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The 2006 Supers
Publication Date: June 6, 2006
Last year, my lead was that the dog didn't bark -- there were essentially no upsets in the regionals last year. Apparently, they were able to bank them up, since we got a double quotient this year. Three of the #4 seeds won their openers, and Missouri, who lost their opener, went on to become the first #4 seed to win a regional in the current format.
Now, Missouri was actually something of an unusual case, in that there have only been eight at large #4 seeds in those eight years, so they were already better than your average #4. One way of looking at that is to look at those ISR-based probabilities -- despite my dismissive text (go ahead and throw eggs or whatever; the only alternative is to write boring stuff like "While there's a 6% chance that Missouri wins this one, they'll probably get lost in the shuffle here," and neither of us wants me to do that), they showed up with a 6% chance to win the regional, rather than the usual 1% to 2% that the #4's get.
Before I get to the ISR-based probabilities, let's look at a little bit of recent history, because we have an unusual number of low seeds matched with #1 seeds this year. As I said, Missouri is the first #4 seed to make it through, and, as it turns out, there have only been six times that a #3 made it through to play a #1 in the super. Here's the whole list:
2000 San Jose State Houston W 2001 Florida International Southern California L 2002 Arkansas Clemson L 2002 Florida Atlantic Georgia Tech L 2002 Miami, Florida South Carolina L 2003 Houston Rice L
I don't know that there's enough data here to make a conclusion, but, frankly, I think Missouri or Oral Roberts would be happy to have one in six odds this week, although Stanford probably has a better shot than that. In the Cardinal's favor, it's worthing noting that SJSU was probably the best of these six by quite a bit.
All that said, here are the probabilities, with the chances of winning the supers followed by the chances of winning it all:
Clemson 79/13 Oral Roberts 21/ 0 Georgia Tech 62/ 5 College of Charleston 38/ 1 Alabama 53/ 4 North Carolina 47/ 3 Cal State Fullerton 90/29 Missouri 10/ 0 Rice 64/16 Oklahoma 36/ 4 Georgia 68/ 6 South Carolina 32/ 1 Stanford 36/ 2 Oregon State 64/10 Miami, Florida 45/ 2 Mississippi 55/ 3
These don't take home field advantage into account, so adjust accordingly. That actually leads to an interesting point: I've been doing some preliminary work on neutral site games that seems to indicate that at least some of the advantage is actually a strategic advantage to batting last. I don't think we're to the point yet where it makes sense to move the supers to neutral sites, but it might make sense to let the visitors bat last in Game 2 of each series.
Looking ahead, it's good to see that the four serious contenders remaining -- Clemson, Fullerton, Rice, and OSU -- are split evenly between the bracket sides.
Pitch Count Watch
Rather than keep returning to the subject of pitch counts and pitcher usage in general too often for my main theme, I'm just going to run a standard feature down here where I point out potential problems; feel free to stop reading above this if the subject doesn't interest you. This will just be a quick listing of questionable starts that have caught my eye -- the general threshold for listing is 120 actual pitches or 130 estimated, although short rest will also get a pitcher listed if I catch it. Don't blame me; I'm just the messenger.
|6/02||South Alabama||P. J. Walters||Tulane||9.0||4||1||1||3||6||30||34||136|
|6/02||UCLA||Hector Ambriz||UC Irvine||9.0||4||2||0||4||5||31||35||124|
|6/02||Houston||Brad Lincoln||Wichita State||6.2||7||2||2||5||5||25||31||129|
|6/02||Alabama||Wade Leblanc||Jacksonville State||7.2||5||1||1||4||8||28||32||128|
|6/02||Arkansas||Nick Schmidt||Oral Roberts||8.0||10||3||3||2||10||32||36||132(*)|
|6/02||Oklahoma||Daniel McCutchen||Texas Christian||8.2||8||6||6||2||11||33||36||137|
|6/04||Oklahoma||Daniel McCutchen||Wichita State||5.2||7||4||4||2||5||23||25||76|
|6/03||Baylor||Ryan Lamotta||Arizona State||8.0||8||2||1||1||8||32||34||142|
|6/03||South Carolina||Mike Cisco||Evansville||9.0||6||2||1||4||4||32||36||135|
|6/03||Georgia Tech||Blake Wood||Stetson||7.1||9||4||4||2||4||29||34||121|
|6/03||Vanderbilt||David Price||Georgia Tech||6.1||8||7||7||5||8||25||32||126|
|6/03||South Carolina||Harris Honeycutt||Virginia||6.0||5||1||0||3||5||21||25||125|
|6/04||Oklahoma||John Brownell||Wichita State||8.0||9||5||4||2||7||28||31||130|
|6/05||South Carolina||Wynn Pelzer||Evansville||9.0||8||1||1||1||9||34||36||121|
(*) Pitch count is estimated. As always, I welcome actual pitch count corrections.If you're interested in reprinting this or any other Boyd's World material for your publication or Web site, please read the reprint policy and contact me
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