Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Destination Achieved: Omaha, Nebraska

For Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, California, Texas and South Carolina, a season's worth of blood, sweat and tears has all come down to a trip to Omaha and TD Ameritrade Park and a chance to play for the College World Series Championship.  The Gamecocks are the defending champions, but 7 other teams are vying to knock them off their throne.  You can find the CWS schedule with TV listings HERE.

I did get 7 of 8 teams correct in my College World Series Preview back a couple weeks ago.  The only one I missed was California, as they defeated underdog Dallas Baptist in the Super Regional that was played in Santa Clara, because the Bears don't have lights at their stadium! 

This weekend's Super Regional action provided some great drama, especially the ending of the UC Irvine/Virginia game 3:

I thought the Cavaliers were gone after they made the first two outs in the bottom of the 9th, but they made a rally for the ages.

I'm sure many college baseball fans were surprised to see Texas A&M go to Tallahassee and beat Florida State, but I wasn't one bit surprised.  As storied as Mike Martin's career has been, he still hasn't won a national championship.  That's amazing when you consider the amount of quality players he's had over his 30+ years!  I'm starting to think he could coach until he turns 100 and not win a title, just like Jack Leggett at Clemson and Danny Hall at Georgia Tech. 

Why do these great ACC program underachieve every year?  Did you know the ACC hasn't won a national championship since Wake Forest did it back in the 1950's?  Amazing.

Florida and Virginia are the two best teams in the tournament, and Florida has the deepest staff in the country.  They can also score enough runs to win even if the pitching lets down.  That will be the downfall of Texas, they are just too offensively challenged to win the whole deal. 

Watch out for Vanderbilt as well.  They have a deep staff and split the season series with Florida.  If Sonny Gray and Grayson Garvin get them through the first two, they will be in a great spot to advance to the championship series.

Don't count out California either.  They are playing with house money, as their program was due to be cut after this season, but a fund-raising effort has helped save the program.  They have all the confidence rolling in to Omaha, much like Fresno State in 2008. 

I will stick to my original prediction of a Florida over Virginia in 3 games for the title.  The Gators depth will help them through, even if they do slip up early and fall into the loser's bracket early on.  

Who is your choice to win this year's College World Series?   

1 comment:

  1. My is pick is... the Heels. I think it is going to be their year, finally. They have been close many times this might be the team that will win it all. Give my Heels some love!!!