One of the best, and most insane, national preseason reads is Eric Sorenson's ranking of all 298 D1 baseball teams. The compendium paints the SEC favorably (Mizzou is the lowest at 88) but his rankings do not paint a pretty picture when it comes to LSU's OOC slate this season.
Maryland - 98
Lamar - 135
BYU - 121
SELA - 43
UL - 158
Brown - 279
Nicholls - 236
Stephen F Austin - 171
Sacred Heart - 224
Washington - 49
Northwestern St. - 225
Tulane - 53
Alcorn St - 289
Southern Miss - 66
Southern - 173
Grambling - 254
McNeese - 181
New Orleans - 287
A scant 2 teams in the Top 50 and 7 in the bottom 200. There are reasons why things look this bad (UNO is returning to D1 play this year, the SWAC appears headed for a particularly bad season, etc) and, as we always like to point out, winning fixes any potential RPI problem, but lets be frank for a minute. This slate is awful. At some point LSU has to start playing interesting teams again. Would a home and home with a big West Coast name (Fullerton, USC, UC-I, Pepperdine, Stanford) really be that bad?
There are many, MANY, polls in college baseball, but I find CBI's Composite rankings to be reliable enough.
Around Alex Box Also, The Intimidator out in right has had a slight redesign,
The menu is also getting a significant upgrade (Crawfish pistolettes FTW)
Also opening to the public today is the gorgeous new Wally Pontiff Jr. Baseball Hall of Fame.
On a squad that's got some questions in the bullpen, Ty Ross is taking up the role of the steady hand behind the bag while PC Alan Dunn sorts out the closer situation.
While Mainieri has said Chris Cotton will get the Friday closer/ Sunday starter role this weekend, Rosetta at the Times-Pic argues that Bonvillain should get the Sunday nod.
Raph Rhymes, JaCoby Jones, and Aaron Nola were all named to the Golden Spike preseason watch list.
JaCoby Jones was also the only LSU player to make BA's All-American team, but remember that BA is looking at things as an MLB scout first.
The walk up song list hasn't been released yet, but the team is working on it.
Down I-10, The Greenies are headed for a strong season, even if they are uncertain how to set the lineup just yet. After 4 years of missing the NCAAs, Tulane's Rick Jones better figure it out fast.
There was breaking news from Florida last night as one of their aces, RHP Karsten Whitson, is out for the year after having shoulder surgery from LSU alumnus and ligament genius Dr James Andrews. This removes UF's #2 starter from what is still a really good pitching staff, and there are worse times to lose an ace than opening weekend.
Around the rest of the SEC East. South Carolina is adjusting to a talent drain on the field and in the coaching box, and Mizzou is a bit more concerned with the other stick-and-ball sport.
In the West, Arkansas may ride their experienced pitching staff to the conference title, our cowbell friends have an extensive preview of Cohen's troop of miscreants, The Plainsmen on the parking deck aren't entirely sure what to expect, the Rebels hope to get more this year out of ace Bobby Wahl and that serial killer kid, the Aggies prepare for a tough transition by promising ice cream for everybody after the game, and Bama....has a lot of new faces.
Without a permanent tenant, it's nice to see the city of Hoover step up to keep the Met a strong park even after the Barons left for downtown.
In Miami, the Canes baseball program has become ensnared in the latest MLB doping scandal (which on the MLB side involves Alex Rodriguez, who's name is on Miami's stadium). Oddly, the university has come out and vehemently denied that any of their players have tested positive for steroids. It's odd because the scandal involves HGH, which they do not test for.
Over at our TCU blog bro Frogs O War, there is a great explanation of how the scholarship limits in baseball are hindering growth of the sport. The Bylaw Blog follow up with some possible ways the NCAA could help fix the problem.
West Virginia may have the toughest schedule in the land this year as they play 48 games away from their campus while a new facility is being built. (they've got some sweet camo unis though)
Southern Cal just can't seem to catch a break in it's eternal struggle to return to former glory. USC has had to fire their HC just two days before the season started due to a massive oversight in compliance related record keeping.
We'll have more on Maryland today, but my goodness look at those unis! And look at these helmets!
Crazy new batting helmets for Maryland baseball: twitter.com/UniWatch/statu…— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) February 14, 2013
Speaking of unis, our Auburn blog bros had an amazing offseason time sink of redesigning every MLB uniform to fit an Auburn motif. The results were pretty amazing.
Ole Miss might have come up with the most Ole Miss baseball thing ever.
There is a new rule this year that will allow certain foul ball calls to be overturned by refs in conference. Speaking of refs, the SEC will be moving to 4 man crews for all conference games this season. Last year the SEC used 3 man crews, with the exception of the conference tournament.
Conference realignment has had some far reaching effects in baseball, and BA has a great summary of the changes.
College baseball lost one of it's greats this past year with the passing of Ron Fraser, who was one of Skip Bertman's greatest mentors.
ESPN but out a nice press release trumpeting a record 151 games on "the ESPN Networks" this season, but a quick glance shows that 107 of those games are on ESPN3 only. Baseball America has put together a handy list of every game on TV this season (I guess the Longhorn Network is good for something after all)
LSU will be on TV 27 times this year, with the rest of the games being streamed in the Geaux Zone. After using it last year, I'd say it's worth the cost.
On a per-game basis, @lsubaseball drew more fans (10,736) in 2012 than every minor league team.— Conor Glassey (@conorglassey) January 25, 2013
LSU Baseball's season ticket total for the 2013 season is confirmed at 9,175. This does not inlclude the wait list of over 700. #geauxtigers— Ross Brezovsky (@RBrezovsky7) January 31, 2013
Freshman Alex Bregman profile from WAFB
Mainieri on the weekend