Super Regional Answers

CLEMSON – As the sting of not being selected to host this week's NCAA Tournament Super Regional begins to wear off, reasons are starting to come forth as to why the better Clemson baseball team is traveling to Mississippi State this weekend.

Even so, Clemson officials are still somewhat unsure what exactly transpired.

"I would personally like to have an explanation so we all know," Tigers coach Jack Leggett said. "It's one of things that every coach wants to be compared to everybody on the field, especially when you get a site that has been, historically, a really, really good host site. …

"I knew we were sitting in great shape. Evidently there are other factors involved that we really don't have a clear understanding of."

When the tournament reaches the Super Regional stage, the NCAA Tournament Selection Committee no longer looks at on-the-field performances as the major determining factor in selecting sites to host.

The only time it does is when No. 1 seeds are involved. If a team is a No. 1 seed, then it will automatically host a No. 2 seed or lower. If two No. 1 seeds are set to square off, then the national seed gets to host.

However, in the case of Clemson, record and performance has very, very little to do with it, which was obviously proven Monday night.

An NCAA representative said Sunday that the committee views all No. 2 seeds as equals and that the size of the stadium and the amount bid by each school to host are the biggest factors.

In a pervious story, CUTigers.com wrote that the minimum bid for a Super Regional is $50,000. That is wrong. Actually, it is $35,000.

Clemson's bid this year was $65,000, up roughly 30 percent of what it bid last year to host. However, to put things in perspective, the University of Mississippi's bid last year to host a Super Regional was $100,000.

Larry Templeton, the athletics director at Mississippi State, who also happens to be the selection committee chairman, told CUTigers.com that, "Our bid was more (than Clemson's)."

Then there's the stadium factor.

Clemson's Doug Kingsmore Stadium holds 5,617. Last year during the Super Regional's, the school was able to cram a more than 7,000 people into it.

That amount's not even a good day for Mississippi State. The school's Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium can hold more than 14,000 fans. School administrators are expecting no less than 10,000 fans for this weekend's best-of-three series.

Even Templeton cited that as a reason why his school was chosen to host.

That irks Leggett to no end.

"I hope it doesn't come down to that," he said. "The goal of the committee at this stage of the season is to try to get your best teams to Omaha and reward the teams that have earned the right to host regionals and Super Regionals.

"I had no problem at all with the 16 teams that were chosen to host regionals. They were based on their merit, their seasons, their RPI and strength of schedule, their last 10 ballgames, and how they finished in the conference, and how they did against ranked teams.

"So, we went to Coastal and did our thing. I wish the criteria would've stayed the same."

And while it shouldn't have played a factor, some have mentioned that another possible reason is the fact that the Bulldogs have been to Clemson twice for postseason play since 2000, including last season.

But, now there's nothing that can be done and the Tigers will play in Starkville starting Friday at noon, Eastern, on ESPN.

"You always hope that it comes down to what you do on the field and what the kids do," Leggett said. "We're going to take this as a motivation and as a challenge. We're not going to moan about it and just move on to the next challenge."

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