Iowa hadn't reached the NCAA postseason since 1990 before it did so this past season. The Hawkeyes are one of many rising programs in the 81-90 range.


Top 100 Programs: 81-90

From time to time, it’s a good idea to step back from the day-to-day grind of college baseball and examine the bigger picture. The landscape of the sport has shifted in a huge way over the last decade, and many of the programs at the top of the college baseball world now were complete non-factors just 10 or 15 years ago.

So here is our attempt to rank the Top 100 College Baseball Programs of the current era. This exercise is not intended to predict how teams will fare in the 2016 season, so we won’t spend time evaluating the players currently in each program. Instead, we are assessing the overall health of the program, based on recent history, coaching staff quality, facilities, scholarship/financial aid situation, conference dynamics, and recruiting and player development proficiency.

For the purpose of this exercise, we don’t care what happened in the 1970s or 80s, or even the 90s — that’s ancient history to a potential recruit in 2015. Tradition is nice, but it’s more important to establish a tradition of consistent winning in the last decade, and especially in the last five years. Our ultimate goal here is to identify the programs in the best shape right now, with an eye toward the next five to 10 years.

In our latest group, Aaron Fitt and Kendall Rogers rank programs No’s 81-90.

• SEE ALSO: Teams 91-100

81. South Alabama

South Alabama logoAs is the case with plenty of mid-majors around the country, the Jaguars have been a bit of a see-saw program in Mark Calvi’s four seasons with the program. The Jaguars earned just over 20 wins in two of Calvi’s four campaigns. However, his program also went 43-20 and reached the NCAA postseason in 2013, while also going an impressive 37-20 last season with a 19-9 league record, very impressive marks despite being snubbed from the postseason. With an excellent facility, good recruiting base and coaching staff, the Jaguars should continue to be a potential force to watch in the Sun Belt, something not exactly surprising for a program with 25 postseason appearances.

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