Every Wednesday, our co-founder, Craig Amick, will give you a snapshot of who in the country is trending toward Omaha, who could surprise and who is quickly falling out of the race. This column has nothing to do with polls (you can find ours here) or standings, but instead takes a look at who, based on historical data and trends, would be the picks to have a place at T.D. Ameritrade Park when June rolls around.
For all intents and purposes, college baseball season began with week three.
Sure, TCU, Florida and others wish this were really the case, but for most of the country, the real competition started this past week.
Among the big match-ups was the Astros Foundation College Classic in Houston. North Carolina, Rice and Texas A&M all played, and the Tar Heels solidified their position, while the Owls and Aggies struggled mightily.
In Palo Alto, Stanford got back on track against Texas, while the Longhorns look like they may be headed for another disastrous season by Texas standards.
Cal State Fullerton and Oklahoma also had big series wins over solid competition, muddying the waters a bit.
There are only eight undefeated teams left in Division I baseball at this point. Which of those teams will end up in Omaha this year? A few — North Carolina, Oregon State and Mississippi State — are good bets.
Looking ahead to this week, the ACC starts conference play, highlighted by Georgia Tech against Virginia Tech. The Hokies have had a good start to the season. We’ll find out if they’re for real this weekend.
The series of the week is likely Vanderbilt versus Oregon in Eugene. The Commodores are a very good team, and the top-10 series should be a gem.
Finally, it will be interesting to see where Notre Dame ends up after this weekend. The Irish are a trendy top 25 pick lately, but they’ll get tested out in Los Angeles playing both UCLA and Oklahoma this weekend.
So, without further ado, here’s this week’s Omaha Eight. Enjoy a great weekend of college baseball!
Agree? Disagree? Love the column? Think we’re nuts? Send a tweet to @craigamick_co or leave him a comment below.
- North Carolina — All the Tar Heels are doing is winning, and winning in a dominant fashion. Their win over Rice on Friday sent the Owls into a weekend tailspin.
- Vanderbilt — The Commodores are playing solid on both sides of the ball. The staff ERA is just more than 2.00, and the offense is hitting .327.
- LSU — It wasn’t easy, but the Tigers improved to 10-1 with a perfect week. Should be smooth sailing until the Mississippi State series in two weeks.
- Oregon State — The Beavers stayed undefeated and continue to get some of the best starting pitching in the country.
- South Carolina — Clemson doesn’t have the team they have had lately, but it’s never easy to win the rivalry series. The Gamecocks passed their first test.
- Oregon — The Ducks slipped up a bit, losing two-of-three in Fullerton, but there’s a golden opportunity to get back on track this weekend against Vanderbilt.
- Mississippi State — The Bulldogs were really good offensively last season, and if the early season results are any indication, they have the pitching to go with it this year.
- UCLA — The Bruins had a pretty easy week, but rougher waters are ahead with Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Southern Cal on deck this weekend.
Sleepers (in alphabetical order):
- Cal State Fullerton — The Titans are pushing their way into the national discussion after a big series win over Oregon.
- Florida State — Pretty tough to call the Seminoles a sleeper, as one of the eight remaining undefeated teams, but they’re young, so they stay here one more week.
- Oklahoma — It’s an intriguing start for the Sooners. If they can develop the pitching depth, they could make a run this year.
- Virginia — Another breezy weekend for the Cavaliers, but Hoo (pun intended) knows what we’ll see when they actually play someone.
Falling (in alphabetical order):
- Arkansas — It was a disastrous weekend for the Razorbacks. The type of weekend that can send a team into a tailspin. That makes this week even more important.
- Rice — Losing all three games in the Astros Classic sort of took all of the luster off the week-one series win against Stanford.
- Texas — Uh oh, Texas fans. Could the Longhorns be headed for another June with no baseball? Getting swept in Palo Alto was not a good sign.
- Texas A&M — The Aggies did not have a good weekend, their second disappointing weekend in a row. With the SEC schedule ahead, this is not a good sign.