One final weekend in the SEC. That’s it. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but there is oh, so much to play for among just about every team in the conference this weekend.
Only Florida and Alabama need not worry. The Gators are SEC champions. Alabama is not going to participate in the SEC Tournament. Every other team has someplace it can go — up or down. Some teams, such as Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, may be fighting for their NCAA Tournament lives.
Boy, it’s fun, huh?
This is how the league stacks up with three games left:
14. Alabama (14)
- Overall: 26-27 (7-20)
- Last week: lost series to LSU
- This week: vs. Ole Miss (3 games)
Alabama was officially eliminated from SEC Tournament participation by Saturday. Not a great year for the Crimson Tide, but all things considered, better than 2017. Can play spoiler in the final week against the Rebels, at least.
13. Missouri (13)
- Overall: 31-20 (10-17)
- Last week: Lost series at South Carolina
- This week: vs. Indiana State, vs. Tennessee (3 games)
The Tigers had their shot at climbing over Tennessee heading into the final weekend. But like so many times this year, hitting let them down. Missouri still has an opportunity to make the tournament but needs to take care of business against the Volunteers.
12. Tennessee (12)
- Overall: 28-25 (11-16)
- Last week: Lost series to Vanderbilt
- This week: at Missouri (3 games)
Getting one win against Vanderbilt was important. Tennessee isn’t making the NCAA Tournament, but in coach Tony Vitello’s first season, making the SEC Tournament would be a good first step.
11. Mississippi State (11)
- Overall: 28-24 (12-15)
- Last week: Lost series to Kentucky
- This week: vs. Florida (3 games)
Mississippi State needed a series victory against Kentucky. Like, really. The Bulldogs are probably on the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament now. Considering the No. 1 team in the nation is next, it’s hard to imagine that changing.
10. Vanderbilt (10)
- Overall: 27-24 (13-14)
- Last week: Lost to Tennessee Tech, won series at Tennessee
- This week: vs. Middle Tennessee State, vs. Kentucky (3 games)
Think the last series of the regular season is meaningless for middle-pack teams? Sure isn’t for Vandy, which has played its way out of the NCAA Tournament in some projected brackets. The Commodores are, right now, at best, a toss-up. Taking a series from a potential host would help Dores fans sleep at night.
9. Texas A&M (7)
- Overall: 34-17 (12-15)
- Last week: Swept at Arkansas
- This week: vs. Sam Houston State, vs. South Carolina (3 games)
We wrote before the season Texas A&M is a good team. Not a great one. The Aggies overachieved to make the College World Series last year and we thought it would show in 2018. It has. Texas A&M is a No. 3 seed in the NCAAs.
8. LSU (6)
- Overall: 31-21 (14-13)
- Last week: Beat McNeese State, won series vs. Alabama
- This week: vs. Northwestern State, at Auburn (3 games)
All this talk about how down LSU is this year, and if the Tigers go out and sweep Auburn, they’ll finish guaranteed third in the SEC West, the best division in college baseball. Of course, if LSU gets swept, it’s going to leave a lot of bad tastes in mouths across the Bayou.
7. South Carolina (9)
- Overall: 30-21 (15-12)
- Last week: Lost to Charleston, won series vs. Missouri
- This week: vs. South Carolina-Upstate, at Texas A&M (3 games)
South Carolina is a team that’s easy to root for if you’re an outsider. It’s an older group that plays well above its head, talent-wise. Winning the final series at A&M won’t be easy considering what the Aggies may be fighting for, but nothing has been easy for South Carolina all year, really.
6. Kentucky (8)
- Overall: 33-18 (13-14)
- Last week: Beat Indiana, won series vs. Mississippi State
- This week: at Murray State, at Vanderbilt (3 games)
Best week of Kentucky baseball in a long time — the finale with the Bulldogs notwithstanding. Good chance Kentucky and Indiana could be matched up in a regional, so the Wildcats getting the best of the Hoosiers may be a clue. Or may not have been, either way. A winning series in Nashville and a good showing in the conference tournament would help Kentucky’s hosting cause.
5. Auburn (3)
- Overall: 35-17 (13-14)
- Last week: Beat South Alabama, swept at Ole Miss
- This week: at Troy, vs. LSU (3 games)
Ouch. Auburn’s chance at hosting a regional may have just gone up in flames. We wrote last week the series was huge for both the Tigers and Ole Miss. The winner taking a leg up on hosting. Didn’t expect a sweep, though. Auburn can’t be swept again or things are looking mighty bad.
4. Georgia (5)
- Overall: 35-16 (16-11)
- Last week: Beat Georgia Tech, lost series to Florida
- This week: vs. Presbyterian, vs. Arkansas (3 games)
Lost a series and move up? Part of it was Auburn’s collapse. Part of it was the same thing we write about every Florida opponent: can’t blame them for losing. Georgia is on the hosting bubble right now. A series win against a guaranteed host in Arkansas would help.
3. Ole Miss (4)
- Overall: 39-13 (16-11)
- Last week: Swept Auburn
- This week: at Arkansas State, at Alabama (3 games)
Locks. Mark it down. Zero reason this won’t be a top 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Rebels are good.
2. Arkansas (2)
- Overall: 36-15 (17-10)
- Last week: Swept Texas A&M
- This week: at Georgia (3 games)
Arkansas would be a lock like Ole Miss, except those road woes. The Razorbacks cannot be swept at Georgia and expect to be in the top 8. Have to win at least one down there.
1. Florida (1)
- Overall: 41-12 (20-7)
- Last week: Beat South Florida, won series vs. Georgia
- This week: at Mississippi State
Can we create a new superlative for just how good the Gators are? Scrumtrulescent.