We have two weekends left to go in the regular season of college baseball. It looks like the SEC and ACC will be hosting a lot of NCAA Tournament games before the scene shifts to Omaha for the College World Series.
How big is baseball in the SEC now? The SEC Network is sending Paul Finebaum and the crew from SEC Now down to Gainesville on Friday to do their shows from the left field deck at McEthan Stadium because the #1 ranked Florida Gators will be hosting another top ten team in the Vanderbilt Commodores.
Florida will be trying to break their school record for wins in a regular season on Friday when they send the schools all time record holder for consecutive wins, Logan Shore to the mound. He will be opposed by another pitcher who will likely be drafted in the first round of the MLB Draft in Jordan Sheffield who has a 7-3 record and an ERA of 2.09. Runs will be tough to come by in this series.
Vandy has been to the Championship Series against the Virginia Cavaliers in the last two College World Series, winning one and losing one.
Florida has spent the bulk of this season ranked #1 in the nation and are currently tied for first in the SEC standings with the South Carolina Gamecocks. What does it mean to be atop of the SEC? Consider the national rankings of these teams:
Florida is #1, Texas A&M is #2, Mississippi State is #4, South Carolina is #5 and Vanderbilt is #7. They are joined in the rankings by #12 Ole Miss and #13 LSU. Clearly the SEC is the nation’s best conference.
Not too far behind is the ACC. The Miami Hurricanes are #3, the Florida State Seminoles are #6, Louisville checks in at #8 followed by #9 N. C. State. Defensing National Champion Virginia is #18, North Carolina is #20 and Georgia Tech checks n this week at #25.
When regional sites and national seeds are announced, look for the SEC and ACC to get the bulk of them. You could possibly see four Super Regionals held in the SEC. Florida is a lock to host provided they win their regional. Texas A&M, Mississippi State and South Carolina would appear to be as well. You may also see a couple of others in Florida if both Miami and FSU get a national seed.
But, when selecting these seeds, it is not always about the most deserving teams getting to host. Sometimes it is about location. There will need to be some regionals held out west and up north which could result in a team like Ole Miss or LSU needing to travel. It could also mean a Miami vs FSU Super Regional or perhaps a Florida-FSU Super.
But when all is said and done, look for Omaha to be invaded by the SEC and ACC, which we should be used to by now.