USF in congested race for AAC baseball title
Only five days remain in the regular season, but a logjam remains atop the American Athletic Conference standings.
Logjam? Who are we kiddding? It's a mess. More than a mess, a paradox: The end is in sight, but a lot of baseball remains, if you catch our drift.
Scenarios abound, and USF -- seeking the program's first conference title in 21 years -- finds itself smack in the middle of most of them. Because we couldn't locate a calculus professor to help break it all down, we turned to somebody who looks a little like one: USF baseball radio voice Mike Lefko (We kid).
With Lefko's assistance, we've determined the most plausible scenarios. Here goes:
* The Bulls and UCF have matching 13-8 conference records entering their three-game series in Orlando starting Thursday. If Houston drops two of three at home against Cincinnati and UConn loses its series to Memphis, the Bulls or the Knights win the regular season title.
* If USF and Houston finish tied, the Bulls win the conference title by virtue of winning two of three against the Cougars earlier this month.
* If USF and UConn finish tied, the Huskies win the conference by virtue of taking two of three from the Bulls last weekend.
* A three-way deadlock among the Bulls, Connecticut and Houston would force a tie-breaker formula: series record against the fourth-place team. If that fourth-place team is Tulane, that would eliminate USF, which dropped two of three in New Orleans earlier in the season (Houston took two of three from the Green Wave).
* In terms of conference tournament seeding, USF could head to Clearwater as high as the No. 1 seed or as low as the fifth. It's that congested at the top (check out the standings below).
American Athletic Conference standings
(Overall records in parentheses)
USF 13-8 (39-12)
UCF 13-8 (36-16)
Houston 13-8 (33-18)
UConn 12-9 (29-21)
Tulane 11-10 (24-28)
Cincinnati 9-12 (27-25)
Memphis 7-14 (27-25)
East Carolina 6-15 (27-25)