The BatCats are back in Omaha!
Read on for southern woes, unlikable foes and why history says Arizona will not go all the way this year.
The SEC did in fact get a team through to Omaha this year when Florida beat Florida State on the final day of the last Super Regional. And it only took hosting seven Regionals and five Super Regionals.
Combined, the SEC and ACC had 17 bids, 13 of the 16 Regional hosts and seven of the eight national seeds, and it got them a total of two teams in the College World Series. The Pac-12, Big West, West Coast, Mountain West and WAC combined to receive 11 bids and zero home games, and the western conferences also produced two CWS participants.
However, from an SEC perspective, if you’re only going to get one team into the field, the No. 1 overall seed is the way to do it.
Ultimate Losers’ Bracket
Remember in 2012 when a major storyline was Florida State trying to finally win a championship on its 21st trip to Omaha? Get ready for a sequel with Oklahoma State. The Cowboys are in the CWS for the 20th time, the sixth-most all time, but OSU has only one championship to show for it and that was all the way back in 1959.
Oklahoma State made it to Omaha seven straight years in the ‘80s and didn’t bring home the trophy once. And you thought LeBron James was taking a lot of heat for his two titles in six years.
There is a distinct lack of bluebloods in this year’s Omaha Eight. The only schools in the field with previous championships are Arizona (4), Miami (4) and Oklahoma State’s aforementioned one. All three of those teams are on the same half of the bracket so the championship series will have at least one school playing for its first baseball title.
Every Other Dynasty
I have bad news, Wildcat fans: Since 1970 the UA has won the championship every other trip to the College World Series. On the graphic below the championship years are 1976, ’80, ’86 and 2012. It’s like the San Francisco Giants’ even year thing. You don’t try to explain it; you just have to accept it.
— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) June 12, 2016
(But the next time the Cats make it to Omaha? Go ahead and order the NCAA-approved non-alcoholic champagne in advance!)
Who To Boo
Even if the UA does make a deep run this year there will be a lot of days the Cats don’t play so here is the Universe’s guide to a Wildcat fan’s rooting interests:
1. Arizona. I’m sure you figured that one out yourself.
2. UC-Santa Barbara. Westside till I die.
3. Coastal Carolina. A Big South team winning out over the Really Big South teams would be delightful. Plus their mascot is a chicken.
4. TCU. I’m fine with considering the Frogs a Mountain West team again for this exercise.
5. Texas Tech. Border Conference alumni pride!
6. Oklahoma State. The Fightin’ Robin Venturas are better than the alternatives.
7. Florida. Friends don’t let friends root for the school that fired Andy Lopez.
8. Miami. If you want the UA to stay in the top five on the list of most baseball championships, you want anyone but the Hurricanes to win.
What should we expect this week? On paper the favorites are Florida and Miami but this tournament has not been kind to paper, especially parchment from the SEC and ACC. This is a year where every single fan in Omaha has a legitimate reason to believe his or her team has a chance to end up in the ultimate dogpile.
Long live June Looniness!
– – – – –