BYU Cougars

BYU Softball’s Gordon Eakin: ‘We Deserve to Be In’ Postseason

BYU head softball coach Gordon Eakin

After upsetting Oklahoma State in a 7-2 stunner on Thursday afternoon, Friday did not go as planned for the BYU Cougars. The Cougars had their Big 12 Tournament run end with a 13-2 loss (F/5) to two-seed Oklahoma, and with the loss, they leave their postseason hopes in the hands of a selection committee.

At 31-23 (12-16 Big 12), the Cougars don’t jump off the page with an outstanding record. Their RPI rank, which was 48th entering Friday’s contest, also isn’t so high that it guarantees them a bid.

However, a deeper dive into what this team has accomplished in 2024 and it becomes an interesting conversation whether they’ve earned that bid.


Head coach Gordon Eakin, who’s spent 21 seasons as the Cougars’ head coach, knows how small the margin for error is when it comes to making the field. After Friday’s loss, he addressed the media and shared why he believes his squad has what it takes.

“We think we deserve to be in,” Eakin says. “We’ve played and beat the No. 1 team in the nation when Oklahoma was ranked No. 1. We beat them in Norman. We beat Oklahoma State twice, and they were 2/3 yesterday. We’ve had a pretty solid last 30 days, even battling through some of the different injury problems that we’ve had and the pitching problems that we’ve had. We think we’ve put together a pretty decent resume.

“We think there are some teams’ RPIs that are better than ours, but we don’t understand why. I guess that’s for higher grades than me. We believe we belong in and we’re just gonna hope that somebody else sees it the same way.”


Eakin then agreed that sharing a conference with three of the nation’s top five teams should help their case for earning a tournament bid on Sunday.

“Well, it sure should,” Eakin answered when asked if sharing the Big 12 with Texas, OU, and OSU should help the other Big 12 teams. “I mean, we played No. 2, No. 1, No. 17, No. 25. It’s daunting. It certainly should help your resume. I don’t know what the formula is really for the RPI, but I don’t understand–to take nothing away from Kansas–we have a better record than Kansas, we swept Kansas, and yet their RPI was better than ours. It just didn’t add up to me.”

Eakin and the Cougars will have to wait and see if the selection committee agrees with his sentiment, but there are still a few factors that could determine whether or not his team will hear their name called. First, their RPI will be adjusted after facing Oklahoma on Saturday and should improve after facing the No. 2 team in the country once again. Also, the teams around BYU are all going to adjust as well, so it could see them go up or down.

The biggest thing that BYU needs is for teams ahead of them to secure auto-bids and widen the window of opportunity for them to win an at-large bid. So, the more upsets that we see on Saturday, the worse BYU’s chances will be. So, BYU fans, cheer for chalk and hope that the teams around you fall. There’s still a shot you can get in, but it’s going to be a long weekend of waiting to see how things play out.

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