The perception is if you are not from a BCS conference school you can not compete with the big boys. But the reality is a mid-major program like Southeastern is not only competing with the big boys, but passing them up.
To a man those BCS conference coaches will tell you that the mid-major programs such as Southeastern can flat out play. Just ask John Cohen of Mississippi State whose team was swept at home by the Lions during the 2010 season. Weekend starters vs weekend starters, the Bulldogs were beaten in every phase of the game. Ask Rick Jones of Tulane, Turtle Thomas of Florida International, Terry Rooney of Central Florida, and Mitch Gaspard of Alabama. Hell ask Paul Manieri what mid-week game he dreads playing every year.
Under the direction of Jay Artigues and his staff the Southeastern baseball program has not only become one of the best programs in the Southland Conference and the state of Louisiana, but one of the best in the country.
Here are the results from a study that SLU Recruiting Coordinator Matt Riser put together and wanted to share with the Lion Nation. THE NUMBERS DO NOT LIE....
It’s exciting in Hammond, LA right now as we are just beginning our preseason group work and looking forward to January 27th, which will be our first day of full team practice. The season is a little over three weeks away and the energy and enthusiasm is really starting to pick up as we look forward to another good season.
Southeastern has shown what consistency and hard work does EVERY single day. In recent years a lot of stock has been put into the RPI system by the selection committee in picking the NCAA at large bids. We recently looked into the numbers and found some interesting stats.
The study looked at the average RPI for the last three years. The usual baseball powers such as Texas, South Carolina, ASU, Florida, Oklahoma, LSU, etc. showed they belong in the top as their RPIs are Top 15 every year. So called Mid-Major programs also showed some consistent RPIs which includes Southeastern. Southeastern’s RPI average over the last three years has been 56.333 which ranks among some of the best not only in the state or conference but in the country.
BCS Conference vs Southland
BCS conferences are always well known for their revenue they bring in with their football teams. SEC, Pac-12, Big East, ACC, Big 10, Big 12 are all great conferences but not all teams are great in those conferences. When looking into the numbers of the RPI it was a little eye opening on where Southeastern stands with some of these so called national powers. Southeastern was higher than every Big 10, all but 2 Big East, 5 Pac-12, 5 ACC, 3 Big 12, and 2 SEC schools.
Schools on the Rise
Perfect Game recently put out a poll of the Top 10 rising programs. In this poll Southeastern was 9-5 against the Top 10 in the last two years with a record of 3-4 against conference rival Texas St. This also included a 3 game sweep of Mississippi St, series win against FIU, and a win against Central Florida. In other words there is another school that’s on the rise. Arizona was the only school in that poll to have a substantially higher average of RPI which was 37.
Sun Belt vs Southland
Many believe the Sun Belt conference is better than the Southland but what many don’t know is the stat at the top of the conference. Not one Sun Belt team had a better average than Southeastern or our in conference rival Texas St, whose average is 41.666. FIU was the highest ranked school who had the same RPI as Southeastern at 56.333. In 2011 Southeastern went to FIU and took the series on ESPN.
Southeastern vs In-State/Conference
Southeastern is 2nd only to one school in the state of Louisiana and that’s LSU. We rank higher than C-USA member Tulane, 75.333, and both Sun-Belt members UL-Lafayette and UL-Monroe whose RPI averages are 71 and 157.666 respectively.
The Southland conference has gradually gotten higher with a conference RPI of 8 last year. The only member of the Southland with a better average is Texas St. whose RPI average is at 41.666.
Here at Southeastern we compete for excellence. There is still work to be done but we have come a long way in a short time. We continue to be one of the best programs not only in the state and conference but in the country as well.