Off The Top Of My Head: March 8Columns
After last week’s adrenaline high, do we need to slam a case of RockStar to keep our spirits up this weekend? Hmmm, maybe. We won’t have as many great one-on-one showdowns and six-team hoedowns, but there is still plenty of intrigue going into this second week of March. The top of the list for me will be this weekend’s DodgerTown Classic, featuring games at Dodger Stadium on Sunday between Vanderbilt-TCU and USC-UCLA.
Rankings-wise, the marquee three-game matchups for this week include No. 3 Texas Tech going to play three games at No. 6 Kentucky, No. 20 North Carolina opening ACC play at No. 13 Louisville and No. 7 Stanford going to No. 23 Texas. And there are also some big college baseball names squaring off with Cal State Fullerton at No. 2 Oregon State and Long Beach State at No. 10 Texas A&M. Though both the visitors go in with a noticeable limp.
But look just a bit below the bright lights and big venues and you’ll see a bunch of teams that are begging to be noticed by the national media that will have their chance at making big waves this weekend. Here are the Lucky Seven teams with a chance to have breakout weekends.
Seven Teams In The White Hot Spotlight.
The following seven teams have gotten off to good starts this season, but now they will make the jump from JV to the big time and all take on ranked opponents. We’ll see if they are ready to put on their big-boy pants and start playing baseball that is worthy of our glare. We’re watching guys.
– Kent State, 6-3
This Weekend: at No. 5Arkansas
I had the Flashes as one of my off-the-radar teams to watch for 2018. They won 37 games last year but got eliminated in the MAC tourney before reaching their NCAA dreams, so motivation shouldn’t be a problem this year. But with bursting-from-the-seams talent on the mound that is heavy on the junior-senior side, we’ll see if they can reign it in a bit against the Hogs in what could be argued is the toughest atmosphere in D1. But nothing will come easy, as the Razorbacks have an even more stout staff, ranking fifth nationally with a team ERA of 1.78.