Archived Story

SEC baseball becoming a force to be reckoned with

Published 10:06am Friday, March 29, 2013

For the past six weeks, North Carolina has shown that they are the team the rest of college baseball needs to catch.
With the exception of Arkansas (preseason No. 1), the Tar Heels have occupied the No. 1 ranking in every college baseball poll.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has five teams listed in the top 30, but the real story is the Southeastern Conference.
Ex-Negro League great and hall of Fame pitcher, Satchel Paige had a great quote: “Don’t look back, something might be gaining on you.”
Well, in this case, that something is the Southeastern Conference and no less than eight teams now ranked in the top 30 this week.
Everyone knows how much the conference is loathed around the country, particularly in football.
Some say the conference is overrated because it schedules teams out of conference that only the SEC can get away with scheduling.
Then there is the eight-game conference schedule, even though the conference has 14 teams.
Texas A&M broke into the top 30 at the No. 30 spot, giving the conference a whopping percentage of representation in college baseball.
The real story comes with where the other seven-teams sit this week.
In order of ranking, here are the current SEC team rankings;
LSU (No. 2), Vanderbilt (No. 5), Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina (Nos. 10 – 13), Mississippi State (No. 17).
That is seven teams in the top 17 — which means, like it or not, the SEC is back to being a dominant conference in college baseball.
If anyone needs further validation of how strong the conference is at this point in the season, look no further than No. 31.
Sitting at the doorstep of the leaders is none other than Alabama (16-9).
Another strong week of play and I look for the Crimson Tide to breakthrough into the top 30.
Outside of the SEC, the biggest moves came from No.7 Cal-State Fullerton (previous No. 10), going 5-0 last week, No.8 Oregon (previous No. 12).
No. 9 Virginia (previous No.15) made the biggest jump by going 5-0 last week.
Rounding out the top 10 are No. 3 Oregon State, No. 4 Florida State and No. 6 UCLA.
Alabama visits Auburn for three games March 28-30.
Auburn is 15-10 overall and 0-6 in SEC play. The Tigers have dropped four in a row.
They were swept by LSU last weekend and they lost to Troy 11-2 on Tuesday.
Notes on a scorecard:  I can’t wait for the whole college-hoops thing to be over so we can move onto something more exciting such as watching a spider crawl up a drape.
My only other wish would be for CBS to replace the likes of Verne (Oh, wow!) Lundquist and Gary Danielson for any college sports games.
Although I will give Danielson credit for one thing, he was against Notre Dame being in the national championship game.
I would imagine, the worst punishment for any sports fan, would be marooned on a deserted island with a radio having one channel and that channel being stuck on Verne Lundquist doing play-by-play of a game of Cricket.
Happy Easter.
Until next time…
Meyers is a sports columnist for The Outlook. You can follow him on Twitter at @brucemeyers11.

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