The SEC baseball regular season is done.
Trials and tribulations galore and after 10 weeks, two teams saw their years come to a close. Twelve others advanced. The SEC Tournament starts May 23 in Hoover, Ala. Some teams will be playing for their postseason lives. Some will be looking to shore up a hosting spot.
This week’s SEC Baseball Power Poll does not, however, hold true to the tournament. Teams aren’t ranked this week in the way they’re seeded. Yes, some come close. But not nearly all of them.
So take a peek. This is the last official power poll of 2017. Next week will have a different feel with it being Selection Monday and all.
14. Tennessee (previously 13th)
Overall: 27-25, 7-21
Last week: 1-3 (beat Morehead State, swept by Missouri)
Tennessee baseball has been bad for a long time. Really, why should 2017 have been any different? Dave Serrano said last week this would be his last season as coach after six years. He tried mightily, but found what others this generation have: The Volunteers are (seemingly) perpetually stuck in the bottom of the SEC. It’s a tough gig.
13. Alabama (14)
Overall: 19-34-1, 5-24-1
Last week: 0-2-1 (lost two and tied one against Vanderbilt)
The Crimson Tide were outscored 57-16 in their final five games of the season and finished with the worst record in the SEC. And they still didn’t finish at the bottom of this poll. That said, there is a long way to go in Tuscaloosa. Year 1 of the rebuild didn’t go quite as planned.
12. South Carolina (11)
Overall: 32-23, 13-17
Last week: 2-2 (beat South Carolina Upstate, lost series to Georgia)
Injuries and a lack of hitting were too much for South Carolina, a team that was No. 1 in SEC Country’s initial Power Poll. The crash was swift and ugly. The Gamecocks won two SEC series all year — the first two, against Tennessee and Alabama. They are the No. 11 seed in the SEC Tournament, but good luck finding a soul who thinks their chances are good this week.
11. Georgia (12)
Overall: 25-31, 11-19
Last week: 3-1 (beat Furman, won series against South Carolina)
UGA won’t threaten to win this tournament this week, but the Bulldogs played a heck of a lot better in the final few weekends than anyone expected, winning eight of their final 11 games. They’re the 12-seed and draw an angry Mississippi State team, but optimism for next year is legitimate.
10. Missouri (10)
Overall: 35-21, 14-16
Last week: 4-0 (beat Eastern Kentucky, swept Tennessee)
The SEC doesn’t have many teams hotter entering the SEC Tournament than Mizzou. The boys from the Show-Me State have won six in a row. Catch is, those games have come against South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee. Mizzou catches Texas A&M in the first round, a team that is better than the Tigers, but struggled in the final three weekends.
9. Ole Miss (7)
Overall: 32-24, 14-16
Last week: 1-3 (lost to Arkansas State, lost series to Auburn)
Ole Miss may have just played itself out of an NCAA Tournament berth with their final week of the regular season. Auburn needed the series, too, but the Tigers had built up some good will and a resume. Ole Miss doesn’t have either. And losing to Arkansas State just looks bad. Really, the Rebels probably have to win a pair of games — at least — to make it now.
8. Auburn (9)
Overall: 34-22, 16-14
Last week: 2-1 (won series against Ole Miss)
Auburn saved its bacon by beating Ole Miss last week. There was no guarantee the Tigers would fall all the way out of the NCAA Tournament picture if they didn’t win, but it was looking that way. Now they’ve bought themselves some breathing room. Oh, and for good measure, they can officially eliminate Ole Miss from consideration this week: the two face off late Tuesday afternoon.
7. Texas A&M (6)
Overall: 36-20, 16-14
Last week: 1-3 (lost to Sam Houston State, lost series to Arkansas)
A 2-7 finish to the year wasn’t what the Aggies had in mind. Barring some weird objection from the selection committee, though, Texas A&M did enough to reach the NCAA Tournament. Aggies faithful would feel a heck of a lot better with just one more win this week, though.
6. Vanderbilt (8)
Overall: 33-21-1, 15-13-1
Last week: 3-0-1 (beat Middle Tennessee State, won series against Alabama)
Poor Alabama had its socks knocked off. The weird tie notwithstanding, Vanderbilt absolutely took out its frustration against the SEC’s worst team. The Commodores outscored Alabama 31-2 in the first two games. They looked like a team with something to prove. And with the league’s best pitcher and second-best hitter, they’re a team no one wants to play this week.
5. Mississippi State (4)
Overall: 34-22, 17-13
Last week: 1-3 (beat Troy, swept by LSU)
From likely hosts and potential national seed to the outside looking in. Mississippi State didn’t crash-and-burn South Carolina-style, but the Bulldogs saw dreams go up rather quickly. They still are the best team, by far, that didn’t get a first-round bye and they can play their way back into the hosting conversation with a good week. Their finish to the regular season just made it a long, tough road.
4. Arkansas (5)
Overall: 39-15, 18-11
Last week: 2-1 (won series against Texas A&M)
It wasn’t quite the worst-to-first year, but the Razorbacks defied expectations this season. Not even back in 2015, when Arkansas made the College World Series, did the Diamond Hogs finish in the top 4 in the SEC. And while this team isn’t, on paper, as good as that one was, the way this one has played most of the season, well, less shocking things have happened (like last-place finishes). Don’t let this team sneak up on you.
3. Kentucky (3)
Overall: 38-18, 19-11
Last week: 2-2 (beat Northern Kentucky, lost series to Florida)
Kentucky had its shot to win the SEC East. Florida was just too good. Doesn’t make the Wildcats a bad team, however. In fact, Kentucky did nothing to suggest it still won’t host an NCAA Regional after this week. The Wildcats are the SEC’s 3-seed and will play the winner of South Carolina-Vanderbilt on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. ET.
2. LSU (2)
Overall: 39-17, 21-9
Last week: 4-0 (beat Northwestern State, swept Mississippi State)
LSU and Florida finish as the top 2 teams in the SEC. Who’d have thunk it? The Tigers have lost two games since April 25. With a high-end three-man pitching rotation and above-average hitting, LSU has made itself a contender for the national championship. Again.
1. Florida (1)
Overall: 40-15, 21-9
Last week: 2-1 (won series against Kentucky)
The Gators are the SEC regular-season champions — tied with LSU. They’re the top seed in the SEC Tournament. They’re a lock to host an NCAA Tournament Regional and just short of a lock to becoming a national seed. Florida is as stacked as any Gators team in recent memory and are the clear-cut favorites this week in Hoover.