With two weekends of SEC play in the books, the picture could not be much more scrambled. Vanderbilt dropped its first series since last year. South Carolina dropped a series at Kentucky. Mississippi State looked sharp until late game errors on Sunday. Auburn looks like a real baseball team, and Ole Miss has some what quietly kept moving up the rankings.
The only thing that seems for sure is that Georgia and Missouri occupy the basement all on their own.
1. South Carolina (12 First Place Votes) (1.57 Average)
Overall Record: 21-3, 3-3
Last Week: 1-2 vs. Kentucky
Thoughts on South Carolina:
- This team was dominant in non-conference play. However, all of the top SEC teams in non-conference play have lost an SEC series in the first two weeks. It's been a bizarre start to conference play, epitomized by the Gamecocks dropping one series to Kentucky and nearly dropping a series to Ole Miss.
- Managed to avoid a sweep against Kentucky on the road, but got plastered on Friday. Didn't see that coming, but think it says more about UK than SC.
- Remain in the top spot largely by default. I don't trust the West teams yet, and no one in the East seems to want to take it from them
- Georgia and Missouri are certainly at the bottom. As for the rest of these rankings: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Dropping two to Kentucky on the road is no sin, but it takes a bit of shine off the Gamecocks.
2. Vanderbilt (2.64 Average)
Overall Record: 21-5, 3-3
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Belmont, 1-2 vs. Mississippi State
Thoughts on Vanderbilt:
- Two steps backward and one step forward. Sounds like an SEC East team in 2014
- Lost their first SEC series since April 2012. They aren't quite the juggernaut they've been the last several years, but still very good.
- Ran into a Mississippi State team that decided to start playing like the talent level on their team suggests they should. Vandy will be just fine.
- Hey guys, how did Friday's Vandy/Mississippi State baseball game g- OH GOD WHY? - Christian D'Andrea
- Where the hell was this bad pitching staff last weekend?
- That was a prank, right?
3. LSU (1 First Place Vote) (3.79 Average)
Overall Record: 20-5-1, 3-2-1
Last Week: 1-0 vs. South Alabama, 2-0-1 vs. Georgia
Thoughts on LSU:
- A tie?! There's no ties in baseball!! LSU bounced back from last weekend's loss at Vandy, and now heads to Gainesville to take on Florida.
- I don't exactly know how to treat a team that couldn't beat Georgia in 13 innings
- Had a hiccup at Vandy but back-to back shutouts against South Alabama and Georgia shows the quality of their pitching.
- 2 wins and a tie hide growing batting issues.
- Leads the SEC in batting average, proving BA is a worthless stat
4. Ole Miss (4.57 Average)
Overall Record: 21-5, 4-2
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Arkansas State, 3-0 vs. Missouri
Thoughts on Ole Miss:
- With Tennessee fading, the Rebels are poised to be the true surprise team of the season. But they better keep their four-leafed clover handy
- Time to start moving Ole Miss up in the rankings. Took a tough series loss last weekend at South Carolina but handled things at home against Missouri. They've got Alabama and Auburn coming up in the next 2 weekends now.
- Swept Mizzou at home. May as well have taken the week off.
- They can’t be the best team in the West, can they?
5. Mississippi State (1 First Place Vote) (5.07 Average)
Overall Record: 18-9, 4-2
Last Week: 2-1 vs. Vanderbilt
Thoughts on Mississippi State:
-The Dawgs won each of their first 2 SEC series. State handed Vandy it's first series loss since 2012 this past weekend. They have seem to figured out the rotation and defense. Looks like they're finally putting the pieces together.
- A huge series win over Vanderbilt lifts the Bulldogs up a few pegs, but the defensive meltdown at the end of game three is a cause for concern.
- Huge series win against a very good Vanderbilt team, but still work to be done to make up for the early season struggles.
- Stats not that impressive, but their results are.
- Made a statement by beating - and beating up - Vandy this week - Christian D'Andrea
- Not talking about the OOC struggles now, are we?
- EGADS, what the hell is in the left field smoke?
6. Kentucky (6.00 Average)
Overall Record: 18-7, 3-3
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Western Kentucky, 2-1 vs. South Carolina
Thoughts on Kentucky:
- Impressive win at home against South Carolina, but lost the series before against Alabama who fell to Arkansas this weekend. The 4-8 spots in the SEC right now are all interchangeable.
- The Wildcats threw a nice wrench into the SEC East pecking order with a series win over South Carolina.
- Took a tough series off the Gamecocks, but need to keep winning.
- If that offense could find some consistency -- wow
- You can always count on the bats at The Cliff, but can they do it on the road?
7. Auburn (7.50 Average)
Overall Record: 18-8, 4-2
Last Week: 2-0 vs. Coppin State, 2-1 vs. Tennessee
Thoughts on Auburn:
- Beat A&M, a team that is an enigma, and followed that up by beating Tennessee, a team that is a mystery. Can't make heads or tails of the Tigers right now -- but if pressed to decide, I'd say they look pretty good right now
- Another good win, has Golloway righted the ship?
- Ended Tennessee’s brief run of quality baseball
- The Tigers are now ranked in the major college baseball polls after winning two consecutive SEC series. Sonny Galloway might be working some magic on the Plains.
- Auburn quietly just keeps trucking along with yet another series win. They have conference bottom-dwellers Mizzou at home this weekend before the schedule gets tougher.
8. Tennessee (7.79 Average)
Overall Record: 19-4, 3-3
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Austin Peay, 1-2 vs. Auburn
Thoughts on Tennessee:
- "SELL! SELL! SELL! Dump this like it's Lehman Brothers in 2008! [Presses buttons that generate various animal sounds]"--Jim Cramer
- The Vols played 3 close games against a hot Auburn team, but ultimately dropped the series and now have to travel to South Carolina this weekend, who will be looking to bounce back from their loss at Kentucky.
- SEC play has arrived and TN has cooled off. Anyone surprised?
- The fall from grace continues, but there might not be shame in an Auburn loss this year
9. Florida (9.00 Average)
Overall Record: 15-9, 3-3
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Florida State, 1-2 vs. Texas A&M
Thoughts on Florida:
- Dropped a hard-fought and evenly matched series in College Station. Their pitching staff - particularly the bullpen - is good enough to make Florida a dangerous team. Now about that hitting..
- I’ve been a big believer in the Gators, but that was discouraging
- Second in the league in sacrifice bunts and third in wild pitches. I guess that's something.
- Quality wins over Florida State bookend a rough weekend against Texas A&M. - Christian D'Andrea
- A&M is not good, neither are the Gators
10. Alabama (10.29 Average)
Overall Record: 16-8, 3-3
Last Week: 2-0 vs. Alcorn State, 1-2 vs. Arkansas
Thoughts on Alabama:
- The Crimson Tide exploded for 17 runs on Friday to take the opener at Arkansas and then scored 1 run in the next 2 games combined and lost the series. That's not ideal.
- You probably want to spread some of those 17 runs across all three games next time
- One of 8 teams at 500 in conference play. Eight. I'm just randomly listing teams.
- If you're going to be a true contender, you can't drop a series at a down Arkansas
11. Arkansas (10.50 Average)
Overall Record: 15-8, 3-3
Last Week: 2-0 vs. Grambling State, 2-1 vs. Alabama
Thoughts on Arkansas:
- If pitching does win championships, then the Hogs are in pretty good shape. But only if pitching wins championships all by itself
- Much-needed bounce back after allowing a whopping 17 runs on Friday to take the series. The Hogs are still inconsistent and now have to travel to Mississippi State this weekend.
- I have no idea what to make of the Alabama, Arkansas, and Texas A&M cluster.
- Can't hit the ball. Winning as much as they are with good pitching.
12. Texas A&M (10.64 Average)
Overall Record: 17-9, 3-3
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Columbia, 2-1 vs. Florida
Thoughts on Texas A&M:
- Picked up a must-have series win against Florida to get back to .500 in conference play. Need to sweep Georgia on the road before the schedule gets brutal.
- Horribly inconsistent offense is going to kill them
- Not exactly burning up the SEC.
- There are nine teams in the SEC that have three wins right now. NINE. You try sorting them out
- I’m just guessing at this point in the ballot
13. Georgia (12.29 Average)
Overall Record: 14-11-1, 1-4-1
Last Week: 1-0 vs. Presbyterian, 0-2-1 vs. LSU
Thoughts on Georgia:
- UGA baseball is like supermarket pizza. Sure, it's SEC baseball, but there's just something missing there... - Christian D'Andrea
- You'll always have that artificially shortened tie against LSU
- Will count forcing a tie on the travel day as a win.
- Their curfew induced 3-3 tie against #6 LSU is the definition of "moral victory."
- Nearly won a pitching battle with LSU. Beware all who do not respect those arms.
- Stranding a lot of runners, but not hitting the ball that bad. Pitching stinks, though.
- The 'Dawgs missed a chance to pick up a road win at LSU on Sunday, but I suppose they technically avoided the sweep with a tie?
- Nearly won a pitching battle with LSU. Beware all who do not respect those arms.
14. Missouri (13.36 Average)
Overall Record: 11-12, 1-5
Last Week: 2-0 vs Milwaukee, 0-3 vs. Ole Miss
Thoughts on Missouri:
- Ouch. Was never going to be easy going on the road against an Ole Miss team playing some excellent baseball. Competed on Friday and kept the game close, but Saturday and Sunday were comfortable wins for the Rebels.
- Is not winless in their division. That's about it.
- Yeah, they pretty much suck at everything.
- Well, at least one ranking was easy.
- In honor of Sir Charles and March Madness: Turrible
There you have it. How did the pollsters do? What misses did they have? Who will be the next to climb up the rankings, and who is poised for a tumble?