Houston Cougar Baseball’s strong run in the AAC Conference Tournament ended in the title game vs. ECU. That run closed out a solid season by the Coogs and is considered a “bounce back” season. But is it?
UH finished with a 37-24 record, a 3rd place finish in the regular season, and a trip to the conference championship game. Statistically, there was improvement across the board in virtually every category from last year (the worst year in UH baseball history). Despite not making the NCAA tournament, it certainly looks like a successful season on the surface.
Here are the numbers that matter to me – this year and the last time UH made a regional (2018 as a three-seed):
|Avg RPI Win||148||101|
|Avg RPI Loss||102||70|
UH was not even considered for the field of 64 for the NCAA tournament in 2022 and was nowhere near the bubble. The only shot at a bid was to win the AAC tournament.
In the field released Monday, the lowest-rated team to earn an at-large bid was #53 Louisiana, who finished with a 36-21 record (including a series win vs. UH in March). Their overall Strength of Schedule was 57, and their Non-Conference Strength of Schedule was 17. Compare that to UH’s numbers above.
Of course, UH’s metrics were significantly better than last year when UH had an RPI of 233, SOS of 169, and NC SOS of 197. However, the 2022 numbers are the 3rd worst SOS and the 4th worst NC SOS since 1998 (as far as data goes back). This was one of the softest schedules UH has ever played.
To give more context on how this 2022 schedule was weak, UH’s Average RPI Win was 148, and the Average RPI loss was 102. The Average RPI Win was the worst in the last 12 years, and the Average RPI Loss was the 2nd worst. This is because UH had only eight top-100 wins.
The last time UH made a regional (2018), the Coogs had 22 top-100 wins.