Off The Top Of My Head: CWS EditionColumns
Okay StitchHeads, whaddya’ think? Did we just see the most exciting Super Regional round since the tournament was expanded to 64 teams back in 1999? Possibly so.
How can you beat the drama of the dueling extra innings we had when Washington-Fullerton and Mississippi State-Vanderbilt were playing tag-you’re-it with insane comebacks and manic finishes on two different stations? Then again, maybe that Auburn-Florida finish was the topper? Either way, that remarkably painful ending for the Tigers was something that Florida fans will never forget. Unfortunately neither will Stephen Williams, the poor boy. That finish prevented Auburn from making its first trip to Omaha since 1997 when a man named Tim Hudson was pitching and hitting his way to All American status.
What a mad rush those last few days of the Supers were. You think we’ll get more of that coming up in Omaha this week? We can only hope. Of the eight Super Regional series, six went to a third game, as only Oregon State and North Carolina went two-and-a-barbecue. Last year, only two went to a third game. So this could be the most competitive NCAA Tournament we have seen in years.
This year’s field of eight has no Cinderella. There is no Coastal Carolina. No Stony Brook. No Wichita State. All eight teams come from Power Five conferences. It will also be the first CWS without a representative from the Big West Conference. And even though the American Athletic Conference was the fourth ranked conference in the RPI, none of those teams were able to get out of the Regional round. In fact, as I think of it, how is it possible that we actually have a College World Series without TCU? Or without LSU? Or without Louisville? Can this thing still go off? I guess we have to accept it and move on.