FAYETTEVILLE -- Arkansas will host its first NCAA regional in seven years this weekend and it will do so as one of the top teams in the country.
Although the Razorbacks remain at No. 12 in the HawgsDaily composite poll, their run to the SEC championship game did result in a bump in four of the six major college baseball polls that make up our composite ranking.
Baseball America (up two spots) and the NCBWA (+1) give Arkansas its highest ranking at No. 11, while D1Baseball.com (+1), Perfect Game (same) and the USA Today coaches (+1) polls have the Razorbacks at No. 12. Their lowest ranking is by Collegiate Baseball, which kept them at No. 13.
Those high rankings, coupled with a No. 14 RPI, made Arkansas a clear choice to be a regional host.
Nationally, the eight national seeds almost perfectly mirrored the top eight teams in the composite poll, except LSU-Florida and Louisville-TCU were flipped in the seeding.
Things got cloudier when it came to selecting the other eight regional hosts. Teams ranked 15-18 are separated by just one point in the composite poll, with a three-way tie at No. 15.
No. 18 Clemson was the only team outside the top 16 to be chosen as a host, but it is No. 12 in the RPI.
Despite a top-16 ranking, Virginia and Arizona will have to hit the road as 2 seeds. The Wildcats were No. 23 in the RPI, so their omission as a host site isn't surprising.
The Cavaliers, on the other hand, were No. 16 in the RPI and passed over for RPI No. 17 Houston. That makes them arguably the best 2 seed in the tournament and they are playing in TCU's regional, which is paired with Arkansas' regional.
If the Razorbacks win their regional and Virginia - or 3-seed Dallas Baptist or 4-seed Central Connecticut State - wins the Fort Worth Regional, then Baum Stadium would host a super regional. If the Horned Frogs win, they would host the super regional.
Here is a complete rundown of the HawgsDaily composite poll (SEC teams in bold, change from last week in parenthesis):
1. Oregon State - 150 points (--)
2. North Carolina - 142 (--)
3. LSU - 138 (+3)
4. Florida - 131 (-1)
5. Texas Tech - 126 (-1)
6. Louisville - 121 (-1)
7. TCU - 113 (--)
8. Stanford - 107 (+2)
9. Long Beach State - 99 (--)
10. Kentucky - 96 (-2)
11. Virginia - 92 (--)
12. Arkansas - 85 (--)
13. Southern Miss - 79 (--)
14. Wake Forest - 66 (--)
t-15. Arizona - 52 (+1)
t-15. Florida State - 52 (N/A - did not receive votes last week)
t-15. Houston - 52 (+8)
18. Clemson - 51 (-3)
19. Cal State-Fullerton - 43 (-2)
20. Mississippi State - 41 (-1)
21. Missouri State - 29 (-1)
22. Michigan - 20 (-4)
t-23. UCF - 15 (--)
t-23. Texas - 15 (N/A - did not receive votes last week)
25. St. John's - 12 (-5)
Receiving votes: South Alabama (7), Dallas Baptist (6), Auburn (3), Florida Gulf Coast (3), South Florida (3), Nebraska (1)
(NOTE: The official RPI rankings are not updated on the NCAA's website, so we used the RPI on D1Baseball.com for this story.)