May 26, 2008

OSU misses out on national seed

As called by us here at OSI early this morning, Oklahoma State wasn't deemed worthy of a national seed, while Georgia was given the No. 8 position in the national field.

So what's that mean exactly? It means that if the Cowboys win their Regional this weekend, they won't get to spend the following weekend at home for the Super Regional round.

Last night, the top 16 teams in the tournament were announced, with each of those schools hosting a Regional. This morning, ESPN unveiled the rest of the 64-team field. Now the Cowboys know who they'll match up with in their Regional, listed below:

1. Oklahoma State (42-16)
4. Western Kentucky (33-25)

3. Texas Christian (43-17)
2. Wichita State (44-15)

The action will begin on Friday and go through Sunday, with games at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. all three days. If needed, another game will be played Monday at 7 p.m. to determine the Regional champion.

The Cowboys, who finished the season ranked No. 6 nationally, will host a Regional for the first time since 1997. But they miss out on the national seed and chance to host a Super Regional, as did the rest of the Big 12. Conference mates Texas A&M and Nebraska were left out in the cold, too. The Cowboys, Aggies and Cornhuskers were widely believed to have great shots at national seeds, with the Big 12 possibly getting two spots.

But apparently A&M and NU's Big 12 Tournament showings hurt them and, well, OSU being OSU likely hurt the Pokes. All three miss out and instead, UGA and Louisiana State receive national seeds. The Tigers got the No. 7 seed and the Bulldogs were given the No. 8 slot. Every team in the latest National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll top eight earned a national seed except OSU (No. 6) and San Diego (No. 8). But the No. 14 Bulldogs and No. 16 Tigers take national seeds over not only the Cowboys, but programs such as NU, A&M, Coastal Carolina, Arizona and California as well.

Looking ahead, if the Cowboys can get out of their tough Regional, it likely means a Super Regional trip to Tallahassee, Fla., to take on the No. 4-seeded Florida State Seminoles. So, to get to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., OSU would have to defeat TCU, Wichita State and FSU to get there. That's a tough row to hoe. The committee once again didn't do OSU any favors with this postseason draw, despite a top 10 ranking, a second place regular season Big 12 finish and 2-1 run in the conference tournament. If you were to extrapolate the national seeds out, OSU getting paired up with No. 4 FSU means the committee felt that OSU was worthy of the No. 13 national seed. Odd placing for a team many experts felt was on the national seeding bubble.

But talk about national seeds and Super Regionals is getting a bit ahead of things. First thing's first, which is winning their Regional. And OSU will have to fight to make that a reality, as the Cowboys are matched up against two other 40-plus win programs this weekend. In fact, only two other Regionals (North Carolina and LSU) can claim three 40-win teams in their brackets. Meanwhile, the Cal-State Fullerton and Stanford Regionals feature zero 40-win clubs.

And oh, did we mention that Oklahoma made it in the tournament? Why not Kansas State or Baylor instead?

The news from the selection committee will help keep The Corral buzzing all week. In the meantime, look for previews of OSU's opponents all week long here at OSI.

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