I have written earlier this year about midweek games and how misleading they can be. Let me clarify that statement, since yesterday’s action proved again why these games really do matter. I still think that the weekend series’ over the course of the year prove who the real contenders are. That being said, midweek games can help decide where you play in early June. Take yesterday for example…Coastal Carolina entered yesterday’s action with the top RPI in the country. Both Boydsworld.com and the NCAA had the Chants as the top RPI team in the country, but after a midweek loss to UVA they Chants now stand at 5th. UVA moves up one spot to 2nd. If you get a chance, go check out Boydsworld.com’s RPi needs report for the remainder of the season, it is a great read on who is in the best position to host at the end of the year. Due to the RPI struggles of the Big South, Coastal has to nearly run the table to stay in the top 8 of the RPI. UVA on the other hand has some room for error due to the strength of the ACC. My point; the midweek games can go a long way to determining RPI strength at the end of the year, and the mid-week loss to UVA could prove costly come selection Monday. For the record, if Coastal wins the conference and takes 2 of 3 from Liberty, I think they should be a national seed. The body of work is there, but the RPI could be a little light in a few weeks.
I had the biggest let down of my broadcasting career this weekend when the LSU- Ole Miss game was rained out on Friday night. The crowd was supposed to be giant, and the setting was perfect for a matchup of two of the top arms in the college game. Instead, we watched it rain for a few hours. The matchup ended up a letdown in the mound, and the series as a whole sent LSU to a point that few thought they would be in just a few weeks ago. If the season ended today, LSU would not be a national seed. A sweep at the hands of the Rebs pushed the Tigers to an unfamiliar spot. The get their chance to re-enter the discussion this weekend though as the travel to Gainesville to face Florida. Kevin O’Sullivan’s club now sports the top RPI in the land, and LSU can make up some serious ground with a solid showing this weekend. For Ole Miss, the sweep if LSU brought them back to the hosting discussion. This past weekend was my first trip to Oxford. Solid spot, and the renovations to the ballpark were very well done. I look forward to the return trip next weekend when the Rebs take on Arkansas.
To last weekend, when Texas proved again why they are the most balanced team in the land. I looked today, UT leads the nation in ERA and Fielding percentage…not a bad 1-2 punch. They are also near the top of the Big 12 in HR’s and the offense has been a pleasant surprise this year for the Horns. On top of that, while Jungmann has been lights out this year, Cole Green may be the national pitcher of the year. 9-0 with a 1.82 ERA and more then 20 less hits then innings pitched. Chance Ruffin has been pretty salty in the closer’s role too…An ERA right at 1 with 60 k’s in 42 ip. The Horns are the team to beat right now in my opinion.
South Carolina continues their impressive run and Virginia Tech should have punched their ticket to the post season barring a late season collapse. The Hokies travelled south to Georgia Tech and promptly took 2 of 3. They have now gone through a three weekend gauntlet and emerged 5-4 against Miami, Virginia and Georgia Tech. I am impressed, I know that. Rice made a statement too with a home sweep of East Carolina. Doubt Wayne Graham at your own risk, the man knows how to coach. Stanford stayed hot with a 3 game sweep of Cal. A three run ninth inning sealed the Bears’ fate this past weekend and Stanford has now won their last seven conference games to climb into 2nd place.
More this weekend from Gainesville, I look forward to seeing the talented Gators for the first time this year. Keep an eye on UCLA v. Arizona St in Westwood this weekend too. That should be a beauty.