Darrell Moody: Pack’s snub wasn’t that surprising
I admit I was extremely disappointed, but not surprised when the NCAA denied University of Nevada’s baseball team a spot in its postseason tournament.
The Wolf Pack accomplished a great deal in becoming one of a handful of teams in the country to win more than 40 games (41) and winning the regular-season Mountain West championship.
However, when you go out in two in the conference tournament on your home field, well that’s not good a good thing. According to some websites, Nevada wasn’t even that close to making it after those two losses. The Pack was not one of the first four out mentioned.
I have a lot of issues with Nevada’s schedule, and some of them could be tied to money and transportation.
The Pack needs to get away from playing the UOPs and Saint Marys of the world every year and try to get one of the Pac-12 schools or Big West powers like Long Beach State, Cal-State Fullerton or even a UC Irvine on its schedule. Both conferences have high-profile programs. I know UC Irvine came here several years ago, but I’m not sure that Fullerton or LBSU has ever visited Peccole Park. Stanford has come to Reno in the past when Gary Powers was at the helm, and the Pack dropped a 6-5 decision to the Cardinal at Sunken Diamond this year.
Obviously UOP, UC Davis, USF and SMC are close, a bus ride away, and let’s face it, college athletics are all about money, and baseball is considered a non-revenue sport.
Maybe Nevada can’t afford multiple trips down to Southern California, or those schools don’t have a spot on their schedule to play a series either in SoCal or in Reno. Who knows. One thing is certain, Nevada’s best win, on paper, was against Texas Tech, and the Red Raiders didn’t make the tournament.
There were several bad losses — a 10-4 setback to UC Davis, two close losses to cellar-dwelling San Jose State, a 13-6 loss to Saint Mary’s and a 5-4 loss to Air Force.
Also, opening against Abilene Christian wasn’t great. It would have been nice to see the Pack take on a tougher opponent to start the season, especially if you’re going to Texas.
I honestly don’t know what goes into making out a schedule.
I know football is done several years in advance, and basketball is a couple of years out in some cases.
This might sound like I’m picking on Nevada, but I’m just being realistic. I’m sure the committee looked at the same things when making its decision.
Nevada wasn’t the only conference champ that got snubbed. There were two or three others who were left out of the 64-team field.
Should regular-season champions be protected? Should the tournament be expanded to maybe 72 teams?
I don’t really have an answer to that. Teams in the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC routinely beat each other up during the conference season, so if you can somehow post 35 wins in a year you’re doing a good job.
In my mind there were just two solid teams in the MW, the Pack and San Diego State. New Mexico was inconsistent during the regular season, but came alive in Reno with some impressive play. Fresno State was OK.