The Norman Transcript


May 9, 2012

Low RPI could cost Sooners NCAA tourney berth

NORMAN — The nightmare scenario that keeps Oklahoma baseball coach Sunny Golloway out of deep sleep keeps drawing closer. On May 28, the field for the NCAA Tournament is going to be announced. As of Tuesday, the Sooners appear to be on the outside looking in.

The reason is where it stands in the Ratings Percentage Index. The all-powerful tip sheet the NCAA Tournament selection committee uses to rank teams isn’t fond of how OU got to 30-19 on the season. That 3-12 mark against teams ranked in the top 50 is like dragging a 200-pound ball and chain around.

OU is not alone. The RPI isn’t fond of the Big 12 Conference as a whole. Texas and Oklahoma State are tied with Texas A&M for second place in the league. The Longhorns are No. 47 in the RPI and Oklahoma State is No. 85. That’s typically too low for an at-large berth.

So, how did the Big 12 Conference, which has placed at least five teams in the NCAA Tournament every season since 1998 and typically considered no worse than the third best league in college baseball, fall out of favor?

Two things happened: Nebraska left the Big 12 and the Big 12 failed to adjust the schedule to make up for the Huskers’ departure.

The Huskers weren’t even good enough to qualify for the Big 12 tournament their last two seasons in the league. How could that make a difference?

What Nebraska was good enough to do is keep conference teams from playing a three-game series against lowly teams in April and May. With two off weeks just about every conference team has played at least one weekend series against a team ranked below 200 in RPI in the final eight weeks of the season.

“We didn’t see it at the time, and coaches were part of it; it’s not an administrative deal from the Big 12 office; it’s everybody,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said. “Those two bye weekends means we’ve added over 20 bad RPI games to the league.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock How Paris got her groove back

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sooners will have to do the right thing eventually

    Don’t read anything into the non-suspension suspension Oklahoma leveled at true freshman running back Joe Mixon Wednesday....

    July 31, 2014

  • In this case, Sooner fans can rest easy

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The Sooner Caravan ended its summer run at the Jim Thorpe Museum and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. OU coach Bob Stoops did not take questions, but one of the major topics was the $370 million renovation to ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014

  • Ives to crew chief for Dale Jr. in 2015

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There was no shortage of candidates to replace Steve Letarte as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s crew chief The list of applicants was long, but Hendrick Motorsports has always liked to groom its own talent. So the organization ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Gustafson wants Gordon’s team focused on Chase

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Jeff Gordon viewed his Brickyard 400 win as a turning point for his race team. Confidence had been building with every strong run, but his victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway pushed his crew to another level. It was ...

    July 31, 2014