Week-3 College Baseball Composite Rankings (2015)

February 26, 2015
By

The Virginia Cavaliers – a team that has occupied the top position in the CB360 Top-50 several times during the past few seasons – has returned to that top spot, unseeding preseason #1 and defending national champion Vanderbilt to again sit atop CB360’s exclusive Composite National Rankings (CNR). Although Virginia (7–0) has yet to face a ranked opponent, the Cavs are one of only seven teams without a loss/tie in all of Division I baseball (among 281 that have played, as of Feb. 25). Virginia was the 2014 College World Series runner-up, after splitting two games versus Vanderbilt but losing the decisive third game in the CWS title series eight months ago.

– Scroll down for the current CB360 Top-50
(
CLICK HERE for the preseason top-50, with complete release, historical notes, etc. … WEEK-2 update)

• For SoundCloud audio tidbits of the top-10 teams in the current CNR: CLICK HERE

TCU also has moved up, inching past twice-beaten Vanderbilt into the No. 2 spot. The Frogs (7–1) are coming off a quality road series win over Arizona State (current CB360 #13) while the Commodores now have lost twice to teams outside the top-50 (Santa Clara and Indiana State).

Florida – coming off a series win over rival Miami (current CB360 #14) – still is fourth in the CNR, the same spot it occupied in the preseason and after week-1. Current #5 UCLA and (6) Houston each have moved up a position – although the Cougars lost last night at Texas State (that result will impact next week’s top-50) – while LSU has dropped back a couple spots to 7th, following a loss last week against Nicholls State.

UCF has celebrated victory in all seven of its games so far during the 2015 season.

UCF has celebrated victory in all eight of its games so far during the 2015 season (photo courtesy UCF).

A couple Big 12 rivals, [8] Texas Tech and [9] Texas, have flipped spots from the previous week, while South Carolina rounds out the top group by returning to its familiar position among the top-10. Louisville, after losing 2-of-3 vs. Arkansas State (in Emerson, Ga.), plummeted from 10th to 20th.

Surging Central Florida, another one of the seven unbeatens, registered a pair of notable wins over the weekend in Mobile, Ala., against top foes Maryland and Arkansas. UCF opened the season 38th in the CNR but now has cracked the top-20, at 19th. On the flip side, Cal State Fullerton has slid from a preseason #16 position in the CNR all the way down to its current #44. Stanford – which won a series at Fullerton, but lost midweek on Feb. 16 at home vs. Cal – was 22nd in the preseason CNR but has slipped to 44th.

The CNR Top-50 – which made its debut on CB360 in 2009 – can serve as a snapshot for teams that project for making the NCAAs (as at-large entrants, if they don’t win their conference automatic bids). In the past, the weekly top-50 also has included a listing of other projected NCAA qualifiers, for conferences that don’t feature any teams in the top-50 … and those teams also are included at the bottom of this page, based on a composite of various preseason conference predictions.

Here are some quick notes on the current Top-50 (scroll down for the full listing):

• Coming and Going – These nine teams have moved into the CB360 Top-50 following week-2:
[25] Dallas Baptist … won at Baylor and won 2-of-3 at San Diego
[29] Georgia … won 2-of-3 vs. Florida State
[33] San Diego State … beat LMU and went 1–1 vs. UC Riverside
[36] Florida Atlantic … beat Miami and won 2-of-3 vs. Ohio State
[37] USC … won at Fullerton, beat Kentucky and swept 3-gm series vs. Oakland
[39] Tulane … won at Southeastern Louisiana and swept 3-gm home series vs. San Fran.
[40] Nevada … won at Texas Tech and swept 3-gm home series vs. Fresno State
[41] Grand Canyon … swept 3-gm series at Cal Poly
[50] UNC Wilmington … beat Wake Forest (twice), Western Carolina and Georga Mason

… and these nine have slipped outside the top-50:
[31] Florida International … lost at Stetson, went 2–2 in South Carolina (losses vs. Ga. Tech and N.C. St.; won two vs. N.C. Central)
[37] Cal Poly (#28 preseason) … won at Fresno but was swept in 3-gm home series by Grand Canyon
[39] UC Irvine (41) … lost 3-of-4 at Cal
[45] Louisiana (Lafayette) (44) … won at Northwestern (La.) State and won 2-of-3 vs. Stony Brook
[46] Sam Houston State (47) … won at Texas State and went 1–3 in Corpus Christi (loss vs. Missouri, two losses vs. Purdue, won vs. A&M-CC)
[47] Washington … won at UOP (finishing 4-gm sweep) and went 1–3 in Arizona (win vs. K-St.; losses vs. KU, OU and OK St.)
[48] Pepperdine (45) … lost at Long Beach State and swept 3-gm home series vs. Butler
[49] St. John’s (40) … went 2–1 at East Carolina tournament (won vs. Liberty and UNCG; loss vs. ECU)
[50] Fresno State … lost home game vs. Cal Poly and was swept in 3-gm series at Nevada

• Movers & Shakers – These four other teams climbed nine of more spots within the top-50:
Central Florida  (#33 to #19) … beat Bethune-Cookman and went 3–0 in Mobile vs. Maryland, Arkansas and South Alabama
Oregon State  (#28 to #28) … went 3–2 in Arizona (wins over OK St., Kansas St. and KU; losses vs. New Mexico and Oklahoma)
• College of Charleston (#42 to #30) … swept three games vs. Citadel (two at home, one on road)
Baylor (#43 to #34) … lost to Dallas Baptist and won 2-of-3 vs. Kent State

… and these six teams each slid seven or more sports while still remaining within the top-50:
• Cal State Fullerton (#22 to #43) … lost vs. USC and lost 2-of-3 vs. Stanford (all at home)
Liberty (#27 to #46) … went 1–2 at East Carolina tournment (beat ECU; lost to St. John’s and UNCG)
• Stanford (#26 to #44) … lost to Cal and won 2-of-3 at Fullerton
Indiana (#32 to #49) … went 1–2 at Furman tournament (beat Xavier; lost to Presbyterian and Furman)
Loyola Marymount (#35 to #47) … lost at San Diego State and went 1–2 vs. St. Joseph’s
Louisville (#10 to #20) … lost 2-of-3 vs. Arkansas State (in Emerson, GA)
Arkansas (#25 to #35) … went 1–2 in Mobile with losses vs. UCF And Maryland win vs. South Alabama

CONFERENCE CALL – Here is the breakdown of the current CB360 top-50, by conference:

• 11 SEC teams (3 top-8; 5 top-16; 6 top-25) – (3) Vandy, (4) Florida, (7) LSU, (10) SC, (16) Miss. St., (24) A&M, (26) Ole Miss, (29) UGa, (31) AL, (35) Ark and (45) TN

• 7 ACC teams (1 top-8; 3 top-16; 5 top-25 ) – (1) UVa, (12) UNC, (14) Miami, (20) Louisville, (22) FSU, (32) Ga. Tech and (48) Clemson

• 6 Pac-12 teams (1 top-8; 3 top-16; 3 top-25): – (5) UCLA, (13) ASU, (14) Oregon, (28) Oregon St, (37) USC and (44) Stanford

• 5 Big 12 teams (2 top-8; 3 top-16; 4 top-25) – (2) TCU, (8) Texas Tech, (9) Texas, (18) Oklahoma St and (34) Baylor

• 4 Big Ten teams (1 top-25 team) – (21) Maryland, (27) Illinois, (42) Nebraska and (49) Indiana

• 3 American Athletic Conf. teams (1 top-8) – (6) Houston, (19) UCF and (39) Tulane

• 3 Mountain West teams – (33) San Diego State, (38) UNLV and (40) Nevada

• 2 Conference USA teams (1 top-16) – (11) Rice and (36) Florida Atlantic

• 2 Big West teams (1 top-25) – (17) UCSB and (43) Cal State Fullerton

• 2 Colonial Athletic Assoc. teams– (30) Coll. of Charleston and (50) UNC Wilmington

• 1 each (6 teams) – Atlantic Sun (#23 Kennesaw) … Missouri Valley (#25 Dallas Baptist) … WAC (#41 Grand Canyon) … Big South (#46 Liberty) … WCC (#47 LMU)

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 preseason conference coaches polls) and late in the season (final-10 games), a maximum bonus/penalty of 2.0 (SOS & conf. poll) or 0.5 points (final-10) is factored into the formula (in that case, 38.0, or 39.5, rather than 40, is added to the poll/rating/projection avg.).

(Note that the current CNR formula was adjusted somewhat, due to the coaches poll not being updated since preseason. That poll still was factored into the current CNR but only at a 50% value compared to the other polls, which are updated through week-2. As a result, the baseline for the CNR this week is 36 rather than 40).

Here are links to the eight criteria currently used in the CNR:
• Preseason National Coaches Poll (USA Today/ESPN; top-25, plus rec. votes); only carried half the weight of the other polls in the current CNR
• National Collegiate Baseball Writers poll (top-30, plus rec. votes)
• DIBaseball.com top-25 (plus rec. votes)
• Baseball America top-25
• Collegiate Baseball magazine rankings (30 teams)
• Perfect Game rankings (top-25)
• Boyd’s World projected season strength of schedule (bonus points, max. 1.0)
• Assorted conference preseason coaches polls (bonus points, max. 1.0)

CB360 Composite National Rankings #3 (top-50, plus projected NCAA field-of-64)
(through games as of 2–22–15)
(rank) Team – voting pts (previous week … 2015 preseason)
1. Virginia – 97.22  (#2 after week-1 … #2 preseason)
2. TCU – 96.36  (3 … 3)
3. Vanderbilt – 96.22 (1 … 1)
4. Florida – 94.79  (4 … 4)
5. UCLA – 94.21  (6 … 6)
6. Houston – 93.30  (7 … 8)
7. LSU – 93.16  (5 … 5)
8. Texas Tech – 90.52  (9 … 17)
9. Texas – 90.49  (8 … 9)
10. South Carolina – 89.39  (12 … 11)
11. Rice – 85.70  (15 … 14)
12. North Carolina – 83.80  (14 … 12)
13. Arizona State – 83.20  (17 … 15)
14. Miami – 82.39  (11 … 18)
14. Oregon – 82.39  (18 … 21)
16. Mississippi State – 81.21  (19 … 19)
17. UC Santa Barbara – 78.44  (21 … 25)
18. Oklahoma State – 77.91  (13 … 7)
19. Central Florida (UCF) – 76.69  (33 … 38)
20. Louisville – 74.43  (10 … 10)
21. Maryland – 73.94  (20 … 20)
22. Florida State – 70.50  (16 … 13)
23. Kennesaw State – 66.51  (23 … 23)
24. Texas A&M – 65.61  (24 … 33)
25. Dallas Baptist – 58.25  (– … 50)
26. Mississippi – 57.07  (28 … 24)
27. Illinois – 53.32  (30 … 37)
28. Oregon State – 51.26  (38 … 31)
29. Georgia – 50.50  (– … –)
30. College of Charleston – 50.28  (42 … 34)
31. Alabama – 48.88  (29 … 35)
32. Georgia Tech – 48.52  (34 … 39)
33. San Diego State – 48.17  (– … –)
34. Baylor – 46.42  (43 … –)
35. Arkansas – 46.13  (25 … 36)
36. Florida Atlantic – 45.30  (– … –)
37. USC – 42.97  (– … –)
38. UNLV – 42.27  (40 … –)
39. Tulane – 41.90  (– … –)
40. Nevada – 41.84  (– … –)
41. Grand Canyon – 41.57  (– … –)
42. Nebraska – 41.36  (36 … 26)
43. Cal State Fullerton – 40.63  (22 … 16)
44. Stanford – 40.16  (26 … 22)
45. Tennessee – 39.02  (41 … 30)
46. Liberty – 38.57  (27 … 29)
47. Loyola Marymount – 38.52  (35 … 32)
48. Clemson – 38.13  (44 … 27)
49. Indiana – 38.04  (32 … –)
50. UNC Wilmington – 38.01  (– … –)

16 Other Projected 2015 NCAA Tournament Teams (in addition to the top-48 listed above);
(based on composite preseason projections; to be updated throughout season):
Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt) … St. John’s  (BIG EAST) … Western Carolina  (SoCon)
Sam Houston State  (Southland) … Kent State  (Mid-American) … Southeast Missouri State  (Ohio Valley)
Bucknell  (Patriot League) … Bryant  (Northeast) … Alabama State  (SWAC)
Virginia Commonwealth  (A-10) … Stony Brook  (America East) … Wright State  (Horizon League)
Penn  (Ivy League) … Bethune-Cookman  (MEAC) … Canisius  (MAAC) … Oral Roberts  (Summit)

– Dropped Out of the Top-50:
31. Florida International
37. Cal Poly (#28 preseason)
39. UC Irvine (41)
45. Louisiana (Lafayette) (44)
46. Sam Houston State (47)
47. Washington
48. Pepperdine (45)
49. St. John’s (40)
50. Fresno State

Note: the following teams dropped out of the top-50 after being in the preseason CNR: (42) Kent State, (43) Wichita State, (46) Ball State, (48) San Diego and (49) Kentucky (also #50 Dallas Baptist, which now has returned to the top-50).