With one weekend to go in the regular season in college baseball, there is still a lot up for grabs. This promises to be a fun weekend on the baseball diamond.
In the SEC, where many of the nation’s top ranked teams are beating each other up a bit, the Missouri Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Tennessee Volunteers, Georgia Bulldogs and Auburn Tigers are just hoping to stay alive and keep playing after this weekend. Two of them will fail.
The bottom two teams in the conference standings do not qualify to the SEC Tournament which starts next week in Hoover, Alabama. Right now, the two teams on the outside looking in are Tennessee and Arkansas who are both 7-20 in SEC play. But they only trail Auburn and Missouri by one game with both at 8-19. Georgia is a virtual lock to make it to Hoover after taking two of three in Missouri this past weekend, running their record up to 10-17.
At the top of the standings, there are National Seeds on the line with teams such as the #1 Florida Gators at 18-8, the Texas A&M Aggies at 18-9, the Mississippi State Bulldogs at 18-9 and the South Carolina Gamecocks at 17-9. All of these teams will likely host both in the NCAA Regionals and should they make it, the Super Regionals as well. But, that doesn’t mean they can coast this weekend. Not only is the regular season SEC Championship on the line, but getting swept in a season closing series could vault a team like the Vanderbilt Commodores or LSU Tigers into a National Seed. Vandy is 15-12 and faces Auburn this weekend and the Tigers are 17-10 and host the number one Gators with a huge chance to impress the Selection Committee.
Then we have the Alabama Crimson Tide at 15-12 and 30-21 overall and the Kentucky Wildcats at 29-23 overall and 13-14 in the SEC. Both of those teams are trying just to get a good spot in the NCAA Regionals and could help themselves greatly with a good series this weekend. Bama takes on South Carolina and Kentucky hosts Missouri.
All 14 teams come into this weekend with something to play for. Four teams still have a great shot at the SEC Championship and the top seed in the SEC Tournament. Many college baseball experts feel like as many as seven of them could host an NCAA Regional the following weekend, with five or six maybe possibly still playing for a top eight National Seed.
We some some outstanding action this past weekend when Florida took on Vandy and won two of three, Texas A&M taking two of three at South Carolina, Mississippi State sweeping Auburn, and Alabama sweeping Arkansas. We also saw Ole Miss, who is still in the thick of the race to host a regional sweep the Wildcats. Ole Miss is 39-13 and 17-10 in SEC play. They will take on the Aggies this weekend in a huge series.
If there is anything better in the SEC than football season, it might be baseball season. Not only could the conference land as many as ten teams in the NCAA Tournament, there are 11 of their teams in the NCAA Softball Tournament which includes overall #1 National Seed Florida going for a three-peat in the Women’s College World Series. It is very possible we could see an SEC school walk away with both championships this season.