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MSU Baseball - A quick midseason evaluation

I can't say that I'm happy. The Diamond Dogs are currently 5-10 in league play which is good for 5th in the Western division, and 11th overall in the league. In case you're (HT RingProudly) wondering, despite the league expanding the tournament to 10 teams this year (in anticipation of Mizzou and Texas A&M joining for 2013 play), we still wouldn't qualify.

It sucks. There's no other way to look at it. We have lost 4 series thus far, being swept once, and won one (at home vs Vanderbilt). I'd like to say the schedule is going to get easier, but instead we face a Tennessee club who is playing very well at the moment, always tough Ole Miss, an Alabama team no one can figure out, top 10 Florida, and top 5 Kentucky. Everyone is saying we need 13 to 14 SEC wins to make a regional, and I'll be honest, I don't see it happening, which is pathetic. This is year 4 of the John Cohen era, and despite the fact that year 1 and 2 were absolute dumpster fires, we have a possible 1st round draft pick in Chris Stratton pitching for us and it looks as if we're not even going to make the NCAA tournament.

Now, with all the doom and gloom the first half of the season has given us, let's play the silver lining game. We're not getting blown out in any of our losses (sans Saturday vs Arky). We're making stupid defensive errors that are really really costing us runs, and subsequently games. We may have won 2 of 3 this past weekend versus SC had Caleb Reed done what he's supposed to do, and CT Bradford makes a routine catch in CF to get us out of SC's big inning on Saturday. For the most part our injuries are starting to heal. CT and Daryl Norris are becoming staples on the weekend, Taylor Stark is seeing action on the mound, and OF Brett Brownlee is playing in spots. Pitcher Ben Bracewell is back to square one, so we'll just act like he's not going to contribute for the rest of the year, because he's not.

Looking forward, 3 of our next 5 series are at home, which is always a plus. I'm going to try to be as optimistic as possible in guessing how we finish the season, without being stupid:

vs UT - 2 of 3
vs Ole Miss - 2 of 3
@ Alabama - 2 of 3
@ UF - 0 of 3
vs UK - 1 of 3

That would leave us at 12-18 in league play. Depending on how we do in Non-Conference games vs Ole Miss, USM, and a few others, we could maybe slide into a regional as a 3 seed, but don't hold your breath. I hope we can make the SEC tournament and NCAA tournament, as I'll be cheering as hard as anyone, but I don't feel confident.

So, when does football season start?