Last season’s selection show had the Sun Devils on the edge of their seat to see if they would get a national seed. This season, Arizona State will also await their future next Sunday as a possible chance to host comes around.
As of Monday after their series win over Cal, ASU’s RPI sits at 28. A number that stands a bit high compared to most hosts in the past.
Here’s a look at the average RPI of hosts from last season:
Average RPI of hosts in 2018: 8.5
Lowest RPI of a host in 2018: 17 (13th seed Arkansas)
However, different aspects will be considered for the chance to host.
First of all, ASU will need to sweep their last weekend of the season against Oregon — who has a RPI of 54 — to put themselves in a legitimate position to give an argument. If the Sun Devils take care of business and sweep or win the series in Eugene they’ll finish .500 or above in conference. It’d also put them most likely fourth in the conference.
Stanford would need to have a better weekend than ASU when they travel to Seattle for three games against Washington. The Huskies only Pac-12 losses at home this season were to UCLA, with two of the contests being very tight.
Yes, the Sun Devils had their nine-game losing streak to the top-three of the Pac-12 (UCLA, Arizona and Washington), but a sweep of the Ducks would provide context to the committee. Three wins at Oregon hypothetically sets ASU’s Pac-12 record at 13-11. In this scenario against the other five teams (Utah, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford), the Sun Devils went a combined 13-2 against those teams and finish with more series wins than loses in conference. The conference isn’t as top heavy as last year, but it could be the most competitive season. Since the inclusion of Utah when the conference became the Pac-12, this is the first time every team has had at least five conference wins.
Nine of ASU’s losses are from Washington, UCLA and Arizona, who rank two, three, four in the current RPI. The Sun Devils also challenged themselves in the non-conference. Other the remaining nine losses the Sun Devils have, those come to the 6th, (Texas), 10th (Florida), 12th (Oklahoma State), 16th (Michigan), 19th (Texas Tech).
ASU’s lowest loss on their RPI is Cal at 64, but all of their other losses are inside the top 41, thus they don’t truly have a “bad loss.” The Sun Devils did have a large blemish last season with their loss to Iowa, that had a RPI of 111.
The Sun Devils are on the outside looking in, but a sweep and a 8-1 record to close the season and finish fourth in arguable the toughest conference in the nation will put pressure on the committee. Although, they need to take care of their business first.