As you are well aware by now, LSU is back where it belongs in college baseball, hosting Belmont, ULM, and Oregon St as a national seed this weekend. LSU has opted to let Belmont and Oregon St roast in the 2pm sun on Friday while taking the night opener against ULM at 7pm. The games will all be on Cox Sports and CSS as ESPN has decided to take their coverage elsewhere. I'm not sure what the internet streaming situation will be yet, but at the very least NCAA rules would make it a free weekend on the Geaux Zone if it's not picked up by ESPN3. Our Better Know A Regional series kicks off later today.
Reaction to this year's field has been mostly positive, but there are a few head scratchers. The lack of SLU making the tournament is disappointing, but Texas getting the hook and Kentucky losing out on a hosting spot is not. I'll have more of an overall preview of the NCAA regional round on Friday, but the most interesting matchup so far is Miss St. facing UAB and their volunteer Asst. coach Ron Polk.
Elsewhere in the SEC, Auburn fans are taking a very hard look at going through another coaching change.
Time for some baseball awards. Raph Rhymes was named the SEC Player of the Year, with Kevin Gausman, Mason Katz, Aaron Nola, and Ryan Eades making various all-conference teams. Kevin Gausman and Raph Rhymes have both been named semifinalists for the Golden Spikes award(best amateur baseball player)
Speaking of Cox Sports, the network has decided not to retain it's status as the local TV home for the New Orleans Hornets, which should free the network up to air more LSU games live, particularly baseball.
Lost in my rage over Martin and Alleva trying to duck out of the annual Florida game was a little tidbit where Alleva states that the LSU/A&M game could move to thanksgiving week after a few years. I kinda like the idea (my own preference that LSU/A&M be a late September game aside) and if it gets our Thanksgiving week game off of the Friday and gives us back a full week I'm all for it, but this is just Alleva speculating at this point.
We should know all about the future of football at the end of the week, as the SEC plans to announce the next 12 years of the conference schedule, a unified playoff recommendation, and even a new proposal for the currently shelved stipend system that the SEC brought to the NCAA last year. It's going to be a huge week, but at least Les is still being Les. The SEC had our old friend Dave Baker interview a wide range of coaches and administrators including Les Miles. Meanwhile, Mizzou AD Alden is just happy to be here.
With his "interim" tag firmly attached, there may only ever be one game between Ark HC John L. Smith and Les Miles, and that's something the world should be looking forward to.