Let's get one thing straight: I rarely, if ever, complain about the way things turn out that are outside of my (or a team that I love and pull for's) control. This time though, I am furious about the way that the Wake Forest Demon Deacons got snubbed by the NCAA Baseball Tournament committee.
Usually when this happens I look up the stats and find out that I am insanely incorrect and my emotions have gotten the best of me. This time, however, the stats not only back up my anger, but actually took it to a completely higher level.
As the (not so) great Skip Bayless would say ... IT IS ASININE-TEN-ELEVEN that Wake Forest did not make the field of 64 for the 2012 NCAA Baseball Tournament.
Please click through the jump to see the numbers for yourself, as well as how they compare against the "last team in" in the Michigan State Spartans.
Michigan State made it over our beloved Wake Forest Demon Deacons, and it is absolutely laughable that a team with their resume would make it over a team with our resume.
Even, for the sake of argument, if Michigan St. wasn't the "last team in," they still made it over the Deacs, and therefore it needs to show on their resume (and not just because the NCAA doesn't want 8 teams from the ACC in the NCAA Tournament).
Let's just do some simple breakdowns with the numbers out there to get our feet wet and then I'll break it down in-depth:
Michigan State- 37-21 (13-11)
Wake Forest- 33-24 (13-17)
Strength of Schedule
Michigan State- 76
Wake Forest- 16
Record vs. Top 50
Michigan State- 3-6 (9 games)
Wake Forest- 15-19 (34 games)
Record vs. Top 100
Michigan State- 13-12 (25 of 58 games-43%)
Wake Forest- 17-23 (40 of 57 games-70%)
Michigan State- 15-7, 16-8, 6-6
Wake Forest- 25-5, 7-17, 1-2
Good Wins (top 50 wins)
Michigan State- @Baylor (#5), @Purdue (#16), St. Johns (#48)
Wake Forest- Florida St (#3), @UNC (#4), N.C. State (N, #9), @Miami (#11), Georgia Tech x2 (#23), Clemson x3 (#28), Maryland x3 (#33), Virginia Tech x2 (#36)
Bad Losses (Sub-100 losses)
Michigan State- Penn State x2 (#101), Minnesota (131), Pittsburgh (#172), Iowa (#184), Miami OH (#187), Michigan x2 (H&A, #197), Eastern Michigan (#213),
Wake Forest- High Point (119)
Note- Wake got swept by #99 BC in Boston
Michigan State- 5-5
Wake Forest 6-4
So what do all these numbers mean? First of all, to even compare the schedules of these two teams is laughable. Wake Forest played one of the hardest schedules in the country, and for a team that "was not worthy" of an NCAA Tournament bid, did exceptionally well.
Michigan State has the better record, but the 60 spot difference in SOS rankings more than negates the four more wins that Sparty had over us (37 compared to 33).
The ACC was also by far the best conference in the NCAA this year. According to Warren Nolan, the ACC was No. 1 and the Big Ten was No. 10. So Michigan State went 13-11 against the Big Ten, and Wake went 13-17 against the ACC. That seems to be a push at worst for Wake Forest, yet conference record was something brought up to Coach Walter as to why the Deacs didn't make it.
Another reason brought up was the out-of-conference schedule. I don't have the OOC SOS with me, but it seems like this is a legitimate gripe from the NCAA. Even if it is legit, the Deacs won nearly all of those games against the teams (16-1 vs. teams worse than 100 in WN rankings). Michigan State on the other hand went 24-9 against teams worse than 100 in the WN rankings.
You can only beat the teams that you play in the OOC, and that is exactly what Wake Forest did. Michigan State took care of business most of the time, but had some really bad losses that Wake Forest avoided.
Wake's worst loss this year was to High Point (16-15 on Feb. 22nd), while Michigan State had seven losses that were worse than the High Point loss.
Basically, there is absolutely no way that you can look at these two teams and seriously pick Michigan State over Wake Forest. I understand that a sweep @Boston College (No. 99 in WN rankings) in April was really bad for the Deacs, but that should have been negated by the fact that Michigan State lost 2/3 10 DAYS AGO to Penn State (No. 101)in East Lansing.
Sparty did have more evenly distributed wins on the road an on neutral field than the Deacs did, and that probably played a big role in their selection over Wake Forest. When you look at all of the other factors that go into choosing a team, I strongly disagree that those numbers alone put Michigan State in over Wake.
I know that in the end it is not a Wake Forest vs. Michigan State debate in who should get into the tournament, but when there are two teams that the numbers so clearly indicate a better team (and I truly believe that Wake Forest is the better team than Michigan State all things considered), it is unfathomable to me that Michigan State could get in over Wake Forest.
I fully expect the college baseball pundits to come out in support of Wake Forest over Michigan State because I have seen a lot of tweets already that put the stake into Sparty and put Wake Forest in the field.
If there are any numbers that I missed here that would fit in well then please let me know. I realize that I am extremely biased towards Wake Forest because it is a Wake Forest blog, but the numbers do not lie in situations like this, and they nearly all point to Wake Forest over Sparty.
After everything that this team has gone through in the past two years (with Coach Walter and Kevin Jordan), the NCAA Baseball Tournament was a reward that the Deacs not only deserve, but have earned.
Comments, criticisms and praise are always welcome. As always, Go Deacs!