The first regular season edition of the Mid-Major 12 is here!
In the post for our initial set of rankings, we mentioned that there might be more volatility in these rankings than in the traditional top 25 rankings, just because it’s so much harder to gauge success among these mid-majors. How do you compare a team that was swept by a national top-ten team, a team that won two out of three against a comparable mid-major or low power-conference team, and a team that swept a weaker mid-major team?
In the end, the answer is that you combine all of the available information and don’t let traditional poll mechanics get in the way. Just because a team lost a series doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to fall behind a team that won a series over the weekend.
The first six teams in the rankings are the same, as Dallas Baptist, Sam Houston State, Missouri State, Saint Mary’s, St. John’s, and Oral Roberts all had successful weekends. The loss for Saint Mary’s on Monday against CSU-Bakersfield might have raised some eyebrows, but ultimately, their series win over Long Beach State was more than enough to keep them from dropping.
New entrant Jacksonville comes in at number seven. The Dolphins just missed out on the initial rankings in the preseason, but find themselves included after a series win over a West Virginia team that was just outside of the national top 25 in the preseason. San Diego comes in just behind them at eight, falling one spot after splitting four games with Cal and Cincinnati. Stetson and BYU held their ground at nine and ten, and to round out the rankings, we had two new teams, both from the Mountain West.
Fresno State jumps into the rankings at 11 after they swept a four-game series with Michigan State, and San Diego State enters at 12 after sweeping UC-Santa Barbara.
Winthrop, previously number eight, falls out of the rankings after they were swept by Mississippi. This was a tough omission. There’s little shame in being swept by a team ranked inside the top 15 in the country, but they were ultimately just pushed out by new entrants like the aforementioned MWC teams.
It’s a similar story with Wright State, previously ranked 11. As is customary with their non-conference series against teams from power conferences, they played Tulane close, but unlike previous series against these types of teams, they weren’t able to capture a win. The final team to fall out of the rankings is UNC-Greensboro, previously 12, and it’s really no fault of their own. They won a series with Appalachian State, but the exploits of Jacksonville, Fresno State, and San Diego State were just too much to ignore.
NOTE: Team records and results are through Monday’s action.
1. Dallas Baptist Patriots (3-0)
Last week: 1
Results: Monmouth W 7-4, Monmouth W 5-3, Monmouth W 15-4
2. Sam Houston State Bearkats (2-1)
Last week: 2
Results: Kent State L 7-4, Kent State W 5-1, Kent State W 12-6
3. Missouri State Bears (3-1)
Last week: 3
Results: Texas Southern W 8-2, Lamar W 11-2, Lamar L 8-0, Texas Southern W 6-5
4. Saint Mary’s Gaels (2-2)
Last week: 4
Results: Long Beach State L 4-1, Long Beach State W 6-2, Long Beach State W 4-1, CSU-Bakersfield L 3-2
5. St. John’s Red Storm (3-0)
Last week: 5
Results: Campbell W 3-1, Campbell W 1-0, Campbell W 7-1
6. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (3-0)
Last week: 6
Results: Utah W 4-3, Utah W 6-4, Utah W 3-0
7. Jacksonville Dolphins (2-1)
Last week: NR
Results: West Virginia L 5-4, West Virginia W 7-4, West Virginia W 2-1
8. San Diego Toreros (2-2)
Last week: 7
Results: California L 6-1, California W 11-8, Cincinnati L 7-4, Cincinnati W 4-3
9. Stetson Hatters (3-0)
Last week: 9
Results: Manhattan W 6-5, Manhattan W 5-0, Manhattan W 6-2
10. BYU Cougars (3-1)
Last week: 10
Results: Cal State Northridge W 5-3, Cal State Northridge L 10-9, Cal State Northridge W 6-5, Cal State Northridge W 10-8
11. Fresno State Bulldogs (4-0)
Last week: NR
Results: Michigan State W 5-4, Michigan State W 9-4, Michigan State W 2-1, Michigan State W 5-4
12. San Diego State Aztecs (3-0)
Last week: NR
Results: UC-Santa Barbara W 9-1, UC-Santa Barbara W 8-4, UC-Santa Barbara W 7-5
Out: Winthrop (8), Wright State (11), UNC-Greensboro (12)
Others Considered: Mercer, College of Charleston, Liberty, Tennessee Tech, Davidson, UNLV