Top 100 Programs: 91-100
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.
Aaron Fitt and Kendall Rogers took turns breaking down the first 10 programs in our list, which you can read about below. We’ll unveil 10 more teams each day over the next two weeks.
It wasn’t too long ago the Golden Gophers were the cream of the crop in the Big Ten Conference, but things have changed since the 2010 season. That year, the Gophers finished the year as the regular season and conference tournament champions, while also reaching the NCAA regional round. However, the Gophers have since failed to finish any higher than fourth in the Big Ten, including going 21-30 overall, 9-15 in the league last season. John Anderson and his staff are very good, but things need to change moving forward. Minnesota has a solid new facility in the re-done Seibert Field, but the Big Ten as a whole just continues to get better. With this all said, the Gophers have some talent returning, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them turn the corner. – KR
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