What We Learned In March And Looking AheadColumns
• What He Learned In March
• Five Quick Hits
• Eight For Omaha
Do you StitchHeads out there realize how fast this 2019 season is going? We are already at the end of March. Man alive, it seems like we just blinked and we’re already seven weekends into the campaign. Slow down season, slow down. Well since this is the final weekend of the second month of the season, we’ll take a slightly early look back at what we learned from this past month in college baseball.
Here’s a quick 1-through-11 of what we discovered…
1- THE PAC 12 IS BACK
Maybe not as demonstrative in the human polls, the occidental conference is having a bit of a resurgence in 2019. Oregon State, UCLA and Stanford are still near the top of the rankings, but have you seen the latest still-a-bit-too-earl-to-take-it-completely-seriously RPI rankings. Usually a scourge to the West, the latest RPI rankings show OSU, UCLA, Stanford in the top 10, but they are joined by Arizona State at No. 10, Oregon at No. 14, Washington at No. 41 and Cal at No. 55. It’s good to see the Pac 12 back, especially with ASU and Oregon having their success with their respective coaches coming into this season with a hot seat underneath them.
2- THE I’s HAVE IT
It’s good to be a program that starts with an “I”. Illinois, Illinois State, Indiana and Indiana State have all gotten off to good starts and are being rewarded with good RPI rankings. Illinois has been one of the biggest surprises in the country (well, except not for Dave Seifert and I, but I digress) as they are now 17-5 and No. 5 in the latest RPI. Big games ahead for the Illini as they go to Iowa this weekend (who beat Oklahoma State two-of-three) and then two mid-week games at home vs. Coastal Carolina. Illinois State has ridden a rugged schedule (the 28th-toughest nationally) and are No. 30 in the RPI despite a record of just 13-10. Indiana is certainly a team to watch, sitting at 15-8 and No. 35 in the RPI and just had an eight-game winning streak snapped by Kent State. Finally, Indiana State is a big surprise as well, sitting in the top 10 of the RPI this entire season so far before falling to No. 12 this week. Still, the Sycamores are 20-2 and coming off a midweek win over Illinois. The Missouri Valley Conference is not a strength this year, so both ISU’s will have to keep their winning percentage up to stay where they are in the RPI.