bids. Rutgers is the clear second option as of now, as the Scarlet Knights are currently leading the Big Ten standings.


CUSA (5)


Locks (1): Southern Miss


Work left to do (2): Louisiana Tech, UTSA


Bubble about to burst (2): Middle Tennessee, Old Dominion


In our most recent projection, we had three Conference USA teams making the field. It will be difficult for CUSA to earn more teams than that, so Middle Tennessee and Old Dominion both have work to do.



Ivy League (1)


Work left to do (1): Penn


It's a narrow window, but Penn (RPI 38) has a chance at an at-large bid should they not survive the Ivy League postseason.


Missouri Valley (3)


Should be in (1): DBU


Bubble about to burst (2): Evansville, Southern Illinois


DBU is three games back in the Missouri Valley standings, but smart scheduling has led to an exceptional RPI (6). Should the Patriots not win the MVC Tournament, they'll likely still make it in the NCAA Tournament. Evansville (RPI 69) and Southern Illinois (88) will both have a shot at the automatic berth and an outside chance at an at-large bid.


Mountain West (1)


Work left to do (1): Nevada


Nevada (RPI 58) is 2.5 games back of UNLV in the Mountain West. With a conference RPI of 14, it's unlikely the Mountain West will get an at-large bid. But if anyone will, it's Nevada.


Ohio Valley (2)


Work left to do (1): SEMO


Bubble about to burst (1): Belmont


SEMO (RPI 46) and Belmont (62) will have a chance at an at-large bid. SEMO travels to Oklahoma State this weekend, which will be a huge opportunity for the Redhawks.



Pac-12 (6)


Locks (3): Oregon State, UCLA, Oregon


Should be in (2): Stanford, Arizona


Bubble about to burst (1): Utah


Oregon State has yet to play Oregon, Arizona, and UCLA. All three of these teams will earn an RPI boost from playing the Beavers. Utah (RPI 70) is a few losses away from seeing their bubble burst.


SEC (14)


Locks (6): Tennessee, Arkansas, Auburn, Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU


Should be in (1): Vanderbilt


Work left to do (4): Florida, Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina


Bubble about to burst (3): Missouri, Ole Miss, Kentucky


Florida (8-13 SEC), Alabama (9-12), South Carolina (9-12), Mississippi State (9-12), Missouri (7-14), Kentucky (7-14), and Ole Miss (7-14) are all chasing SEC wins. 13 SEC wins has historically been the minimum, and there are not enough wins to go around. Our most recent projection has just Florida making the cut from this group.



SoCon (2)


Should be in (2): Mercer, Wofford


Mercer (RPI 17) and Wofford (22) have a few low RPI teams remaining on their schedule, but they each have enough RPI cushion to feel fairly comfortable about their at-large prospects.


Sun Belt (6)


Locks (1): Georgia Southern


Should be in (1): Texas State


Work left to do (2): Louisiana, Coastal Carolina


Bubble about to burst (2): South Alabama, Troy


The Sun Belt currently sits at No. 5 in conference RPI which predicts at least three bids. Louisiana and Coastal Carolina currently have the best shot to join Texas State and Georgia Southern.


West Coast (2)


Should be in (1): Gonzaga


Work left to do (1): San Diego


Once the fifth-place RPI conference, the West Coast Conference has slipped to No. 10. San Diego (RPI 47) has moved from a sure thing to a bubble team.



Likely 1-Bid Leagues (14 Conferences)

A10, America East, Big South, Big West, Colonial, Horizon, MAAC, MAC, MEAC, Northeast, Ohio Valley, Summit League, Patriot League, Southland, and SWAC.

 

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