College World Series in Need of Repair

2 of 2

Part II

I don’t really care for the current format. I’d like to see the College World Series be played under the double-elimination format of the 80s.

Really, I wish the entire NCAA baseball tournament was best 2 of 3 from 64 teams down to two. But that isn’t going to happen, so I’ll just suggest going back a couple of formats to the one we used to have.

Prior to the best 2 of 3 championship series we had (2) 4-team brackets with the winners of each playing in a do-or-die game. This was done because CBS promised to televise the championship but only if it was winner-take-all. Bargaining your national championship was a bad decision. Teams who had not lost a game in Omaha were eliminated with one bad game in the championship….in some cases to teams who had already lost a game that week. The right thing was done by moving to a best 2 of 3, but the problem I have is it drags out too long and doesn’t force teams to use many pitchers.

Remember last year when we played Oregon State on Saturday, Indiana on Monday, Oregon State on Friday and UCLA on Monday? That’s four games in 10 days. We only used two different starters. Sure, we went through the winner’s bracket and that was our reward but c’mon. And the wait from Monday to Friday is a little ridiculous. Vanderbilt is that team this year.

The old format which I’m referring to goes like this:

Basically the only difference is the (2) 4-team brackets are combined after two games so that the two teams from each winner’s bracket play one another. Then the team that reaches 3-0 plays a fourth game vs. the lowest seeded team they haven’t played before – either way they’ve reached the championship game but if they win that fourth game they have to be beaten twice and if they lose they only have to be beaten once in the championship.

It’s Wednesday in the CWS right now – so this format would be played the same as the current format up to this point. Then today would play both loser’s bracket games and narrow the field to four teams. Tomorrow the two winner’s bracket teams would play. Then Friday there would be two games. In the bracket that I made above – if TCU beats Vandy in the Friday night game then they would play UVA on Saturday afternoon and the winner of that would play Vandy on Sunday for a winner-take-all game. However, if TCU lost to Vandy on Friday night then UVA would play Vandy on Saturday afternoon and have to beat them twice – once on Saturday and once on Sunday.

I think teams should have to win with three starting pitchers and potentially have to use a fourth to win the CWS. In this format the teams that reach the championship will have played five games within nine days at a minimum and six games in eight days at a maximum. This should create a scenario in which they were forced to use three or four pitchers, however, they were also able to use their best pitchers for the most important games.

I love the College World Series. Omaha is a great host as well. But there are always things to tinker with, and at least with Part I of this piece there is something that has to be done.