College Baseball 360 Preseason Top-50 for 2014

February 14, 2014
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A Quick Look At The CB360 Top-50 Entering 2014 Season…

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As the season progresses, CB360′s 100-point Composite National Rankings formula ultimately  is centered around upwards of 20 core ingredients – plus a bonus/penalty factor based on record over final-10 games. The CNR combines a diverse collection of “experts” (ranging from coaches, various media, computer calculations and postseason projections) – to help provide a preview of teams that could be in the running for the 2014 NCAA Championship field (hypothetically 50 teams, plus 14 others from lower-rated automatic-bid conferences).

Here’s the CB360 preseason CNR top-50 for the 2014 season. We hope to delve into this top-50 in more detail over the next few days, including a look back at the 2013 preseason CNR top-50 and how it compared with the 2013 NCAA field.

A couple quick observations for now.

• The 2014 season has the makings for one of tremendous turnover from a year ago, as 15 teams that were in the final 2013 CNR top–50 (at end of the regular season) are not in the 2014 CNR preseason top-50 (those 15 teams are listed below, after the current top-50). Due to a tie for the 50th spot, there’s actually 16 teams included below that were not in the final 2013 CNR top-50. Those 16 teams can be viewed by those that have (–) at the end of their respective line. Three teams from the Lone Star State – (22) TCU, (23) Texas and (25) Texas A&M – all find themselves in the 2014 preseason CNR top-25 despite not even being in the final CNR top-50 a year ago.

• More than half of the 2014 College World Series field –(2) Oregon State, (4) Mississippi State, (6) LSU, (7) Indiana and (8) North Carolina State – are among the top-8 teams in the 2014 preseason CNR. Defending NCAA champion UCLA is 11th, while the other 2013 CWS teams are 13th (UNC) and 14th (Louisville).

More later, as we crunch some more numbers and analyze trends over the past few years.

Click Here to view the final 2013 CNR top-50 … and Click Here for the 2013 preseason CNR top-50 (2014 preseason CNR listed below).

CB360 Preseason Composite Top-50 Rankings for 2014
(rank) Team – voting pts  (final 2013 CNR, at end of reg. season)

1. Cal State Fullerton – 98.92  (4)
2. Oregon State – 97.54  (6)
3. Virginia – 96.03  (5)
4. Mississippi State – 95.75  (12)
5. Florida State – 95.48  (7)
6. LSU – 94.24  (3)
7. Indiana – 93.82  (13)
8. North Carolina State – 92.10  (8)
9. Oregon – 91.60  (9)
10. Vanderbilt – 90.88  (2)
11. UCLA – 89.59  (10)
12. South Carolina – 89.54  (11)
13. North Carolina – 87.16  (1)
14. Louisville – 86.14  (14)
15. Rice – 84.10  (22)
16. Clemson – 83.91  (16)
17. Miami – 83.28  (25)
18. Kansas State – 81.54  (21)
19. Florida – 80.82  (34)
20. Oklahoma State – 78.50  (31)
21. Arizona State – 78.30  (15)
22. TCU – 77.71  (–)
23. Texas – 77.70  (–)
24. Louisiana-Lafayette – 77.59  (32)
25. Texas A&M – 76.27  (–)
26. Alabama – 73.90  (39)
27. Cal Poly – 71.34  (28)
28. Arizona – 67.06  (–)
29. East Carolina – 67.02  (–)
30. Arkansas – 65.09  (20)
31. Florida Atlantic – 64.44  (–)
32. Mississippi – 61.37  (18)
33. San Diego – 59.86  (–)
34. Oklahoma – 57.87  (27)
35. Georgia Tech – 57.52  (26)
36. UNC Wilmington – 57.46  (33)
37. UC Santa Barbara – 55.70 (–)
38. Western Carolina – 55.50 (–)
39. Nebraska – 55.13 (–)
40. New Mexico – 54.00  (35)
41. Wichita State –53.24 (–)
42. Stanford – 53.02  (38)
43. Coastal Carolina – 52.86  (40)
44. Kentucky – 51.80  (36)
45. Liberty – 50.31 (–)
46. Mercer –49.70  (24)
46. Sam Houston State – 49.70 (–)
46. UNLV – 49.70 (–)
46. Washington State – 49.70 (–)
50. Houston – 48.20 (–)
50. North Florida – 48.20  (49)

Note – 15 teams that were in the top-50 of the final 2013 CNR, at end of the regular season, are not in the 2014 preseason CNR top-50: (17) South Alabama, (19) Virginia Tech, (23) Troy, (29) Pittsburgh, (30) Campbell, (37) South Florida, (41) Seton Hall, (42) Gonzaga, (43) Michigan State, (44) Austin Peay, (45) Maryland, (46) UC Irvine, (47) Notre Dame, (48) Illinois and (50) Ohio State.

COMPOSITE NATIONAL RANKINGS (CNR) CRITERIA:  Teams receive points based on their standings in each poll/rating/projection (60 pts for #1; 59 for #2, etc.). For polls involving voting points (coaches and CB) and the various RPI-type ratings, the CNR adjusts to reward teams that have larger margins in the voting/point totals (whereas two teams with nearly the same voting-point total will be closer in the CNR allotment for that poll). Note that strength-of-schedule typically is factored into RPI formulations … thus the actual SOS numbers only are used early in the season (SOS are not used in the CNR when RPI already are in the mix). For the NCAA field projections, teams are awarded CNR points based on their respective seedings, “last in” and “last out,” etc.

The polls/ratings/projections are averaged, with 40 points typically then added to each total in order to yield the 100-point benchmark. Early in the season (projected SOS) and late in the season (final-10 games), a maximum bonus/penalty of 0.3 (SOS) or 0.5 points (final-10) is factored into the formula (in that case, 39.7 or 39.5, rather than 40, is added to the poll/rating/projection avg.).

Here are links to the eight criteria currently used in the CNR:
• National Coaches Poll (USA Today/ESPN)
• National Collegiate Baseball Writers poll
• Baseball America poll, in conjunction with BA’s NCAA Tournament projection
• Collegiate Baseball magazine rankings
• Perfect Game preseason rankings, in conjunction with PG’s NCAA Tournament projection
• Boyd’s World projected season strength-of-schedule (bonus points)

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