Florida Baseball: Despite all their flaws, RPI keeping the Gators afloat

Despite just being one game above .500, Florida is in the top 25 for RPI
Cyndi Chambers Sports?Special to the

When Jac Caglianone is on the mound, Florida Baseball has demonstrated the ability to hang around and beat anyone in the country. Unfortunately cloning on humans hasn't been refined enough to enable Florida to send him out every game.

Yet despite a feeling that this is as flawed of a Gator squad as we have seen in a long time, and there is truth in that statement, the Gators continue to hang around the NCAA Tournament picture with a claim that 2024 hasn't been as bad as the optics would claim.

Florida Baseball: Falling For The Oldest Trick In The Book

Example 73 of Florida continuing to beat themselves rather than forcing teams to beat them came in the second game in their series against Arkansas. Florida took a 4-1 lead in the top of the 7th and was nine outs away from beating the number two team in the country, with Caglianone still slated to take the hill for game three.

Five runs later and Florida trailed 6-4 heading into the 8th.


But the Gators staged a rally, scored a run, and had bases loaded with one out. Colby Shelton launched a ball to center field and seemingly tied the game. All Brody Donay had to do was time up his tag and he could have waltzed home.

Double oops.

Arkansas center fielder Peyton Holt pump faked catching the ball, causing Donay to leave early, forcing him to retreat and eventually be thrown out at home.

It is this attention to detail that has ailed the Gators all season, yet they were still able to come back with Caglianone on the mound and salvage game three, thanks in part to a Caglianone grand slam.

With an overall record of 22-21 and a conference record of 9-12, there is reason to believe Florida could miss the NCAA Tournament.

But their ability to salvage game three against Arkansas, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina is keeping the season afloat.

The Gators have the number one ranked strength of schedule in the country, and when combined with series wins against Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and LSU, the Gators have seven wins over "quad one" teams and another four against "quad two."

Add it all up and Florida is ranked 22nd nationally in RPI. They won't get to host a regional, but if they can manage to avoid falling off a cliff these final three weeks against Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, we have a feeling it is going to be hard for the NCAA to keep the Gators out of the tournament when all is said and done.

And while the flaws on this team are plentiful and there is reason to believe that even if they did make it in they would flame out, as Ole Miss showcased in 2022 if you make it in you have as much a chance as anyone else.