We love college football at RoadTripSports.com. But we can’t deny we love college baseball, too. If you haven’t hit our Facebook page, you should. Kendall Webb, our publisher, is in full update mode and it’s only the third week of the season. His update for the first weekend of action in college baseball is below. Don’t forget — College Football American 2013 is coming this summer. More on that soon.
By Kendall Webb
The third week of the young college baseball season started to give us a little clarity on some of the frontrunners, and sorted out a couple of teams that are still looking to find their groove.
It also trimmed the number of unbeaten teams down to eight not counting Yale – the only team in Division I yet to play a game, but the Bulldogs get started vs. Army this Saturday at Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida.
Top 25 (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association)
How the Top 5 fared: Top-ranked North Carolina continues to roll as the Tar Heels now stand at 10-0. If you weren’t ready to proclaim them No. 1 after last weekend’s sweep over 2012 College World Series participant Stony Brook in Chapel Hill, then their weekend romp through three quality teams in Houston ought to have you singing their praises. The Tar Heels handled Rice 2-1 in the Owls’ own home town before cruising past highly-regarded California on Saturday 11-5 and closing out with a 14-2 win over Texas A&M in just seven innings. No. 2 Arkansas on the other hand traveled to Surprise, Arizona for four weekend contests, but the real surprise was what happened on the field – the Razorbacks left the desert with four straight losses including two to unranked Gonzaga and Pacific with the other two coming against current No. 23 Arizona St. The 0-4 week dropped the Razorbacks (7-5) all the way to No. 16 in the latest NCBWA poll. The Razorbacks’ struggles opened the door for a surging Vanderbilt Commodores’ squad, however, which finished the week 5-0 with midweek wins over Arkansas St. and Evansville before sweeping UIC in Nashville over the weekend. At 12-1 with a 10-game winning streak, Vandy moves into the No. 2 spot vacated by Arkansas. Finally, No. 4 LSU (10-1) and No. 5 Oregon St. (12-0) both finished 4-0 for the week with LSU beating La.-Lafayette midweek before sweeping Brown (two games) and Nicholls St. over the weekend while Oregon St. took four games vs. visiting Bryant. No. 7 Florida St. swept Villanova in three games (including a 23-5 pasting on Friday) to assume the No. 5 position in the latest poll.
Upcoming schedules for the current top five:
No. 1 North Carolina: 3/5, Davidson; 3/8-10 at Wake Forest*
No. 2 Vanderbilt: 3/5, Eastern Illinois; 3/8-10 at Oregon
No. 3 LSU: 3/5, Stephen F. Austin; 3/6, Sacred Heart; 3/8-10, Washington
No. 4 Oregon St.: 3/5, at Portland; 3/8-10, Texas St.
No. 5 Florida St.: 3/5-6, Presbyterian; 3/8-10, Boston College*
* – Conference series
The rest of the updated Top 10: No. 6 Mississippi St. (15-0), No. 7 UCLA (7-2), No. 8 South Carolina (8-2), No. 9 Stanford (9-2) and No. 10 Kentucky (10-1)
The other unbeatens: No. 19 Virginia (12-0), RV Dartmouth (3-0), RV VCU (8-0), UR Quinnipiac (3-0) (RV – Receiving Votes, UR – Unranked)
Best results: North Carolina’s three-game sweep of Rice, Cal and Texas A&M; South Carolina’s 3-1 week included two shutouts (6-0, 8-0) on Friday and Sunday over Clemson (the Tigers took the third-game of the annual barnstorming series through South Carolina 6-3 in Saturday’s neutral-ground matchup at Greenville); Stanford improved to 9-2 and jumped from No. 14 to No. 9 with a 4-0 week that included a three-game weekend sweep over No. 25 Texas (6-5) at home; Cal St. Fullerton (10-1) moved from No. 18 to No. 13 despite suffering its first loss – that’s because those three results were all against previous No. 6 Oregon (8-3) dropping the Ducks to No. 11.
Biggest surprise: Maybe we should have seen it coming considering all of their games were in Surprise, Arizona as we mentioned. But we were admittedly, yes, surprised, that the No. 2 Arkansas Razorbacks came back to Fayetteville winless from their trip out West.
Break out the brooms: Joining the aforementioned Top 25 teams that swept unbeaten through the second week, the following Top 25 teams got through the week unbeaten:
No. 6 Mississippi St. (15-0) over Rhode Island (midweek, 2-0) and St. Joseph’s (weekend, 4-0)
No. 7 UCLA (8-2) over UCSB (midweek, 1-0) and Wright St. (weekend, 3-0)
No. 10 Kentucky (10-1) over Murray St./Eastern Kentucky (midweek, 2-0) and Akron (weekend, 3-0)
No. 12 North Carolina St. (10-1) over New Mexico St. (midweek, 2-0) and UMBC/FAU/Coastal Carolina (weekend, 3-0)
No. 18 Georgia Tech (11-1) over Georgia Southern (midweek, 2-0) and Rutgers (weekend, 3-0)
No. 19 Virginia (12-0) over George Washington (midweek, 1-0) and Harvard/Harvard/Bucknell (weekend, 3-0)
No. 23 Arizona St. (7-2-1) Arkansas/Pacific/Arkansas (weekend, 3-0) with a tie vs. Gonzaga
Best series matchups this coming weekend:
No. 2 Vanderbilt’s trip to Eugene to face No. 11 Oregon tops the bill this week, but as always, there are some other matchups that should get your attention.
3/8-10: RV Central Arkansas at No. 6 Mississippi St.
3/8-10: No. 26 Notre Dame/No. 14 Oklahoma/UR USC at No. 7 UCLA
3/8-10: RV UNLV at No. 9 Stanford
3/8-10: RV Clemson at No. 12 North Carolina St.
3/8-10: RV Texas A&M at No. 13 Cal St. Fullerton
3/8-10: RV San Diego St. at No. 16 Arkansas
3/8-10: No. 18 Georgia Tech at No. 30 Virginia Tech
3/8-10: RV Alabama at No. 20 Louisville
3/8-10: No. 28 Mercer vs. RV South Dakota St. at Indiana St.