DILLON PLEW (WSU)

The Pac-12 is one of the very, very few that does not hold a conference tournament in baseball. Why?

THE END OF the college baseball regular season is approaching and seven Pac-12 schools, including Washington State, are projected to miss out on the postseason. It shouldn’t be this way.

The Pac-12, along with the Big West and the Ivy League, will watch from the sidelines as virtually every other conference holds its tournament. How glaring is the Pac-12 omission?

NCAA.com


The reasons why the Pac-12 doesn't hold a conference tournament in baseball aren't readily apparent. While major league baseball remains hugely popular, the Pac-12 baseball season by comparison causes barely a ripple among its fans. A postseason conference baseball tournament could change that.

Give a team like WSU, having won four of its last five Pac-12 series, a chance to make the field of 64 by winning it all in the conference tourney and even casual fans will follow.  It could also be a nice showcase for the Pac-12 Networks.

The Cougs are 24-26 and 10-17 in conference play and if you think a team with a 10-17 league record can't win the tournament, think again. In baseball, on any given day, anyone can win. Oregon State won the national championship in 2007 despite finishing sixth in the Pac-10 conference with a 10-14 record.

The Pac-12 could hold a full tournament (like the SEC does) and feature single-elimination play-in games followed by double elimination brackets. Or they could make it a 10-team affair like many other conferences do.  Whatever works best. It would draw big exposure -- like the other conferences all will this week.

The financial gains through tickets, concessions and merchandise would all be positives. It could also add another Pac-12 team to the field of 64 beyond the mere four projected to get in (OSU, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona).

Pac-12 baseball needs to become more like Pac-12 basketball and recreate the hope at the end of the season that was present at the start. A conference tournament would add more fans and revenue in the process. Everybody wins.

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