"Unfortunately, it is what it is": Mississippi HC Chris Lemonis discontent with the committee for overlooking Bulldogs as 2024 NCAA regional host

Syndication: The Clarion-Ledger
Chris Lemonis is far from impressed with the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee

Mississippi head coach Chris Lemonis appeared forlorn upon learning about his Bulldogs' fate in the college baseball postseason this year. The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee decided that the Bulldogs would not host a Regional tournament this season, leaving the 54-year-old slightly distraught.

Soon after the committee's announcement, the coach spoke about his take on their decision-making process, while admitting there isn't much he could do about it. In an interview with state athletics reporter Stefan Krajisnik, Chris Lemonis said:

"It’s so subjective in that room, they take the pieces that they want and move them around. Obviously, yeah, our RPI wasn’t as good as it should’ve been. We lost a couple early in the year, probably the first week of the season. ... But, I heard the commissioner of the committee talk about consistency and common opponents.
"A lot of things he talked about didn’t have anything to do with us. We didn’t get swept on any road trips. We played one of the hardest schedules in the country, quad one wins or so. You could take four hosts and add all theirs together, they don’t have as many as us. But it is what it is."

Mississippi HC Chris Lemonis ridicules RPI's role in committee's decision

From Chris Lemonis' initial comments, it's clear that the Rating Performance Index (RPI) is a factor in the process that troubles him. He believes baseball should follow football and basketball in ignoring the influence of this factor on the postseason:

"We have 20 wins and we’re not a host, so our resume and Georgia resumes are very close. RPI is not the indicator, I’m sorry.
"Football’s gone away from it, basketball’s gone away from it and for us, RPI in the last week, we go to Hoover and we beat Ole Miss, a neutral side, beat the number one RPI in the country, neutral site. We lose to Vanderbilt who’s got a good RPI and then we lose to the number one team in the country and we fall."

Chris Lemonis led Bulldogs finished 38-21 overall and 17-13 in the conference, leaving them in fifth-place finish in league play. Despite facing tougher teams and recording decent results against them, their elimination in the SEC Tournament to the Tennessee Volunteers, combined with stutters in their regular season, meant they lost the chance to host one of the NCAA Regionals this year.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs have a fierce challenge coming up in the NCAA Regionals.
The Mississippi State Bulldogs have a fierce challenge coming up in the NCAA Regionals.

The 2021 College World Series winners will take part in the Charlottesville Regional hosted by Virginia. Besides the hosts, the Bulldogs will take on St. John's and Penn State in the hopes of making the Super Regionals.

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