Posted: 12:00 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013
SEC Baseball Roundup
Each week I'm going to try to give you a little perspective on where the SEC Baseball is setting at the time and what it could mean for Alabama.
This week I just want to do a quick catch up on the early season in the SEC. At the beginning of the season Baseball America listed 8 SEC teams as ranked in the top 25. These 8 sort of make up a current list of "haves" in SEC Baseball. The rankings were as follows: Vandy #2, Arky # 3, MSU # 5, USCe #7, LSU #10, UK #11, Miss #13, and UF #17.
Now a dozen games or so into the season we find the current rankings have some changes. These are the current national rankings for SEC schools: Vandy #2, MSU #3, USCe #6, Miss #7, LSU #8, UK #11, Arky #16.
If there is a "good" surprise team it is Mississippi. They are currently sitting at #7 up 6 spots sporting a 13-1 record. What is even more impressive about Mississippi is that they have held their opponents to 4 runs or less in 13 of the 14 games. (Alabama should get such good pitching.)
On the flip side there have been two of the ranked teams, Arky and UF, which have gotten off to poor starts. Arky's record is a dismal 7-5 and this past weekend they dropped 4 straight in the Coca-Cola Classic in Arizona. Now, two of those games were to Arizona State, a ranked team. But, the other two were to Gonzaga and Pacific. Both of whom are less then stellar teams. To make matters worse, in this 4 game set, the Hogs scored a total of 6 runs. That is not the performance of a top 5 team.
The Gators meanwhile have managed to drop completely out of the top 25 with a poor start including being swept 3 games by Florida Gulf Coast. They did show a little life this past weekend taking 2 of 3 from a ranked Miami team. In typical Florida fashion they have managed not to leave the state of Florida until March 22. So we will have to wait to see how they fair on the road.
The rest of the SEC has looked about as expected. UGA and UT appear to be middle of the road teams, currently under 500. Mizzou final won a game and is now 2-6. Alabama, Auburn and aTm each have winning records, but each team has some glaring weaknesses. Alabama, having lost to Auburn on Tuesday, is beginning to look like the Alabama of 2012...which is not good.
If I had to rank the 14 teams right now based on the early performances I'd put Bama at #11 in the conference (with Mizzou, UT, and UGA behind us.) There are still a lot games to play. We don't even get into SEC play until next weekend, but right now we are still near the bottom looking up.