The biggest news last week was that the NCAA Baseball Committee has recommended changing the way the RPI is calculated for the 2013 season. The revised RPI formula will value each road victory as 1.3 instead of 1.0. Each home win will be valued at 0.7 instead of 1.0. Conversely, each home loss will count 1.3 against at team’s RPI and each road loss will count 0.7 against a team. This is similar to the changes made in Division I men’s and women’s basketball where road wins are weighted as 1.4 and home victories are weighted at 0.6. That was based on statistical data that consistently showed home teams in Division I basketball winning about two-thirds of the time.
College Baseball Daily was able to catch up to coaches from around the country to get their thoughts on the new rules and what changes they might have for their 2013 schedules if they are adopted by NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel meeting on August 11th. You can check out the coaches comments below and the NCAA did a study on what the changes would have done for the 2011 season if they were in effect which can be checked out by clicking here.
Steve Smith, Baylor
1. Compensates Northern teams for the larger number of road games they play.
2. Puts more pressure on Southern teams that play an unusual number of Home games.
Michael Gambino, Boston College
I like the idea. Everyone knows that playing at home is a benefit because of the mental and physical grind that traveling takes on athletes at any level (professional or collegiate.) This also shows how much the growth in the popularity of college baseball and the attendance is actually affecting the game. Fans and students are having a big enough impact on games that we’re having to do things to take that into account. I think that’s awesome. Additionally, it points out that we’re looking at some of the inherent advantages some schools have, for whatever reasons, and trying to somewhat even the playing field. If we’re truly worried about getting the best clubs into the post-season then taking some of those advantages out of the equation is a good thing. Some people might say this rule favors northern teams, I don’t think it does though. I think it just puts everyone in the same boat. Teams can still choose to play 45 games at home if they would like, it’s up to them. For teams like us, though, that don’t have that option, it doesn’t make playing your first 20 or so games on the road as much of a disadvantage.
Mike Martin Sr., Florida State
I see nothing wrong with the current RPI. We have tweaked the RPI (in the past) to an extent that I think is fair for everyone competing at the Division I level. The changes recommended by the baseball committee are pretty drastic. You are penalizing schools that play home games because the weather is warmer. You are then rewarding schools that can’t play at home. Why are you penalizing schools that play at home against a school that wants to go on the road and play to get out of the colder weather? It just does not make any sense to me.
Jim Toman, Liberty
I think the new RPI proposals are certainly a step in the right direction. We all know that it is a little harder to win on the road and the new rules will reward teams for going on the road and winning. I applaud the Division 1 Baseball Committee for making these recommendations and hope that they are approved.
Justin Hill, Associate Head Coach, Louisiana-Monroe
I think it’s going to really help the mid-major conferences like the Sun Belt because SEC/Big 12/ACC teams will be forced to make a decision on whether they will stay at home for their entire non-conference schedule and rely on their conference record or make a concerted effort to have a good RPI.
No doubt LSU was a good team this year but they only played 3 non-conference road games. They have their reasons but it’s still unbalanced.
Now I don’t think you will ever see a 9th place team from any conference considered for an NCAA bid.
It will also reward teams like us who play a challenging non-conference schedule.
Jim Foster, Rhode Island
I just want something that is as close to fair for everyone as possible. I like the fact that they are putting more weight on road wins because we play a majority of our games on the road against good competition.
Maybe we can attract some top teams to come play us on a buy weekend because they will find it beneficial to go and play another quality opponent on the road. Hopefully it will help us geographically.
I think if you start to try and figure out things like that too much, you can get in trouble. I just want to play the best schedule we can and go from there.
Dave Serrano, Tennessee
As always, the NCAA is out to even the playing field. It will probably see our program change our out of conference slate from three home and one road weekend series to having two home and two away in 2013. Over time, the change will be good for the overall health of College Baseball.
Ty Harrington, Texas State
I’m not 100 percent sure of the way this will all work, but I understand that 75 percent of the RPI is still through strength of schedule. I’m interested in the issue of bonus points and the affect that will have, but it certainly appears they’re trying to encourage schools to go try and get quality road wins. Hopefully that means some more schools will want to come to our great stadium and play us at Bobcat Ballpark with the idea of them trying to earn a road win. So this might actually help us out with our home scheduling.
Dan Spencer, Texas Tech
We treat every game the same – whether playing at home or on the road. We tell our team that at the end of the year every game counts. I know the selection committee will look at the RPI when putting together the tournament field, but if we take care of our business in conference and win the games we are supposed to it will all take care of itself when it comes to selection time.
Tim Chambers, UNLV
I like it. It gives you an incentive to get out there and not only play better teams, but get away from home and get a sense of playing in a hostile atmosphere. I think its key to build a strong schedule during the season, whether it’s home or away. Playing top caliber teams only prepares you for conference games and postseason play. In order to see where you measure up nationally, you need to get out there and play quality teams both home and away, and now it is even more rewarding for being willing to go out on a limb and hit the road and play some tough competition. I think you’ll see more and more of the better teams travel a little more now, maybe see some matchups that dont happen to often, which will be an exciting thing moving forward.
Nino Giarratano, University of San Francisco
I feel this is a great step in the right direction to even the playing field and give teams that play on the road due to un-equal facilities, and budget may have a chance to show how close there teams power is across the country . You will still need to win, however it may close the gap on the sixth, seventh place teams in the BCS power conference.
Rob Cooper, Wright State
I believe on paper that this rule change is a good thing for the overall health of College Baseball. If you head on the road early in the season, you will be rewarded by winning games on the road like in other sports. I hope to see more intersectional matchups in the Northern half of the country with the change.