Between injuries and frustrating losses, this college baseball season hasn’t been much fun to watch for Mississippi State baseball fans. It’s totally fine if you want to ignore it and say that it never happened. There’s nothing wrong with that. We can just pretend that college baseball doesn’t exist this year.
It’s also totally fine if you want to watch the Men’s College World Series. There’s no shame in that either. It’s one of the best sporting events of the year and it’s just days away.
Of course, since the Bulldogs won’t be there this year, it never hurts to find a team in Omaha to root for. This isn’t mandatory, but it can add a bit of fun for those watching. The only thing is, which team are you willing to root for?
There are four teams from the SEC West involved this year. That’ll potentially make or break a deal for some folks. There are some blue bloods and some underdogs. Some folks like seeing dominant programs find a way to win a title after a bit of a championship hiatus while others prefer to root for teams that have never really done much before.
Here are the eight teams that have made it to Omaha this year, listed in no particular order:
- Oklahoma Sooners
- Texas A&M Aggies
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Texas Longhorns
- Arkansas Razorbacks
- Stanford Cardinal
- Ole Miss Rebels
- Auburn Tigers
So, let’s take a stroll through these eight teams and, in a remarkably unscientific manner, pick a team to root for.
There are certainly worse choices than the Sooners in this slate of teams to make it to the Men’s College World Series. Oklahoma has been fun to watch during this NCAA Baseball Tournament and it’d sure be something to see a team win both the Men’s and Women’s College World Series. There aren’t many storylines that are much better than that.
Texas A&M Aggies
Jim Schlossnagle has done an incredible job of getting the Texas A&M Aggies to be relevant once more in a hurry. There’s an argument to be made that he is, in fact, the best coach in College Station right now. The Aggies have been on a tear through the back half of this season and during the NCAA Tournament and have found ways to win in all sorts of exciting games.
I’m not personally interested in rooting for the Aggies, but they’ve got a great storyline going and I’m a sucker for good storylines.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Link Jarrett is accomplishing quite a bit. The Fighting Irish are arguably the closest thing this group has to being a true underdog program. Notre Dame doesn’t have much exciting baseball history to tout the way some other programs do, but they’ve got just as much a shot at making some noise in Omaha as anyone else does right now. This is a team that Mississippi State baseball fans are certainly familiar with and, though it is Notre Dame, it wouldn’t be all that bad to see this bunch get its first championship in the Men’s College World Series.
I’d rather not. There are worse choices, certainly, but Texas is a juggernaut in this sport and it’d be perfectly fine to see them not win it all this year. Of course, if rooting for a blue blood that hasn’t won a championship in recent years is your preference, then this is absolutely the right team for you to root for.
Arkansas isn’t the worst pick on this list for a Mississippi State fan, but there are other choices to pick. Let’s focus on some of the other choices. If need be, we can circle around back to the Razorbacks.
There’s nothing really wrong with rooting for Stanford, if we’re being honest. The Cardinal hasn’t happened upon a College World Series championship since the late 80’s and they’ve got a fun team to watch. Stanford routinely fields excellent teams and they’re the lone West Coast program to make it to Omaha this year.
Why not root for Stanford?
Ole Miss Rebels:
Nope. Absolutely not. Next. Let’s chat about someone else. This isn’t happening.
Rooting for another SEC West team? Some folks would love to do that while others are going to turn up their nose at the notion. Other than Notre Dame, Auburn is the closest thing to an underdog in this sport. It’s not like the Tigers have an abundance of baseball success. If you’re looking for an underdog to root for, Auburn and Notre Dame are the teams to go with. It also doesn’t hurt that the Tigers have a familiar face in Butch Thompson.
Plus, Mississippi State did happen to take two of three games from the Tigers earlier on during the regular season. Being able to occasionally say that you beat the national champs would be fun.
So, there are the eight teams in Omaha. Which team are you willing to root for? Is there even anyone among this bunch you’d like to root for?