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D1Baseball Top 25: Vanderbilt Takes Over No. 1

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Vanderbilt moved up one spot to No. 1 in the D1Baseball Top 25 rankings after riding dominant starts from Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter to a series win against then-No. 16 South Carolina. The Commodores improved to 15-3 overall and have won all five of their weekend series, highlighted by back-to-back Top 25 series wins over the last two weeks at Oklahoma State and vs. the Gamecocks.

Arkansas drops one spot to No. 2 after a 2-2 week, even though it rebounded from Friday’s blowout loss to win a home series against Alabama. Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Florida held steady, keeping the all-SEC top five intact.

The next seven spots are occupied by teams that moved up one notch apiece, starting with Texas Tech, which won its Big 12-opening series against Oklahoma State. ACC upstarts Notre Dame and Pittsburgh continued to impress with series wins against Duke and at Virginia, respectively, pushing them up three spots apiece to Nos. 14 and 15. Oregon moved up four places to No. 16 after taking two of three from Arizona State to open Pac-12 play.

Three teams entered the Top 25 this week, led by Florida State, which leapt back into the rankings at No. 17 after drubbing Florida 10-2 midweek and then outscoring Miami 34-2 in a three-game sweep on the road. Louisiana Tech followed up a midweek blowout of Ole Miss with a road sweep of Tulane, propelling the Bulldogs into the rankings at No. 23. And North Carolina returned to the rankings at No. 24 after taking two of three at Boston College, which fell from No. 24 out of the rankings. UC Santa Barbara and Virginia Tech also dropped out of the Top 25.

D1Baseball editors and national writers determine the Top 25 rankings. Records are through games of March 21.

Rank Team Overall Record Record Last Week Previous Rank
1 Vanderbilt 15-3 3-1 2
2 Arkansas 14-3 2-2 1
3 Mississippi State 16-4 3-1 3
4 Ole Miss 16-4 3-1 4
5 Florida 16-5 3-1 5
6 Texas Tech 16-4 3-1 7
7 Louisville 14-5 3-1 8
8 East Carolina 16-3 3-1 9
9 Texas 14-6 3-1 10
10 UCLA 12-6 2-1 11
11 Georgia Tech 11-6 2-1 12
12 Tennessee 17-4 3-1 13
13 TCU 13-7 3-1 15
14 Notre Dame 9-3 2-1 17
15 Pittsburgh 11-4 2-0 18
16 Oregon 10-4 2-1 20
17 Florida State 10-6 4-0 NR
18 Michigan 9-2 2-1 22
19 Miami 9-7 1-3 6
20 Oklahoma State 12-5-1 1-3 14
21 Oregon State 13-4 2-1 23
22 LSU 16-5 2-2 19
23 Louisiana Tech 13-5 4-0 NR
24 North Carolina 12-6 2-2 NR
25 South Carolina 12-6 1-3 16
Dropped Out
UC Santa Barbara 11-7 2-2 21
Boston College 11-7 2-2 24
Virginia Tech 10-8 1-3 25
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Thomas Miller
Thomas Miller
6 months ago

Stanford at 12-3 is still out by Miami at 9-7 is in?

Rick
Rick
6 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Miller

agree. If you note, the Big 10 bias in the basketball tourney has turned into yet another B10 embarrassment. I believe there is, at the root of this “every August we have 7 teams in the preseason FB poll, then every January, we see either lower rankings, or disappearance of our teams who were slotted positions they could not defend through the season” is caused by a majority of writers having received their degrees at B10 schools. Two reasons this makes some sense. First, the Big 10, as a conference, has the strongest academic schools of any conference outside the Ivy League, a conference that is not significant in numbers, or good athletic teams. The second would be the sheer size of these B10 schools. The average size B10 school is 2x as big as #2. This puts many more people into slots where they get to vote. Now, sorry for this – the D1 Top 25 is very few guys voting, whereas the polls, and the non-print media also are dominated by B10 sycophants. The result is all eastern schools receive a boost from polls, and all out west, get underrated. Look at what Oregon and Oregon St. have done in the past 4 days – the Pac 12 was obviously stronger than perceived, talked about. Who was overrated? Well, how about Iowa, Illinois, Purdue, & Ohio St, leaving two teams out of 16, and one, Maryland, was a 10 seed, has little chance to advance. We will see the same thing we always do in August, as we have in this basketball tourney, the “homies” voting teams into slots they will not then earn through the season. In FB, I suggest they start scheduling better teams for their non-conference foes, show us you are ready to stand toe-to-toe with the better teams, by beating them, not having your stuffed media carry the water. Sorry for the length, took a little bit to cover the points I think are relevant in how polls are done, public perception moved by the abundance of bias in both the print and electronic media. You can deny this if you are a B10 fan, but results continue to speak a different narrative. Again.

Niko
Niko
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Wrong sport g

Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Damn…Rick writes books.

James Joseph Waters
James Joseph Waters
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Great points on B10…..the verbiage will ruffle the B10 fans feathers only because the truth hurts…over all B10 always gets exposed in BB, FB & Baseball with there over all lack of team speed. They should consider combining with Ivy league to have a super conference for themself’s and never play outside the conference

Dave
Dave
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

I guess you have never seen the OOC schedule for ANY SEC school…..awful analogy

Extreme1125
Extreme1125
6 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Miller

#StanfordT25Week6

James
James
6 months ago

I’m a huge Hurricanes fan but after this weekends epic failure at home against the Seminoles I think they need to drop out of the top 25. It will be interesting to see where they go from here. At least it’s still early…

John
John
6 months ago
Reply to  James

Dont worry about Miami. They could lose every game for the rest of the year but taking 2/3 from Florida will keep them in the Top 25 all year. Florida will keep beating Florida A&M and North Florida. It’s that strength of schedule in the SEC

Rick
Rick
6 months ago
Reply to  John

you may want to look at the list, over the last 30 years, of the teams who play in Omaha. Like the FB, the SEC dominates. I suppose the scouts, like a few years ago when an SI article stated that “on any weekend, half the NFL scouts are at SEC games, the other half, at all the other schools”, know where the talent is. Based on drafts, major league rosters, that is also happening in baseball. Matters not how you do in that one game midweek, what matters is how you do on the weekends, playing a team with about a 50/50 chance of playing in the Super Regionals, then send more than the #2 conference, on to Omaha. Take out the SEC bottom 4, and you will find that the top 10 SEC teams each year overpopulate the Super Regionals, and Omaha. How many titles has your conference gathered in FB or baseball in the 21st Century? While the ACC does get halfway close in numbers of teams who make Omaha, they have one paltry title in the past 20 years, the one UNC won. How many for the SEC? Well, there are the LSU, Florida, Vanderbilt titles, then S. Carolina’s two. Think you get where this is going.

Clyde
Clyde
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Virginia won a National Championship, not Carolina. The Cavaliers won the 2015 College World Series, highlighted by winning two of three games against Florida before ousting Vanderbilt in three games in the CWS Finals. Tar Heels were runners up to Oregon St. in 2006 and 2007.

Joshua
Joshua
6 months ago
Reply to  Clyde

Florida state has beaten #5 LSU in Omaha.

Cactus junky
Cactus junky
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

No it doesn’t. You’re so fucking blind and ignorant to the truth. The pac-10 / pac-12 is the most dominant sports conference in the history of collegiate sports. Baseball has been owned by the West and it still is

Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  James

They were #6 last week, so a series loss wouldn’t normally throw you out of the rankings from that height. Perhaps though, they were over-ranked to begin with?

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago
Reply to  Ken Hood

Canes have ways been suspect w/ pitching, good bats, but starting pitching has often been thin.

Todd Snowmann
Todd Snowmann
6 months ago
Reply to  James

They suck bad.
Federman is a waste!! Why he is in lineup no clue.
No discipline from this team, to many strike outs and errors!!
I bet if we played FLORIDA again we get waxed!!

Dan
Dan
6 months ago

Honestly, I thought that you would move State to the top spot since they won a a series on the road.

Corbin believer
Corbin believer
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan

As a Vandy Boys fan I wish they had moved State to #1 also…..#1 is a heavy burden. All I want is a top 8 seed in May.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago

And definitely not #1 seed, which almost always is “kiss of death.”

Matt Dugger
Matt Dugger
6 months ago

Same here I bet my Hogs play better this week. #1 this early is more of a burden than a blessing IMO.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan

Vandy is the only team that has TWO series wins against ranked teams, one on the road (Okla State) and one at home (S Carolina), and no series losses. MState has only the one at LSU. Ole Miss and Florida have lost a series at home. Arkansas does not have a single series win against a ranked opponent, though it does have the early season classic wins. Not a surprise Vandy is new #1. The ability to win series, especially on the road, is a huge factor. With Rocker and Leiter you expect Vandy to be the favorite in every series.

Maxwell
Maxwell
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

Mississippi State does have wins against #6 Texas Tech & #9 Texas.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  Maxwell

Yes, but those were single games not series. I acknowledged that with my “early season classic wins” just didn’t name the teams.

Kelly
Kelly
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

Both games played in Texas. Damn near swept all 3, losing by a single run to TCU…all this despite not having our 2 best pitchers available at the time. 3 games in Texas vs 3 highly-ranked Texas teams is not less impressive than winning a 3-game series vs a single opponent.

jasonross_9
jasonross_9
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

Arkansas has 5 top 25 wins compared to Vandy’s 4. All on the road or neutral sites including a series win at #23 La Tech?

jasonross_9
jasonross_9
6 months ago
Reply to  jasonross_9

Also one of Vandy’s big series wins was OSU who also lost on the road last week 2/3 to Texas Tech, whom Arkansas beat

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  jasonross_9

If you want to play this silly game, why not go all the way?
Vandy went 2-1 against a S Carolina team that just got swept at Texas, whom Arkansas also beat in a single game one month ago. So Vandy’s two series victories are basically crap. LOL.

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago
Reply to  jasonross_9

Dominant performances by Vandy Fri and sat and Arkansas took a hit mid week and Fri. I think Vandy is worthy of no 1 right now.

jasonross_9
jasonross_9
6 months ago
Reply to  jasonross_9

Arkansas has #1 Strength of schedule and RPI had to be 1 at this point with 10 Q1 wins

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  jasonross_9

Have you done enough nitpicking? The Main thing they look at are the results of SERiES not single games. The Hogs have not played a series against a ranked team. They just lost 3 games in a row including a 16-1 buttwhipping by a less than elite ‘Bama. The SoS/RPI are virtually meaningless at this point which is why D1 won’t start theirs for another week or two.Give it up. Time for them to drop a notch. Any hiccup and the order changes.

Hunter Wilbanks
Hunter Wilbanks
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

Arkansas swept Texas Tech, Texas, and TCU on a neutral field. They also won a road series against now ranked LTech. We just won a series against Alabama who is ranked in Baseball America. Right now we have the best resume. Vandy does the best on an eye test with your two stellar arms. I wouldn’t want to play you in a 3 game series, but if we are talking about a 4 team bracket in the CWS, your lack of a third pitcher might come back to haunt you.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago

Read my last comment. I am telling you how D1 does it. I personally have always said these are my 5 best teams in any order. It ultimately means nothing.To say Vandy lacks a 3rd pitcher is a stretch. He retired the first nine Sunday then gave up back to back HRs. It’s a work in progress. If he doesn’t pan out there are other options including the midweek starter. Corbin is giving the guy some time.

Rick
Rick
6 months ago

don’t count on that #3 not being a stud. Coach Corbin elected to go with #3 to begin the 2019 CWS, against a kid, for Louisville, who will be in the bigs before the season ends. That set up better P’s for game 2 and 3. The big question at VU is not pitching, it is hitting, and so far, not bad at all. Hickman was a good #2 in ’19, but he would be the first to tell you he is no Jack Leiter. Depth of staff has been about as awesome as the abilities and results of their top 2. Would be why they may soon own 3 of the last 7 titles.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago

FWIW, Vandy is #1 in 4/5 polls. Lot of clueless baseball sports writers and coaches….

Jim hurley
Jim hurley
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

La tech is ranked and Ark won 2/3 at their place. And you mention the classic. They swept Tcu, TT, and Texas. SOS number one and RPI number one. What else can they do?

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim hurley

As I have said. Vandy has won two series over ranked teams, both in the last 2 weeks. ARK one. Okla State and S Carolina vs La Tech. Ark just lost 3 in a row including a 16-1 thrashing at home by Alabama. That’s pretty much it. I doubt any pollsters pay any attention to the SoS/RPI in March. It’s a conversation piece.

Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  Jim hurley

You should know by now (and probably do) that it’s also about “what have you done lately”. Any team that plays mediocre just ahead of teams that had a better week stand the chance of losing their spot in the rankings. I’m an Arkansas fan and was pleased they didn’t fall below Ole Miss and Miss. State after losing 3 in a row going into last week. I fine with #2 this week.

Last edited 6 months ago by Ken Hood
Kelly
Kelly
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

And Vandy is the only team that can offer full-tuition to every player on their roster. Some programs can work in lottery scholarships, and perhaps tweak other scholarship offers to go to baseball, but none come remotely close to Vandy’s ability to get everyone they want. Some Vandy fans will try to point to an occasional player who did not get a full ride, but those guys are ones that came from families that did not meet the extremely generous income/assets limits Vandy imposes. Opportunity Vanderbilt, while a noble program for their general student population, has the by-product of allowing them to sign anybody they want for baseball and cover every cent their families might otherwise have to pay at most any other program in the country, unless those families are quite wealthy.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kelly
Rick
Rick
6 months ago
Reply to  Dan

you may want to see Jack and Kumar pitch ASAP. That will explain the poll. Also, MSU did not play a better SEC team, like VU did. SC no punt team, and they got set down like a future pro or D1 P dominates his Little League, when he is 12. If they need only two P’s to dominate regionals, Omaha, then may as well go on and hand them the trophy. That said, an injury to Rocker or Leiter would change this hugely, although, as usual their #3 is superior to all other teams’ #3 SP. #3 to those two leaves room for at least one more stud in that #3 slot, just won’t be talked about as much, except by the scouts. Bet MS State makes Omaha, so in no way am I suggesting they are not one of America’s top teams. I am sure VU and MS State will not be the only SEC teams in mid-June, still playing. Will be one or two more.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

AND they play in Nashville April 23-25….

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

As well as regionals and supers…

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Unless you are a sports writer or Vandy follower, you would not know Vandy has been playing without their star hitter Keegan and best RH reliever Murphy for most of the last 2 weeks. Moreover their best LHP Fisher has seen limited action as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

Corbin believer
Corbin believer
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

Don’t forget that Spencer Jones is also coming off Tommy John and will be available before the regionals.

Mighty_Flynn
Mighty_Flynn
6 months ago

Having watched Texas all weekend, I’m shocked to see they climbed a spot rather than falling out of the top ten. If not for scoring four unearned runs in one inning Friday (two errors, three walks, and a hit batsman), the Longhorns would’ve lost the series to Baylor. They eked out a one-run win Saturday and were blown out Sunday. They sure didn’t look like a top ten team to my eye.

Nthompso23
Nthompso23
6 months ago
Reply to  Mighty_Flynn

I dislike UT as much as the next guy but a series win is a series win. Hard to drop when they took 2 in Waco.

CharleeB
CharleeB
6 months ago
Reply to  Nthompso23

Exactly. Seems like year in and year out people have to have it explained to them that posing a single game will never drop a team in rankings. Gotta lose a series for that to happen

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago
Reply to  CharleeB

That’s what makes baseball superior to the other two big time team sports in.that the group that a coach assembles is what makes them successful or not. A strong pitching staff is fundamental from developing a solid Friday guy to nail game 1 w/ a reliable Saturday follow up is crucial, as well as enough depth in the pen to keep your team in the hunt game after game. I love the series approach, and it makes the tourney an interesting personell utilization strategic exercise that is so fun to watch. I feel it much more entertaining than the basketball tourney

Mighty_Flynn
Mighty_Flynn
6 months ago
Reply to  CharleeB

I could understand keeping them at 10, since they won the series, but they moved up. I think quality of wins should be considered, especially in the top 10. My larger point stands: Texas didn’t look like a Top 10 team this weekend.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago
Reply to  Mighty_Flynn

They “climbed” a spot because Miami “dropped” below them.

Christopher Vitas
Christopher Vitas
6 months ago

Michigan goes 2-1 against non-ranked teams and jumps 4 spots???

Tanner
Tanner
6 months ago

big 10 is graded on a curve

Rick
Rick
6 months ago
Reply to  Tanner

see my loooong spot above on why the B10 is graded on a curve, in all 3 sports. Has to do with them overpopulating those who vote.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago

So who were the 4 teams that fell below them and what did they do? I imagine they had losing weeks. Sometimes you don’t “jump” teams but rather they fall below you.

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago

Two years ago Michigan played one of the most rigorous out of conference early season schedules in collegiate baseball and only performed around .600 or so against some quite stiff competition, but by late season they were so seasoned that they went all the way to the championship game in a very exciting tourney that was inspiring to watch a cold weather team accomplish. They had great pitching and were worthy, this year being secluded to a strict diet of Big 10 will probably hinder them come June, but who knows? It’s hard to comprehend who really has what until we can get out and play more cross conference matchups.

RICHARD
RICHARD
6 months ago

Michigan actually was a bigger story for making the final series in Omaha than a loaded Vandy club was in winning it.

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago
Reply to  RICHARD

Agreed, I found that to be one of the most exciting CWS finals since Fresno in 08, just because they were such a story. Cold weather fun to watch club w/ big arms that fought their way into it through a very tough western bracket(s)

CharleeB
CharleeB
6 months ago

Well im a huge texas tech fan but im being honest they really need to figure some things out late in games. It is almost like they get a comfortable lead and then quit playing hard. Not to take anything away from oklahoma state but you have to play hard all 9 innings guys

rossfivejc
rossfivejc
6 months ago

INDIANA STATE ranked by BA and Perfect Game …. COME ON D1baseball… WAITING PATIENTLY!

Mike
Mike
6 months ago

SEC bias alive and well. Play no name teams to start the season. Then rank all the SEC teams in the top 25 and call it strength of schedule. Helps ESPN sell a lot of advertisements when the field of 64 is loaded with SEC teams.

Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike, which SEC teams played no-names? Arkansas, Ole Miss and Miss State beat Texas, Texas Tech and TCU in the first 3 games of the season. Ark and Ole Miss swept the Texas teams – all of which were ranked in the top 10 at the time. Miss State went 2-1. This same old argument every year and it’s obvious that certain ACC and PAC-12 teams linger in the rankings after losses too…you just choose to ignore that fact.

BennyBaseball
BennyBaseball
6 months ago
Reply to  Ken Hood

I suppose that early season classic where three Big12 teams were beat by three SEC teams is going to be brought up all year!! Time to let go of those games – they were to college baseball what Spring Training is to MLB (one game meaningless, pre-season primers). As everybody has been saying…it’s the 3 game weekend series that matter most!

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago
Reply to  BennyBaseball

Right, and this year, more than any other, they will be constrained by conference limitations and Covid concerns, so a good idea of how anyone looks outside of their conference won’t come til after Memorial Day

Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  BennyBaseball

It was a direct response to Mike’s assertion that SEC teams play “no-name teams”. I was disputing that with the facts. He has yet to give any examples of where an SEC team shouldn’t be ranked and why.

Blake
Blake
6 months ago
Reply to  BennyBaseball

“You don’t play anyone!*”

*terms and conditions apply. Speaker reserves right to arbitrarily exclude all games against good teams.

Maybe instead of telling the SEC to forget about their wins against good teams you could just stop making statements at odds with reality? The SEC has played multiple series against P5 competition, and furthermore regularly played the strongest mid-major competition in the region to start the year. A few weekends ago the SEC west played a “weak” schedule with no T25 teams. Yet every opponent entered the weekend with a winning record.

What exactly do you expect the conference to do, and can you point us to the conference that’s played a stronger schedule?

BrunoVFL
BrunoVFL
6 months ago
Reply to  BennyBaseball

MLB exh games dont count…..anyone saying that 3 game set is useless….is clueless

Rick
Rick
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Mike,

just look at the numbers – titles and teams in Omaha, in the 21st Century. The SEC rules not because of superior PR, or stuffed voting apparatus, but because of superior talent. Which conference do you see who plays more Top 25 teams before the conference schedule starts? Not clear on who you are thinking plays a tougher schedule.

Blake
Blake
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

How much you want to bet that whatever conference he points to includes a bunch of SEC schools in the list?

Eric Simmons
Eric Simmons
6 months ago

Southern Illinois is 17-1! Why aren’t they ranked?

Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Simmons

SOS = 95. Look at who they’re beating – losing or .500 teams at best. If they had any meat on their schedule, it would be different. You really want to rank a team based on record alone?

Corbin believer
Corbin believer
6 months ago

You can argue all day long about bias and such but all I know is that as a Vandy season ticket holder I sure do get to watch a lot of major league pitchers on Friday nights (and Saturday).  Pretty sure those damn major league teams are all biased as well.

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago

Yea, it does get tiresome for the rest of us who’d like to see a little more variation, but at least Vandy is the cream of the academic crop of the SEC, and I gotta hand it to Corbin, he’s built a helluva program in the one sport that Vandy can go dollar for dollar head to head against the rest of the conference; incidentally look at where he draws some of those marquee pitchers from, cold weather NE climes that I’ve observed through the years. I live up here, they say we can’t play baseball—-bullshit…

Kelly
Kelly
6 months ago

He’s not going, “$ for $”. Corbin & Vandy have a huge advantage due to “Opportunity Vanderbilt”. Vandy has such a massive endowment treasure chest that they no longer charge any student any tuition beyond what their income says they can comfortably pay, and that income is allowed massive “deductions”, such as not counting money invested in stocks, companies, etc. I believe they also allow the student to choose which parent’s income they will use when applying. No Vandy student has to incur any debt. No other program in the SEC can come close to that.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kelly
Craig
Craig
6 months ago

Howw the fuck do the young learn from the old but put up shocking lower pooralusnumbers in reorganizing the bull pin, not saying itz the althetic directrr fault but the amid showcase for hits on the premier showout to deal with hype

Last edited 6 months ago by Craig
Ken Hood
Ken Hood
6 months ago
Reply to  Craig

Is this your picture?

boomhower.jpg
David R Holland
David R Holland
6 months ago

Arkansas has the National Championship locked up. No need for discussion.

Donald Peterson
Donald Peterson
6 months ago

Possibly a bit premature…LOT of season left.

Eric Simmons
Eric Simmons
6 months ago

Southern Illinois is 17-1! Why aren’t they ranked?

BrunoVFL
BrunoVFL
6 months ago
Reply to  Eric Simmons

0 “quality” wins…..none are quad 1…..many opponents have a losing record

John
John
6 months ago

Miami can’t be in the top 25! They got waxed by florida state this past weekend!

Seann
Seann
6 months ago

I’m a pac-12 guy and believe they will represent at the end of the year as they always do.
But you still have to look at three things- how a team performs away from home, pitching staff from starters to relievers, and defense, which can be the be the difference between a run of the mill top 25 team and a championship team. How many times have you seen a game decided by which team makes the defensive plays down the stretch. Especially in todays college game where there is no juiced ball or bat.

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