Bomber's Wednesday resume report

As the fifth-ranked Aggie baseball team heads down the final stretch, what are the odds of receiving a national-seed, allowing them to host games at Olsen Field all the way to the College World Series in Omaha? Aggie Websider's Lanny Hayes analyzes the latest stats.

Our weekly "Resume Watch" continues with a look at the Aggies through their first 49 games, including 21 in Big 12 play. There are 7 regular season games left to play, six of which are in league play, plus at least three games in the Big 12 tournament.

The NCAA selection committee uses a large set of data when determining the field, 1-4 seeds, and the coveted eight national seeds. Commonly known as the "Nitty Gritty Report," it provides each team's overall and conference record, RPI, non-conference record and RPI, Road Record, Performance in Last 15 Games, and record vs RPI tiers.

The analysis you see here is based upon years of watching how the committee works, and a line-by-line delineation of the strengths and weaknesses in the A&M resume.

Overall Record: 41-8
The Aggies were the first team to reach 40 wins, and their 41 are currently the highest in the country. This record currently sits as the third best in the country (behind 39-5 Miami and 40-7 Florida State). Early season losses to Northern Colorado keep this from being a ridiculously gaudy 43-6, plus dropping a Rutgers game that the Ags seemed to have well in hand that further keeps them from 44-5. These losses are the worst on A&M's resume, but they came early enough in the year (specifically the UNC losses) that the committee is likely to largely ignore them. The committee won't even have to do that, though; there's no debating the value of this record.
Bomber's Pick: National Seed Worthy

RPI: #6
The Aggies have improved from #8 to #5 over the past week, and their ending strength of schedule is almost ridiculous. Staying in the RPI Top 8 is virtual must, and doing that simply requires winning. Boyd's World suggests that A&M can finish the season 4-3 and finish with a Top 8 RPI. An OSU win over Rice tonight likely moves the Aggies up to #5 tomorrow.
Bomber's Pick: National Seed Worthy

Conference Record: 18-3 in #4 RPI Conference
A&M started league play with a 3-3 mark but have swept five straight since then. Fans initially pointed at the Texas Tech and Saturday OSU losses as games that the team really needed to win, but it's difficult to get greedy with an .857 conference winning percentage. As it sits today, this is a truly outstanding mark and the success allows the Aggies to "struggle" to 3-3 in the final six games and still be sitting very pretty – and possibly secure a conference title. A&M's magic number over Nebraska is 4, and 3 over Oklahoma State
Bomber's Pick: National Seed Worthy

Non-Conference Record: 23-5
Aggie fans may be a bit spoiled by last year's ridiculous 28-2 record outside of Big 12 play, but this year's mark is also quite impressive. Last year's team did have the #1 Non-Conference RPI, a number that they rode to a host spot, but this year's team cannot hang its head on that due to a lower strength of schedule. The lower SOS mark is a combination of lighter scheduling plus teams who were strong in '07 (when they were scheduled, such as Ohio State, Arkansas, and Rutgers) having less competitive 2008 campaigns. The wins over Dallas Baptist were definitely an aid to the RPI.
Bomber's Pick: #1 seed worthy

Road Record: 10-2
While some fan bases point to the number of games away from Olsen, Rob Childress' scheduling philosophy is certainly paying dividends for this team. The only two losses were in Stillwater, 3-2 and 6-4, and the wins include two against Top 50 RPI teams TCU and Houston. This type of record is typical amongst the Top 3 RPI teams in the nation (Miami, Florida State, and North Carolina) who are perceived a shoe-ins for national seeds. A pair of wins in Lincoln plus closing out the remaining mid-week OOC games (all on the road, vs Sam Houston and UTA) can easily make this national-seed worthy.
Bomber's Pick: #1 Seed worthy

Last 15 Games: 13-2
Other than laying an egg against Rice and the Thursday Dallas Baptist debacle, the Aggies have done everything right in the last few weeks. A&M will be hard-pressed to maintain this lofty figure, but a 4-3 number in the last seven (given the strength of schedule) should be enough to keep them in the national seed hunt.
Bomber's Pick: National Seed Worthy

Record vs RPI Tiers: 1-3 vs Top 25, 17-4 vs Top 50, 19-4 vs Top 75, 27-6 vs Top 100, 32-8 vs Top 150
The mark against Top 25 clubs isn't particularly impressive, especially compared to teams perceived to be strong national seed contenders, but the Aggies have an opportunity to improve with three games against #8 Nebraska. The Top 50 and 75 record is national-seed worthy, while the Top 100 record is one of the nation's best winning percentages against that tier.
Bomber's Pick: #1 Seed, fringe National Seed Worthy

The Last Word:
If it all ended today, A&M is clearly a national seed and has the opportunity to host all the way to Omaha. Very few teams have a consensus national seed resume, and 2008 is no exception with only a few teams considered "locks" at this point.

The Nebraska series probably won't break the Aggies chances if they go 1-2, but a 2-1 weekend secures the national seed bid (so long as we do not tank in the final games plus the tournament). Should the Huskers sweep A&M, all bets are removed from the table.

Even if the Ags take 2-of-3, they need to avoid falling flat against Texas and in OKC.

Bomber's Pick: A&M earns a national seed by winning the Big 12 regular season outright plus their mid-week game against UT-Arlington.

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