The map above is the problem with NCAA baseball postseason credentials in the world of Cal Poly baseball head coach Larry Lee.
West of the Rockies, there are a lot fewer teams to play, and most of them are at least decent. In the interest of travel budget, good teams have to play good teams. In the East, there are so many more teams to choose from, the good teams don’t have to play each other outside of conference play. That makes it easier to pile up wins.
If you’re a good team in the East, why would you want to play Cal Poly when there are a bunch of no-name states, directional schools and last-name private colleges to slap around nearby?
Florida State, for instance, starts this season off with a 15-game home streak. LSU plays 15 of the first 16 at home. Take a peek at their opponents. Stanford on the other hand, plays Rice, Fresno State and Texas in the first three weekend series. Arizona State plays a series with Long Beach State. Oregon plays Cal State Fullerton for three.
In the end, you can’t fake it in the CWS, but the road to regionals seems easier in the East, an aspect of college baseball that can frustrate bubble teams from the West.