Gene Swindoll, Gene's Page

Dogs Drop Eight Spots; Big Final Week Crucial to NCAA Hosting Hopes

The sense of Mississippi State urgency this final week of the regular season only increases in post-season terms, too.

That lost weekend at Georgia which makes repeating as SEC Champions has done just as much damage to Bulldog stock for the NCAA Tournament. Not that Coach Andy Cannizaro’s club is in any danger of missing the national tourney, of course. But hosting?

Not based on the NCAA’s own updated RPI posted today. Mississippi State checks in at #24 as of Monday, a drop of eight spots from the most recent previous listing. Since there are only 16 first-round Regionals to go around, without a strong finish to the regular schedule and some more quality wins at the SEC Tournament next week it’s likely the Bulldogs will be on the road come June.

Just a week ago State was both tied for first in the SEC; and as high as #12 in the NCAA’s own RPI listing. Dropping a series at then-#94 Georgia was costly all around and the MSU Bulldogs were the biggest ‘mover’ in the RPI. Not moving in the right way, either.

Now, for the encouraging words. Mississippi State has opportunity to reverse track entirely this week. Not by playing Troy, #111 as of today, on Tuesday night. Winning that one won’t help and just playing the game will hurt in RPI calculations.

But the schedule brings #12 Louisiana State to town for the final conference series. The three games (there is some chance of Thursday weather as of now) will mean positive RPI points. Winning the series will pull State back into the top-twenty. A sweep would keep the Dogs mathematically alive for the SEC Championship, too, as well as avoid a single-elimination day at Hoover.

So while Mississippi State no longer controls its own conference fate, NCAA status for seeding and siting is there for the Bulldogs to go win on their own.



Top 30 and other SEC Programs; with change from previous listing

1.Oregon State nc

2. North Carolina nc

3. Louisville +2

4. Texas Tech -1

5. Florida -1

6. TCU nc

7. Kentucky +1

8. Clemson -1

9. Wake Forest +2

10. Stanford nc

11. Virginia -2

12. LSU nc

13. Baylor +6

14. Missouri State nc

15. Arizona nc

16. Southern Mississippi nc

17. Oklahoma +5

18. Arkansas -1

19. South Florida -1

20. West Virginia nc

21. Long Beach State +7

22. Vanderbilt +3

23. Texas -2

24. Mississippi State -8

25. Central Florida +5

26. Houston +3

27. Southeastern Louisiana +6

28. Florida State -1

29. St. John’s +2

30. South Carolina -6

32. Ole Miss +3

35. Texas A&M -1

44. Tennessee -7

45. Auburn -4

63. Missouri +8

92. Georgia +2

176. Alabama -5

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