Quick answer to – what is RPI ranking in college baseball?

RPI ranking in college baseball is a statistical tool that measures the strength of a team’s performance based on its wins, losses, and strength of schedule, which helps determine teams that make the NCAA Tournament.

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RPI ranking in college baseball is a vital tool for college coaches and players. According to the NCAA, “the Rating Percentage Index (RPI) is a statistical tool that measures the strength of a team’s performance based on their wins and losses and their strength of schedule.” The RPI is used to help determine which teams get selected for the NCAA Tournament at the end of the season. The RPI rankings are updated weekly throughout the season, with the final rankings released just before the selection show.

As former NCAA Division I baseball coach, Tim Parenton, stated, “RPI is a very important analytical tool, as it gives you a picture of what needs to happen in your upcoming games to either increase or maintain those rankings.” Coaches and players alike closely monitor their RPI ranking throughout the season, as it can make or break their chances of making it to the NCAA Tournament.

Here are a few interesting facts about RPI ranking in college baseball:

  • The RPI was first used in college baseball in the 1980s and was later adopted by other NCAA sports.
  • A team’s RPI is calculated using three factors: winning percentage (25%), opponents’ winning percentage (50%), and opponents’ opponents’ winning percentage (25%).
  • The RPI can have a huge impact on a team’s postseason chances. In 2018, a team with an RPI ranking of 75 or better had a good chance of making it into the NCAA Tournament.
  • The RPI isn’t the only factor that the NCAA Selection Committee considers when selecting teams for the tournament, but it is a significant one.
  • Teams with high RPI rankings often earn hosting privileges in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, as well as better seeding throughout the tournament.
  • According to former NCAA baseball committee chair, Dennis Farrell, “The RPI definitely has changed the approach that we take in looking at teams. It’s not necessarily the end-all for picking teams, but it is a very important factor.”
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Here is an example table that showcases the top 10 RPI rankings for college baseball teams (as of May 10th, 2021):

Rank Team RPI
1 Arkansas 0.6869
2 Vanderbilt 0.6781
3 Tennessee 0.6745
4 Mississippi State 0.6602
5 Texas 0.6595
6 TCU 0.6494
7 Notre Dame 0.6480
8 East Carolina 0.6469
9 Stanford 0.6431
10 Oregon 0.6407

In conclusion, the RPI ranking in college baseball is a significant tool that helps determine which teams make the NCAA Tournament. Coaches and players alike closely monitor their RPI ranking throughout the season, as it can make or break their chances of making it to the postseason. While it isn’t the only factor the NCAA Selection Committee considers, it is a vital one that can have a significant impact on a team’s postseason journey.

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The RPI ranking format is causing controversy in Colorado high school sports as some coaches believe that while it is a useful tool for ensuring the right teams make it to the playoffs, it shouldn’t be the only tool considered and that tweaks could be made to the percentage system. For sports like football, where the length of the season has to be taken into consideration, changes to the RPI formula may be necessary. While the RPI is considered useful, adjustments must be made to ensure that it does not overshadow the focus on high school sports.

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The rating percentage index, commonly known as the RPI, is a quantity used to rank sports teams based upon a team’s wins and losses and its strength of schedule. It is one of the sports rating systems by which NCAA basketball, baseball, softball, hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and volleyball teams are ranked.

RPI – Conference Rankings

Conference RPI Rank NC Rec RPI
SEC 0.5661 1 251 – 74 1
Big 12 0.5584 2 177 – 66 4
ACC 0.5507 3 127 – 53 5
Pac-12 0.5430 4 166 – 79 8

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