American baseball tournament in Clearwater for 2014
Clearwater's Bright House Field, which has played host to the Big East baseball tournament for the past five years, has been awarded the first-ever American Athletic Conference baseball tournament, to be played May 21-25 next spring.
The American posted its championship sites for 2013-14 over the weekend -- USF will also host outdoor track and women's tennis in spring 2014 as well. The only tournament not yet named is men's soccer, and USF's Corbett Soccer Stadium is among the potential sites for that sport as well.
The American will have nine teams in baseball next spring -- SMU doesn't have a baseball squad -- but only the top eight will make it to Clearwater. And while the Big East had a double-elimination format, the American is working toward a pool-play format like the ACC has used in recent years -- two four-team pools, with round-robin play giving each team at least three games, with each pool's champion advancing to a championship game.
USF should have a good shot to compete in the American -- reigning Big East champ Connecticut is in the league, but won the conference crown in May as a No. 8 seed. Louisville, which reached the College World Series, is in the league for one more year, but three of the Big East's top teams in 2013 -- Seton Hall, Notre Dame and Pitt -- are now off in other conferences.
Here are your final 2013 RPIs for the American's 10 programs in 2013: Louisville 13, Rutgers 67, Houston 68, USF 72, UConn 78, Memphis 95, UCF 141, Cincinnati 233, Temple 251.