Posted: 12:00 p.m. Thursday, March 21, 2013
The big news is that this past weekend SEC Conference play began. That means there were 7, 3 game, weekend series. In the season each team plays 10 total weekend series. Thus you "miss" 3 SEC opponents. All of this of course leads up to the SEC Tournament. Although we will get a better feel over the next few weeks, the opening weekend did tell us a lot about where the SEC might be this season.
First, let me give you a quick look at conference results. Alabama won 2 games to 1 at home verses UT. Auburn got swept 0-3 by Vandy at Auburn. Mississippi won 2 to 1 at Arky. Kentucky won 2-1 at UF. LSU won 2-1 at MSU. Texas A&M; swept UGA 3-0 at home. USCe won 2-1 at Missouri.
One of the first things that sticks out to me is that 5 of the 7 series winners actually won on the road. Typically, with baseball, the home team should have a slight advantage because they are more familiar with the background behind the pitcher, the room in foul territory, the way a ball travels in the stadium, the sound off the bat, etc. This is especially true in college where most players will only play at a given road stadium once or twice in their careers. There is no real explanation as to how 5 of 7 road teams won other than to say they may be the better teams.
My initial impression is that Mississippi may be very good. Arkansas was supposed to be outstanding this year ranked preseason #1, and yet Mississippi was able to win the first and last game in the series at Fayetteville. The fact that they got blown out in the middle game should not be unsettling to them in the least.
I continue to be amazed at just how average Florida appears to be. After winning the first game at home against UK, the Cats had not problem basically destroying the Gators in games 2 and 3. Unfortunately for Bama, we miss UF this year, a year we could have beaten them.
Vandy pretty much killed Auburn all weekend. I will give Auburn some credit, although I wonder why. Already down two games to none, they found themselves down 7-1 to Vandy in the final game. They then mounted a come back of sorts and made it a game before falling 8-6. Thank you Vandy for your support.
And speaking of Vandy, they are #2 in the most recent USA Today poll. They are followed by LSU #3, USCe # 6, Mississippi #8, UK #10, MSU #15, and Arky #17. Personally, I'm not all that impressed by MSU or Arky, and feel like they are still getting some respect for their preseason rankings. Especially Arkansas, who was preseason #1, and now sits at 14-7.
Bama has UGA on the road this weekend. The schedule is setting up nice for us as UGA lost 3 straight last weekend to just an average aTm team. I really think we could have enough to win a road series this weekend. But even going 1-2 would be an improvement. Last year Bama was 0-15 on the road in the SEC. Hopefully, that was then and this is now.