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May 16th, 2019

Weekend Fourteen preview

The last weekend of college baseball before conference tournaments is upon us, and we are taking a deeper look at the ten series with the greatest postseason implications.

Courtesy of Nebraska Athletics

10. #28 Michigan at Nebraska

With their RPI down to 49, Michigan could use a marquee road win to lock up a potential at-large bid. If the Wolverines lose this series, they could find themselves in need of a run in the Big Ten Tournament to make a Regional. Nebraska is more comfortable with their RPI of 37, and a series win for the Huskers would lock up their postseason bid.

9. #22 Florida State at #9 Louisville

While Florida State is receiving quite a bit of love in the polls, the Seminoles' postseason resumé is lacking. With an SOS barely inside the top 100 and an RPI just inside the top 60, Florida State is relying upon their 16-11 mark in the ACC to make a Regional. Should their conference record slip too far, the committee would be hard-pressed letting Mike Martin in the tournament in his final season. Louisville is in good shape to host a Regional, but the Cardinals have top-eight seed aspirations. A series loss at Virginia last weekend put a dent in those hopes, but taking two of three games from Florida State could help fortify their position.

8. #4 Arkansas at #19 Texas A&M

Neither of these teams are in much danger of missing a Regional, but they both have loftier goals than simply making the tournament. Arkansas looks to repeat their run to the National Championship Series from last year and hopes to earn one of the top seeds in the tournament. Barring a disastrous finish, the Razorbacks should be a top-eight seed and may even work their way up to the top one or two seeds. Texas A&M would love to win at least one game against Arkansas to secure a .500 record in conference play, but a series win or sweep would put the Aggies in the thick of the hosting conversation. Starting the postseason at Olsen Field would greatly bolster the Aggies' Omaha odds.

7. #25 Arizona State at California

Despite entering this series as the ranked team, Arizona State is in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament. Loser of their last three series, the Sun Devils have been sputtering down the stretch. A road win at the Cal, the 35th team in the RPI, may lock up Arizona State's Regional bid. The Bears look in great shape to make a Regional but need to keep up their improved play. At 14-10 in Pac-12 play, Cal has to make sure they maintain a winning conference record.

6. #18 Ole Miss at #31 Tennessee

After taking five of six games against Texas A&M and LSU, Ole Miss has lost their last four and may be in danger of playing themselves out of hosting contention. The Rebel's RPI has slipped down to 29, but a series win against Tennessee could boost them back into a reasonable host range. The Volunteers are one of the most intriguing teams in the country. Tennessee's 12-15 SEC record doesn't inspire confidence in their postseason odds, but the Volunteers also boast a top 10 RPI. The committee will likely allow for some wiggle room with the .500 mark in conference, but Tennessee will not make a Regional if they have fewer than 13 SEC wins.

Courtesy of North Carolina Athletics

5. #16 NC State at #17 North Carolina

Rivalry matchups are always worth watching, but this rendition of the Carolina-State rivalry has higher stakes than normal. With both teams hovering on the hosting bubble, the loser of this series will likely be eliminated from hosting while the winner will be in a strong position to host.

4. Houston at UCF

After starting the year at 4-7, Houston has gone 27-13 since then and has built a solid Regional resumé. The Cougars boast a top 40 RPI; however, at only 11-10 in American play, they wil need to win at least one on the road at UCF to reach 12-12. UCF holds a 9-12 conference record and may need to earn the sweep to keep their at-large hopes alive. With an RPI of 44, the only hole in UCF's resumé is their conference record.

3. #13 Baylor at #15 Oklahoma State

Separated by just 2.5 games in the Big XII, Baylor and Oklahoma State are vying for the Big XII's potential second host position behind Texas Tech. The committee has shown that the Big XII champion will likely host so long as they have a reasonable RPI, and with their RPI of 26, the Bears are in good shape. Oklahoma State sits at 11 in the RPI and currently has the better resumé. This series will likely determine who gets to spend the first week of the postseason playing at home.

2. #12 Oregon State at #3 Stanford

The Baylor at Oklahoma State series may be a play-in series for a host bid, but the Oregon State at Stanford series is likely a play-in series for a top-eight national seed. The Cardinal are the darlings of the polls sitting at number three. Stanford passes the eye test, but they will need the wins to match if they hope to earn a top-eight seed. After getting swept at home by Oklahoma State two weekends ago, Oregon State's top-eight dreams were nearly cut short. A win on the road at Stanford would propel them back into the postseason upper class.

1. Wake Forest at Clemson

Wake Forest at Clemson is playoff college baseball come early. Both teams are a game under .500 in ACC play and neither team is likely to make it in the tournament with a sub-.500 conference record. Clemson is in slightly better position with a top 40 RPI, but Wake Forest barely in the top 60 in RPI. An ACC Tournament run might be enough to save the loser of this series, but the battle of the Deacons and Tigers is still the highest stakes series of the weekend.

Honorable Mentions

Duke at Miami

Washington at UCLA

Auburn at LSU

UT Arlington at Texas State

More From Us

The last week of the regular season promises to bring several high-stake games. To keep up with our Bubble Watch, follow us on Twitter! For more on this week's rankings, check out our Composite Top 25 and our Conference Power Rankings. If you like what you're seeing from us, consider supporting us and becoming a Patron. We appreciate the consideration!