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Monday, January 24, 2022

Texas starts No. 1, SEC dominates top 10 in preseason college baseball rankings

Texas is No. 1 in the D1Baseball Preseason Top 25 rankings for the first time ever. In fact, this marks the first time the Longhorns have ever been ranked No. 1 in the D1Baseball Top 25, which began in 2015. Texas welcomes back numerous key pieces, including the cornerstones of an elite pitching staff, from a team that won 50 games and reached the national semifinals in Omaha last spring.

SEC powers Arkansas, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State and Ole Miss occupy the next four spots to round out the top five. The SEC leads all conferences with eight teams in the Top 25, including six in the top 10, counting No. 8 LSU and No. 9 Florida. Georgia (No. 16) and Tennessee (No. 18) also landed in the rankings out of the SEC..

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2022 at 06:32 PM | 20 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college baseball

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   1. DL from MN Posted: January 25, 2022 at 12:55 PM (#6062418)
College baseball could be popular if MLB doesn't start on time.
   2. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 25, 2022 at 01:30 PM (#6062426)
College baseball could be popular if MLB doesn't start on time.

Last year, I extolled the many accolades of National HS Player of the Year Jack Walker, who literally learned the game of baseball in my parents' yard before pitching his high school to the #1 ranking in the country last year and back-to-back 5-A state championships. The Walkers live next door and Dad had the lot for years but didn't break ground on his retirement home until Jack had been playing the game for a few years.

He's a freshman at Mississippi State now where 247Sports says, "Look for Walker to push for midweek starting duties early on and who knows from there, but he looks to be a good one in the making."

I'll be watching.
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 26, 2022 at 06:39 AM (#6062555)
College baseball is probably more popular now than ever, but as long as the baseball season doesn't mesh with the school year, it's never going to be as popular as college football or basketball (or even, in some places, college hockey).

Has anyone ever thought of splitting up the college baseball season, with the "regular season" in the spring and the playoffs and CWS in the fall? (I know that would cause a problem with graduated seniors, but maybe they could make some kind of exemption?)
   4. SamuelBoyles Posted: January 26, 2022 at 07:38 AM (#6062559)
Excellent share!
   5. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: January 26, 2022 at 08:57 AM (#6062569)
I'd consider myself a casual+ college baseball fan - and while the SEC has obviously always been one of the CBB power conferences (I vaguely recall LSU won the CWS something like 7 out of 10 years not too long ago), I get the sense there's now some real separation between the SEC and the other two generally top baseball conferences (PAC-10 and ACC).

Prior decade Pac-10 powers are (ASU, UCLA) are well-off their heydays and Arizona had longtime coach Andy Lopez retire a few years back. The ACC has been helped enormously by adding Notre Dame and Louisville, but they've also had a couple power programs see longtime legend coaches retire (FSU for one).

IDK... Just feels like where there was once something of a 3-way parity, the SEC now dominates, the ACC is a clear - but distant - 2nd, and the PAC-10 just isn't what it used to be.
   6. kubiwan Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6062581)
College baseball is probably more popular now than ever, but as long as the baseball season doesn't mesh with the school year...Has anyone ever thought of splitting up the college baseball season, with the "regular season" in the spring and the playoffs and CWS in the fall?


Why not just push the season back a month or so, meaning it would start mid-March, conference tournaments would be at the end of June, and the national tournament would take play throughout July? Colleges are open during that time; heck, for those on a trimester/quarter system, summer break doesn't start until until mid-June or so anyway.

the SEC now dominates, the ACC is a clear - but distant - 2nd, and the PAC-10 just isn't what it used to be


The SEC and the Big Ten simply have more money than everyone else, and baseball is really set up to disadvantage the Big Ten in all sorts of ways (fewer good players nearby, can't play home games for the first month of the season, etc.), so that really leaves the SEC in a dominant position.
   7. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:37 AM (#6062582)
If only Derek Jeter had fulfilled his commitment to Michigan :-)

The fortunes of the Big Ten might be quite different...
   8. base ball chick Posted: January 26, 2022 at 12:38 PM (#6062624)
6. kubiwan Posted: January 26, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6062581)

...baseball is really set up to disadvantage the Big Ten in all sorts of ways


- did i not undertand - WHY would you set up baseball to disadvantage a group of northern skools that ALREADY have a serious built in massive disadvantage meaning winter for like 9 months a year. they could have zillions but you STILL cant go play baseball in the snow and ice and freezing cold
   9. DL from MN Posted: January 26, 2022 at 12:47 PM (#6062626)
CWS in the fall? (I know that would cause a problem with graduated seniors)


It would also cause a problem with juniors drafted by MLB. The playoffs would be played by a totally different team.

Why not just push the season back a month or so, meaning it would start mid-March, conference tournaments would be at the end of June, and the national tournament would take play throughout July?


That was proposed by several coaches.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6062637)

College baseball is probably more popular now than ever, but as long as the baseball season doesn't mesh with the school year, it's never going to be as popular as college football or basketball (or even, in some places, college hockey).


Not sure I understand this. The regular season runs through mid-May, conference tournaments are at the end of May, which is when most schools end. The only thing that isn't during the school year is the NCAA tourney and the CWS, which has no attendance problems at all.

The schedule is not the reason why college baseball is not as popular as football or basketball. The HS baseball season "meshes" with the school year, and is typically played in front of friends and family at the rock-filled field behind the school, while they build multi-million dollar stadiums for the football team.
   11. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: January 26, 2022 at 03:09 PM (#6062646)
- did i not undertand - WHY would you set up baseball to disadvantage a group of northern skools that ALREADY have a serious built in massive disadvantage meaning winter for like 9 months a year. they could have zillions but you STILL cant go play baseball in the snow and ice and freezing cold


I think the poster was referring to the same thing - not that anyone "set up" anything to disadvantage, but just that the nature of baseball as a good weather sport inherently/naturally disadvantages northern climate schools.

Interestingly - and it's probably scout-excuse making to a certain extent - this was one reason cited "How could Mike Trout be drafted in the 20s!?!??!"... He's a New Jersey product - so there was (supposedly) some skepticism over his prep career in cold weather region.

Back to college baseball - there actually *used to be* some northern powers in the CWS. The CWS dates back to "only" the 40s" (I think the first CWS was just after WW2) -- but Minnesota and Michigan were both powerhouses in the first decade or two of the CWS. Both are still generally the cream of the B1G, but they're rarely in the discussion with the SEC teams/etc anymore. Go back even further and you'll find a disproportionate number of college players from "cold weather" schools. Both are still generally good baseball programs (Michigan in particular), but would struggle to compete in the SEC (or ACC or PAC-10).

Of course, population changes have played a big role (i.e., more schools and prominence of schools) in the south and west.

Notre Dame is something of a rarity... they've somewhat quietly become a top program - in the SEC, but as a "cold weather" school. Of course - Div1, it's not like anyone is throwing snowballs to keep in shape... but "warm weather" schools (and products thereof) most definitely have a modern leg up.
   12. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2022 at 03:40 PM (#6062649)
I think of Oregon State as a cold weather school, and they've become a powerhouse. They and Notre Dame are the only northern schools on this top 25 list.
   13. Zonk demands an audit of your post Posted: January 26, 2022 at 03:49 PM (#6062650)
Does northern - but coastal - Pacific count?

Honestly asking... is Corvallis a "cold weather" school? I presume they get plenty of rain and would be more or less like Seattle, but seems somewhat different than say, Ann Arbor or South Bend.
   14. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 26, 2022 at 04:46 PM (#6062657)
Re 10: Baseball season is, basically, the summertime; it's been this way for 150 years. But school is out in the summer, so they have to cram the whole season into a few months. (Maybe have a split season, the first part in the fall and the second part in the spring?)
   15. kubiwan Posted: January 26, 2022 at 06:03 PM (#6062669)
But school is out in the summer, so they have to cram the whole season into a few months. (Maybe have a split season, the first part in the fall and the second part in the spring?)


This just doesn't make any sense to me. For one, every college does have summer classes. For two, in their infancy, college sports had to follow the normal September-ish-to-May-ish academic calendar so the players could go home and get a summer job or whatever, but that doesn't apply anymore at big time Division I schools. Every player at that level is spending their summer either on campus taking classes and working out under the supervision of the coaching staff...or off playing baseball in the Cape Cod or some similar league. So why not just have the college baseball season during that time rather than force every non-Sun Belt school to play the entire first month of the season on the road (not joking about that...I looked up Michigan and their first 16 games are away from Ann Arbor)?
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 26, 2022 at 07:38 PM (#6062671)
Is playing on the road really the issue? It's usually not true road games, its tournaments in Florida and Arizona to begin the year. The disparity is not really from the schedule, it's that southern colleges recruit from southern high schools, where kids can play many more games due to the weather.
   17. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 27, 2022 at 11:28 AM (#6062723)
I think of Oregon State as a cold weather school


Not nearly to the same degree as most of the Big 10 schools. It almost never snows in Corvallis. It does, however, rain constantly from October through April.
   18. kubiwan Posted: January 27, 2022 at 11:34 AM (#6062724)
Is playing on the road really the issue?


It probably doesn't matter much in terms of winning or losing a particular game, but it has to have a huge impact on everything from fan support (northern schools have their entire home schedule compressed into about 2 months (1 of which can still be pretty dubious weather-wise) vs. 3 months for southern schools), cost (flying down to Florida or Arizona every weekend for a month and putting everyone up in hotel can't be cheap), practice time (how many outdoor practices do you think Michigan gets?), etc. All of this could be greatly alleviated by just shoving the season back a month or so.

it's that southern colleges recruit from southern high schools, where kids can play many more games due to the weather


As in football, the southern schools will always have that advantage. But it seems like college baseball could be FAR more popular in the north with a change in the season.

   19. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 27, 2022 at 11:47 AM (#6062729)
I am very dubious that college baseball will ever be popular. It's not even that popular in warm weather areas - top attendance figures are like 4k a game, the same as like an A-ball team.
   20. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 27, 2022 at 01:14 PM (#6062745)
College baseball isn't popular because historically the best players have gone straight to the pros, even if that isn't always the case anymore -- though it still is, much more than with basketball or football, because so many players are drafted out of high school / signed out of foreign countries as kids. NCAA b-ball and football are the only place to go if you want to see the very best young players in those sports.

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