UCLA + USC to B1G

coolonetoo

Junior
May 12, 2003
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SHOULD be good for B1G and NU baseball. Time will tell if adding California schools lifts the conference profile or puts a boat anchor on USC and UCLA instead.
 

kyle23

Defensive Coordinator
Gold Member
Sep 25, 2005
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My first thought was that USC and UCLA will absolutely dominate the rest of the conference in baseball. Expansion won’t stop at 16 so more challengers will be added. Conference titles aren’t getting any easier to win.
 

saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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Question for me is will the conference tournament stay in Omaha or move to sunny Southern California?

Also, that 3v6 9am game in Omaha will feel like a 7am game to those two teams.
 

HuskerFan31

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Question for me is will the conference tournament stay in Omaha or move to sunny Southern California?

Also, that 3v6 9am game in Omaha will feel like a 7am game to those two teams.
Nobody will go to it in sunny Southern California. I wonder if they will adopt the SEC format and expand it to 12 teams?
 

saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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Nobody will go to it in sunny Southern California. I wonder if they will adopt the SEC format and expand it to 12 teams?
That SEC format is strange, but does increase access and reduce the number of games for many teams.

The SEC has the luxury of doing that as they will already be getting a bunch of teams into the NCAA tournament and they know they have bigger goals in mind.

The Big Ten doesn't have that luxury and teams getting bounced also bounces them from the NCAA tournament. The Big Ten is very much a mid-major conference in baseball. Take a look at some of the basketball low- and mid-major conference tournaments. They arrange double byes in not huge conferences to make sure their top teams are exposed to little risk and to give them a better opportunity to get to the NCAA tournament.
 

HuskerFan31

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That SEC format is strange, but does increase access and reduce the number of games for many teams.

The SEC has the luxury of doing that as they will already be getting a bunch of teams into the NCAA tournament and they know they have bigger goals in mind.

The Big Ten doesn't have that luxury and teams getting bounced also bounces them from the NCAA tournament. The Big Ten is very much a mid-major conference in baseball. Take a look at some of the basketball low- and mid-major conference tournaments. They arrange double byes in not huge conferences to make sure their top teams are exposed to little risk and to give them a better opportunity to get to the NCAA tournament.
I don't disagree with what you're saying, but the league will soon be at 16 and likely go to 20-24 quickly after that so I doubt they can stick with an 8 team format for long. Regardless of any of that, they need to sign a lifetime contract with Omaha.
 
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saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
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I don't disagree with what you're saying, but the league will soon be at 16 and likely go to 20-24 quickly after that so I doubt they can stick with an 8 team format for long. Regardless of any of that, they need to sign a lifetime contract with Omaha.
What about something like some of the hockey conferences do (or did) and stretch out the conference tournament a little bit longer.

Back when UNO was in the CCHA, there would be essentially "play-in" series the weekend before the main conference tournament.

Right now, the end of the regular season gets screwy because they are trying to "shorten" weeks leading into a conference tournament which starts on a Wednesday. So the weekend before that, games right now start on Thursday.

In the Big Ten with 15 baseball teams (assuming this doesn't provide an impetus for Wisconsin to resurrect their program), maybe you don't want to include all 15 (just like they don't include all 13 now). But take the top 12 and have them play a best of three series to qualify for the Omaha portion of the conference tournament. So #12 at #1, #11 at #2, etc. Home/away designations either being G1-higher seed, G2-lower seed, G3-coin flip as they do in Super Regionals, or the host is the home team regardless to aid the higher seeds in the quest to getting them into the NCAA tournament.

Start the conference tournament on Thursday, and treat it like Regionals were previous to when Super Regionals existed (before 1999): Rather than two teams getting a bye, everyone plays day one and the brackets are variable depending on the number of teams left in each round.

Thursday
G1: #1 vs. #6
G2: #2 vs. #5
G3: #3 vs. #4

Friday
G4: W1 vs. L3
G5: W2 vs. W3
G6: L1 vs. L2

Then you evaluate for the number of teams remaining; basically, did W1 also win G4?

\\\\\\\\ Scenario A: W1 wins G1 ////////

If W1 wins G4, there are four teams left:
W4: 2-0
L4: 0-2 (eliminated)
W5: 2-0
L5: 1-1
W6: 1-1
L6: 0-2 (eliminated)

In this scenario, Saturday is as follows:
G7: W4 (2-0) vs. W5 (2-0)
G8: L4 (1-1) vs. L5 (1-1)
G9: L7 (2-1) vs. W8 (2-1)

... then Sunday:
G10: W7 (3-0) vs. W9 (3-1)
... and if W9 wins G10...
G11: W9 (4-1) vs. W7 (3-1)

\\\\\\\\ Scenario B: L3 wins G1 ////////

If L3 wins G4, there are five teams left:
W4: 1-1
L4: 1-1
W5: 2-0
L5: 1-1
W6: 1-1
L6: 0-2 (eliminated)

In this scenario, Saturday is as follows:
G7: L4 (1-1) vs. L5 (1-1)
G8: W4 (1-1) vs. W6 (1-1)
G9: W5 (2-0) vs. W7 (2-1)

Scenario B1: W5 wins G9.

If W5 wins G9, there are two teams left:
W7/L9: 2-2 (eliminated)
L7: 1-2 (eliminated)
W8: 2-1
L8: 1-2 (eliminated)
W9: 3-0
L6: 0-2 (eliminated)

Sunday becomes...
G10: W9 (3-0) vs. W8 (2-1)
... and if W8 wins G10...
G11: W8 (3-1) vs. W9 (3-1)

Scenario B2: W7 wins G9.

If W7 wins G9, there are three teams left:
L7: 1-2 (eliminated)
W8: 2-1
L8: 1-2 (eliminated)
W9: 2-1
L9: 2-1
L6: 0-2 (eliminated)

Sunday becomes...
G10: W8 (2-1) vs. L9 (2-1)
G11: W9 (2-1) vs. W10 (3-1)

////////

I think I did that all right. Some game orders and matchups could be switched around regardless. For example, knowing the loser of 3v4 will play the winner of 1v6 in the first game the next day (G4), I would make 3v4 G2 rather than G3 (this changes up the rest of the game numbering, I kept the game sequencing the same as the NCAA tourney Wikipedia pages).

Of course, that isn't a nice, clean, easy-to-consume bracket which will interest the casual fan, and it's not TV friendly either. But it does still provide a double-elimination format, will save on pitching, lessens compressing the schedule compared to the current arrangement.

Or give the top X teams a "bye" on the final weekend, then have the #X+1 through #(14-X) play best-of-three qualifying series, then have the eight-team conference tournament as it is currently played.

Or give the top X teams a "bye" on the final weekend, then have the #X+1 through #(12-X) play best-of-three qualifying series, then have the six-team conference tournament described above.

Plenty of options.
 

Hskrbsbl2020

Redshirt Freshman
Dec 1, 2019
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The Big Ten is very much a mid-major conference in baseball.

The actual data doesn't support your statement. 2022 is an outlier...

2021
6 PAC
4 B12
3 B1G

2019
5 B1G
5 B12
5 PAC

2018
5 B12
4 B1G
4 PAC

2017
7 B12
5 B1G
4 PAC

2016
4 PAC
3 B1G
3 B12

2015
6 PAC
5 B1G
3 B12

Nebraska entering - 2014 = 1 or 2.

No actual mid-major has averaged 4+ teams per season in the tournament like the B1G has. We trail the B12 by 2 total bids over this same 6 season period.
 
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saluno22

Defensive Coordinator
Mar 1, 2006
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The actual data doesn't support your statement. 2022 is an outlier...

2021
6 PAC
4 B12
3 B1G

2019
5 B1G
5 B12
5 PAC

2018
5 B12
4 B1G
4 PAC

2017
7 B12
5 B1G
4 PAC

2016
4 PAC
3 B1G
3 B12

2015
6 PAC
5 B1G
3 B12

Nebraska entering - 2014 = 1 or 2.

No actual mid-major has averaged 4+ teams per season in the tournament like the B1G has. We trail the B12 by 2 total bids over this same 6 season period.
I stand corrected. Recency bias must have gotten to me (2022: 2 B1G)