Mississippi State Baseball fans react to hosting snub

Mississippi State baseball will not be hosting a regional this season, and Bulldog fans are not happy!
May 24 2024; Hoover, AL, USA; Mississippi State second baseman Amani Larry throws to first for an out against Tennessee at the Hoover Met during the SEC Tournament.
May 24 2024; Hoover, AL, USA; Mississippi State second baseman Amani Larry throws to first for an out against Tennessee at the Hoover Met during the SEC Tournament. / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

There's few things Mississippi State baseball fans love more than postseason baseball at Dudy Noble Field. The scene in Starkville when the Diamond Dawgs are hosting a regional or super regional is unlike anything else in sports.

Unfortunately, fans won't get that experience in 2024, at least not for regional play. The NCAA announced it's regional host sites for the tournament, and Starkville was not one of them. This was a pretty controversial move given State's overall body of work, and it becomes more controversial considering the teams that were chosen to host.

East Carolina and Arizona were both surprising selections, and you'll be hard-pressed to find someone that believes either of those teams, and certainly not both, deserved to be hosting over the Bulldogs.

As you can expect, MSU fans and media had plenty to say about the decision to send MSU baseball on the road for regionals.

MSU media point out flaws with Arizona and ECU hosting over State

Those who cover Mississippi State were pretty baffled at the selection committee's decision to choose Arizona and ECU as regional hosts over MSU. When you compare the resumes of all three, it's hard to justify those teams hosting instead of State.

State finished with the fourth-most Q1 victories of any team in the country with 16 but didn't host while teams with just three such wins, including Arizona, are hosting.

Along with the lack of quality wins, Zona was #31 in the RPI. State's #25 RPI rank was seen as a major issue for their hosting chances, yet it wasn't a problem for Zona despite State having a better RPI and far more good wins.

More took issue with East Carolina. It's hard to see how the Pirates resume was deemed superior to State's.

Though ECU was slightly higher in the RPI, State played a much tougher schedule, had far more good wins, and was significantly higher in the KPI. If the Bulldogs had the much better resume, why did the Pirates host?

Well, it appears they had some help...

ECU AD Jon Gilbert was a member of the selection committee, and it's hard not to assume he played a big role in the Pirates earning a host spot. This is something that was in State's favor when former AD John Cohen was on the committee. State no longer has that edge.

Ultimately, it came down to bad losses for State. They suffered five Q4 losses which left them little margin for error in SEC play. There's some similarities to State's 2014 teams in this case.

And State had plenty of chances in SEC play to make up for those losses, but they let several should-be wins slip away. Even with that in mind though, the Pirates' total body of work is hard to put over Mississippi State's.

State fans frustrated with selection committee's decision

The Bulldog faithful expressed many of the same issues with the decision as the MSU media. Seeing a team with a sub-30 RPI and very few good wins host over State isn't particularly explainable.

Fans have expressed their frustrations with the RPI for weeks now. State's volatile movement in the RPI while teams that took worse losses didn't see such movement made little sense. Naturally, fans are ready to see the selection process change.

In a frustrating situation, it's sometimes best to find some humor. And for that, we can always count on the Famous Maroon Band.

And you have to expect State fans to make the best of the situation. I'm sure a large contingent of the Maroon and White while flock to wherever the team is sent, but who says we can't still have a good time in Starkville? Maybe even at the Dude.

Though we can't condone breaking and entering, a watch party at the Dude sounds like a fantastic idea.

And of course there's still reason for optimism about State making a postseason run. Getting snubbed from hosting could create plenty of motivation for the Diamond Dawgs.

Plus, this is a program that's had plenty of success advancing in the postseason while going on the road for regional play. Omaha is always the goal for Mississippi State baseball, and this doesn't change that.

We'll learn Mississippi State baseball's exact path to Omaha tomorrow at 11:00 am CT during the NCAA Baseball Selection Show on ESPN2.