With two weeks left, the Mississippi State baseball team is chasing some lofty goals. The overall SEC Title, the SEC West Title, and an NCAA Tournament National Seed are all in play for the Bulldogs. Here's my guidebook on who to root for this weekend:
KENTUCKY (13-11) at OLE MISS (14-10): We'll start here, since this is the Thurs/Fri/Sat SEC series this week, with the Thursday night game on ESPNU. Honestly, Ole Miss scares me. They're top-10 RPI, and with some wins at the end (they finish against #4 Texas A&M), they could sneak into the National Seed discussion. We don't need them stealing MSU's slot, so I'm pulling for Kentucky. Plus, we'll probably need Ole Miss to beat Texas A&M next week, and I don't want to root for the Rebels two weekends in a row.
ALABAMA (12-12) at ARKANSAS (7-17): Root for Alabama here. Their RPI is 60 and they finish the season against South Carolina. With some luck against South Carolina (#4 RPI) next week, Alabama could be another one of MSU's top-50 RPI series wins. Arkansas' RPI is 86.
GEORGIA (8-16) at MISSOURI (7-17): Definitely pull for Georgia. Currently, their RPI is #30 and State holds a series victory over them. Missouri's RPI is 97.
LSU (14-10) at TENNESSEE (7-17): We need LSU to win the series to keep their RPI up - they're currently #17, and MSU needs them to stay in the top-25. State currently leads LSU by 2 games in the SEC West, so I wouldn't mind if Tennessee got a win to give us a little cushion.
VANDERBILT (14-10) at FLORIDA (16-7): Florida holds a 1.5-game lead over MSU, so we need Vanderbilt to win as many games as possible. If we want to have a real shot at the overall SEC Title, we probably need to pick up a game on Florida this week.
TEXAS A&M (16-8) at SOUTH CAROLINA (16-7): This is a huge series, and State needs to make up ground on both of these teams. But somebody's going to win at least 2 games here, and I'm pulling for that to be South Carolina. That would give MSU an opportunity to overtake Texas A&M in the SEC West, and we'd have to hope that Carolina drops a game or two in Tuscaloosa next weekend to give State a shot at the overall title. If either team sweeps, it's unlikely that we can catch them for the overall SEC Title, but if Carolina sweeps, that would put MSU in great position for the SEC West crown.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (15-9) at AUBURN (8-16): Obviously, root for MSU. A sweep would be great for us, but we have to win at least two games to stay in the hunt.
Again, Mississippi State needs to pick up 2 games on Florida, South Carolina, and Texas A&M with just 6 games to go. It's going to be tough to climb back in SEC Title hunt, but the remaining schedule certainly gives the Bulldogs an opportunity.