Baseball: Q&A with Tim Corbin

VandyMania talked with Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin about his team's chances for an at-large bid to the NCAA, plan for practice and his contract.

VandyMania: Why do you deserve to be in the tourney?
Tim Corbin: The body of work over the course of year more than anything else, the strength of the schedule, and the key wins that we've gotten through out. I hope what doesn't happen but what might happen is that we get penalized for being in the number one conference in the country. I think from start to finish we played pretty consistently, obviously in the SEC you get beaten out sometimes to the point to where you don't think you might be as good as what you really are. But if you look at the margin of difference in the win column and the loss column from teams one through ten it's pretty darn close. You've got four teams in Birmingham that are behind us in the RPIs. I would just have to say that over the course of the season we've played well enough to be in a regional.

VandyMania: There's a lot of discussion with the Baseball tournament, like do we take the best 64 teams or do we want to try to make sure we have equal representation. Do you feel we should have the true 64 best in baseball even if that means 11 SEC teams?
Tim Corbin: Personally, I mean, that's why a lot of people like myself strive to coach in this conference because in terms of baseball it is seen as being an elite conference. That being the case, for me you're trying to get the best 64 teams in one tournament like they do in basketball. Now I understand you have to be fair but if you're trying to build equality throughout the country and take three teams just to say we need more Midwestern teams or more northern teams just to fill out a bracket and you're going to leave out teams that are pretty darn good I wouldn't think that's right. When you look at baseball versus basketball there are teams all over the country. Baseball's not that way, it's kind of a swing from the Sunbelt to the West coast, that's just because of the nature of the weather and the nature of the programs, it's a different field. But in my opinion it's about equality and getting the best 64 teams.

VandyMania: In order for you guys to get in there'd essentially need to be 10 teams from the SEC, which is unprecedented. Does that work against you?
Tim Corbin: I don't know the thought process. If you look at it from a ten-team situation then it probably shoots a negative feel. But if you're looking at it in terms of the best teams.. I mean, how do you differentiate (other than the SEC tournament) between Arkansas, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Auburn, maybe even Georgia? Had Mississippi State played that third game against UT, I mean who knows, we might be in the tournament now. It's just so close. And now you've got teams in the bottom tier beating teams in the top tier of the tournament. When you've got that little of difference in a conference, you know and I know it that that conference is pretty darn good and it keeps getting better and because of that reason you've got to get the best teams from the conference in the tournament. That's the way I look at it, but the way I look at may not be the same way other people look at it. Some might say that Vanderbilt has no shot what-so-ever, and we may have no shot. If you get to a situation where a lot of those other teams in conference USA or Big East end up upsetting and a lot of teams that don't normally get in do get in, then you're going to have issues. But if your looking for teams then I think we've got a shot.

VandyMania: What are the goals of this practice?
Tim Corbin: We want to get reenergized and work towards next season and work towards the possibility of playing again. We'll just treat this like the first day of fall practice basically, just go back to fundamentals because we've got some time to do it. We'll try to get the guys into some type of rhythm and try to talk about the little things that can move them from here to there.

VandyMania: How's practicing going to be for the rest of the week?
Tim Corbin: We'll practice up until Sunday. Then we'll just watch and wait and if we get in then we'll be practicing.

VandyMania: Rumors are budding about the reasons you haven't signed the new contract. What are your real reasons?
Tim Corbin: That really just has to do with my desire to improve the facilities. The contract is just a sidebar to what's really happening. The contract is really just a personal thing.


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