Over the past five years, we’ve had our own DI baseball rankings, which frankly I thought were pretty kickass. Not only did we position teams from 1-30, but also provided a brief synopsis of what the teams did the week before to help explain the method of our madness.
The reason why they were good is because a lot of time was spent on them. A lot of time. While we were proud of the rankings, they were, in actuality, not that different than other publications positioning. There isn’t that much of a difference between the eighth ranked team and the fifteenth. Everyone had pretty much, more or less the same analysis.
This season there will not be weekly DI rankings updates. Every year there are like two more groups posting their rankings and they all are nearly equivalent. I like to think they were just looking at our rankings and moving a couple of schools around to be sneaky since our rankings were always the first to be published.
This year instead College Baseball Lineup will have a weekly “Rating Reaction”. Like last year we’ll still give a quick account of what happened the previous weekend, but instead will let the collective brainpower of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association position the clubs. IMHO they have the best rankings of anyone out there. The group as a whole seems to cancel out regional biases and I think NCBWA puts time into the rankings and isn’t doing them all willy-nilly.
Here’s week one’s Ratings Raction:
With a loss to #19 Cal State Fullerton, I was extremely worried that #1 Florida would drop out of the top position. I was glad to see UF still at number one. As the unanimous preseason number one with seven All Americans on the roster, it would have been bonkers to drop them just because they didn’t sweep the Titans. The Gators are still the favorite to return to the CWS Finals and my confidence in Kevin O’Sullivan’s prospect laden team is has not waned. Besides, the lost to one of the best teams in the country. The Titians maybe not top ten, but certainly deserving of the being in the top 25. Nonetheless, even if it was a middle of the road team likeLong BeachState or Texas Tech, I’d still keep UF at number one. No one thought the Gators were going to win every game. We’re taking baseball homie, and no one goes undefeated. The Gators will reach double digit losses sometime this season. Until theFlorida loses games consistently they’ll be my choice to win the title.
#2 South Carolina and #4 Texas A&M are still my personal choices as the number two and three teams in the country. The Gamecocks were tested by VMI with two one-run wins before winning the finale going away. The Aggies had four easy wins over UIC (Don’t call them Illinois-Chicago! They’ll stick ya.).
It would be tempting to move #3 Stanford into the top three with their impressive sweep of #16 Vanderbilt, but when you’re considering the top five teams you’re really splitting hairs anyway. Vanderbilt is projected to be a great team, they aren’t quite there yet and need their pitching to develop. Plus they had to fly across the country to play Stanford in their own backyard, but that’s not an excuse. VU should have played better as the games weren’t even close. I’m not gonna sock the ‘Dores too much for losses to a team stacked with future professional stars.
#5 Arkansas seems a little overrated in the top five. Ok with them as a top ten. Absolutely content with them as a top 15. They should smoke Valpo like Snoop does blunts this weekend.
#6 UNC won two of three over Xavier. The wins were lopsided but so was the loss. Not stressing over that. Musketeers ain’t no daisies.
#7 Rice’s series sweep over Florida International was legit. The Owls are a good club as is Dallas Baptist who the Owls play this week.
#8 Florida State rolled over Hofstra, #9 Texas won two of three over Duke and #10 LSU crushed Air Force and Alcorn St like my sixth grade girlfriend did when she said she wanted to explore her options when we graduated to middle school.
Perennial dark horse favorite Kent State spoiled #11 Georgia Tech’s opening weekend, but the Wreck did win a rematch as well as two over Winthrop.
With no postseason due to sanctions, it would be understandable if #12 Arizona St sleepwalked through the season. However the Sun Devils did more scoring than a teenage coming of age raunchy comedy, blastingWestern Michigan 40-2 in three games.
#13 Miami swept Rutgers, #14 TCU split two with #28 Ole Miss and #15 Clemson won two of three over UAB. None of those were particularly interesting. It would have be nice to see the Frogs fit in a third game against the Rebels which was one of the best matchups of the first week. Curse you weather!
#17 Georgia swept Presbyterian. I think the Dogs are bit overrated, but not to the point where I’d debate it. UGA won’t be tested for a couple weeks when the play #27 UCLA which could be a statement game for either club. The sans Garrett Cole/Trevor Bauer Bruins had one of the most discouraging first weeks, losing two of three to Maryland at home.
#18 Arizona dropped an opening weekend game at home toNorth DakotaState. That. Is. Not. Acceptable. I had the Wildcats pegged at the #11 position to start the season. Despite losing to the Bison, UA didn’t drop a spot in the rankings. Yeah, it’s early, but still,Arizona teams should be losing to teams that borderCanada to start the season.
#20 Oregon State won three of four at UC Santa Barbara, #21 UC Irvine had unimpressive wins overAlabama St, Southern University andTexas Southern.
The first ranked team to lose a series to an unranked team (Pepperdine) was #22 Oklahoma. I want to root for the Sooners because a lot of the team has some fun-to-follow Twitters feeds so I like the guys, but I’ve got a bad feeling about OU for some reason. I hope I’m wrong.
#23 Cal swept Pacific. I think the Golden Bears are very underrated which is weird because all of last season I thought they were grossly overrated. I may like them more than Stanford in the Pac 12. I think experience goes a long way.
#24 UCF is one of the teams du jour this season. I like the Knights, but not as a top twenty-five team – at least not yet. They swept LIU Brooklyn to start the season and should be better gauged this week with a road game atFlorida and a home series withBostonCollege.
#25 Louisville is another club I’m not partial to. The Cardinals lost some big weapons after the last season and I’m probably wrong, but if I’m not mistaken, they don’t have a single player back on this year’s club who batted over .250 last year. Not sure what U of L is doing in the rankings.
#26 Virginia lost toBostonCollege, defeated Coastal Carolina and tied (yes, tied) James Madison. Not very impressive at all, but not expecting much from the Cavs this season so cool with them being where they are at.
#29 Baylor swept Oral Roberts. Meh.
Lastly, #30 Southern Miss won two of three overNichollsState. They only dropped one spot in the rankings. Should have been more. Shouldn’t have been there at all.