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And The Valley Projects: Week 10

LSU retains the World Heavyweight Title against Texas A&M and is in prime position to defend the belt until Hoover.

Hello. I hope you're dry.

I told you that would be fun. Texas A&M had LSU dead to rights in the first two games but somehow the Tigers worked their way off the mat and did the unthinkable: blew the doors off of the Aggie bullpen. Because of this, LSU is the undisputed #1 in not only every poll but my projections as well.

The National Seeds

LSU, UCLA, Arizona State, Illinois, Texas A&M, Florida State, Louisville, USC

I tweeted this out, but scoring that many run against the Aggy pen is comparable to passing for 400 against Bama's defense in the second half. I'm not above owning up to saying "that's ballgame" when LSU fell behind 5-2, because honestly it should have been. But credit LSU (37-7) for finding a way to beat the best bullpen in the nation. Texas A&M (37-7) only drops one spot from their position last week, and I think this is the lowest you will see the Aggies all year. A&M may have dropped two straight series (their only series losses on the year), but they have Tennessee, the chance to put South Carolina out of their misery, and Ole Miss left to play before packing it up for Hoover.

LSU, finding the series against the #2 team in the nation to be too easy, will be choosing to play the rest of the season without the use of foul poles.

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UCLA (31-9) slid back with LSU slingshotting into first, but they had a strong week with a win over UC-Irvine preceding a series win against Stanford. The same can be said for Arizona State (28-12), only to a lesser extent since they played Tennessee Tech for....reasons.

Illinois (36-4) continued to beat everyone with this week's victims being Eastern Illinois and Penn State. The Iwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwini have won 17 straight, the nation's longest win streak by some margin. That streak is likely to come to an end this weekend when they go to Columbus to play the (surprisingly solid) An Ohio State University Of Ohio (OH) Buckeyes (31-10), who own the #12 RPI.

Florida State (33-13) run ruled beat Miami University of Florida (FL) by 10 after edging out game 1 8-7 to win the series against their rivals (i feel like type that every week) before the Canes took out their anger on Sunday.

Louisville (34-10) played Bethune-Cookman for some reason and swept them after dropping a midweek to Western Kentucky. Why llvll and Arizona State are playing such patsys in late April is entirely beyond me.

USC (30-12) dropped a series to Oregon State which is really the most unsurprising result for the Top 8. Oregon State may not be a hosting team, but they are a solid 2 seed and team nobody want in their regional, or even the regional they're paired with.

The Hosts

Miami University of Florida (FL), UC Santa Barbara, Nevada, Vanderbilt, TCU, FAU, Rice, Oklahoma State

Miami (31-13) dropped their aforementioned series with Florida State, but with some help were able to retain a hosting spot.

The rest of the teams in the back 8 won their series. UC Santa Barbara (31-10) beat Pepperdine and then Hawai'i, Vanderbilt (33-12) got back in my good graces after sweeping Missouri by scoring a combined 33 runs, TCU (34-8) swept Texas (which like LSU, is always impressive no matter how bad they are), FAU (33-10) took 2 of 3 from Old Dominion, Rice (29-16) swept Western Kentucky, and Oklahoma State (29-14) beat Texas Tech over the weekend.

Nevada (33-11) surged into the back 8 by dropping the hammer against San Jose State to win the series. I'm giving Nevada the same treatment I'm giving FAU: Not particularly an "easy" regional, but a regional where there isn't a large school that would be forced to cram into a small stadium. And before you say it, no, the North Avenue Trade School for Socially Awkward But Affluent Boys does not have a large fanbase, most of their fans are alumni.

The Rest Of The Field

Southeastern (33-12) is the 2 seed, that much hasn't changed over the past 3-4 weeks. East Carolina (19-16) is the 3 seed and Norfolk State (20-12) is the punching bag. Also, the Baton Rouge Regional is once again paired with the Coral Gables which may or may not feature Florida because I want Florida-Miami in the postseason and so do you.

The Regional Of Death Of The Week is in Nashville, who clawed back into a hosting seat and gets rewarded for that with Ohio State, North Carolina (29-15) and George Washington (24-14). It's very likely that every team in that regional will feature 35+ win teams.

This is dead week so I'm going to pretend to study, remember kiddos: