Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
First RPI has Hogs last in SEC
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn watches from the dugout during the Razorbacks' 17-9 loss to Alabama on March 21, 2014 at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas is ranked No. 116 in the first baseball ratings performance index (RPI) released this season by the NCAA.
The Razorbacks (17-10, 4-5 SEC) are rated last among teams in the Southeastern Conference. Arkansas has lost two of its three weekend series in conference play and had a losing record in the final two weekends of the nonconference portion of the schedule.
South Carolina, which plays a three-game series at Arkansas this week, is ranked No. 1 in the RPI with a 24-3 record. Kentucky, Florida, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are also ranked in the top 10 among SEC schools.
The RPI is a formula weighed heavily in the selection process for the NCAA regionals. Arkansas' strength of schedule hurt its RPI last season when the Razorbacks were passed over to host a regional.
Five of Arkansas' wins this season have come against teams ranked in the bottom 15 of the current RPI standings.
The Razorbacks play five home games in five days this week. In addition to the South Carolina series, Arkansas hosts Nebraska tonight and tomorrow.