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CBB Column: 2010 CWS Predictions

11-10-03 Road to Omaha The College Baseball Blog staff recently got together to start discussing the 2010 season. We have each put out our 2010 picks for the College World Series. The most popular selection is Texas showing up on all six ballots with LSU, Cal-State Fullerton, and Virginia showing up on five of them. There are seven different conferences represented and 17 different schools listed. You can check out each writer’s prediction below.

Brian Foley Bryan Young Colin Weber Donald Boyles Sam Wasson Aman Reaka
1 Arizona State Arizona State LSU Rice LSU CS Fullerton
2 Arkansas UC-Irvine Rice LSU Rice LSU
3 CS Fullerton LSU Texas Florida Virginia Rice
4 Florida State Arkansas CS Fullerton Virginia Texas Texas
5 Ole Miss CS Fullerton Virginia UC-Irvine UC-Irvine Virginia
6 Texas N. Carolina Clemson Texas Arizona State Arkansas
7 UC-Irvine Texas Florida Georgia Florida State UCLA
8 Virginia Minnesota Florida State Georgia Tech CS Fullerton Kansas
  • collegebbfan

    One of the keys to a stong non conference schedule is ones location, you can not expect a coach and university that puts significant value on academics to travel more that a few hours for any games during the week. That and most of the non conference schedule is agreed 1-2 years in advance.

  • waltgreenberg

    Collegebbfan– no question one’s location has an impact on the SoS of one’s mid-week games, and it is very difficult for schools outside the states of Florida, California and Texas to find more than a couple Top 100 caliber schools to play mid-week, when travel is usually limitted to a 3-hour bus ride maximum. HOWEVER, I suggest you compare who Rice plays mid-week (and how many road games) with who Texas and Texas A&M plays mid-week. Rice stocks their schedule with home and home mid-weekers scheduled against the likes of Houston, Sam Houston State, Dallas Baptist and Texas State– all Top 50 – 100 caliber schools– and add in a few mid-weekers against the Big 12 (e.g., A&M, Oklahoma State, along with our annual home and home against Texas). Both UT and A&M have a far more home-baked schedule, do not schedule home and homes, and usually opt for the UT-Arlingtons, UT-Pan America and Prarie Views rather than the much more competitive Sam Houston States, Dallas Baptists, etc.

    Second, your point about minimzing travel for schools that value academics is true to a point (e.g., Rice and Baylor recently curtailed it’s annual mid-weeker due to the extended travel distance between Waco and Houston). However, it has absolutely no bearing on who and how one schedules the 4 – 5 non-conference weekend slate.

  • waltgreenberg

    BTW (and I’m asking this question in all seriousness), I can fully understand the high regard for Texas, LSU, UC-I, UVA, ASU, CSF, Rice and even Florida and FSU going into the 2010 season, but I’m scratching my head regarding Arkansas, who received votes on three of the six ballots. Despite getting hot at the right time last season (ala Oregon State in ’07 and Fresno State in ’08), the 2009 Razorbacks did not have a particular good regular season (finishing just below .500 in SEC play). They were a very poor offensive club (even worse than Texas with a team AVG of under .275, striking out almost twice as many times as they drew walks), and their pitching was pedestrian, at best (4.67 ERA, allowing more than one hit per IP, with a WHIP of almost 2.0). Furthermore, they’re not bringing in a particularly high ranked recruiting class (ranked only #39 by Collegiate Baseball). I’m obviously missing something, as several of you are picking them to crack the Top 5 – 10, but I just don’t see it. Enlighten me on the Razorbacks. Brian/Bryan/Aman, what am I missing?

  • Umm…

    Zack Cox and Andy Wilkins which are high caliber players as seen by Cox’s performance in the CWS, CCBL, and every other time he steps on the field. Wilkins led the Razorbacks in hitting and only hit 19 homers last season. Also, Brett Eibner and Bo Bigham are both coming back next season. They will turn it around next season and bring the Razorbacks back to Omaha.

  • Aman Reaka (bkmhoxx)

    Arkansas beat Fullerton AND Virginia in the CWS. I could care less what their regular season was. They had trouble turning things on until the end of the year. That the only time that matters. Zach Cox will more than likely be the best all around hitter in this years draft. The kid can mash! Like Brian said, Eibner is one of the top players in the country as well, and also Wilkins and Bigham are in the mix, not to mention Bolsinger. They all have some plate discipline issues but all did well this summer and i expect that to carry over into a huge year for the Razorbacks. Pitching could hurt them a little bit, but id expect them to be back in Omaha at years end.

  • Arkansas’ pitching might hold them back from winning the CWS but if they were to not make Omaha, it would be a major disappointment for that program.

  • waltgreenberg

    Brian, Aman– you know, it’s impossible to debate you guys on a rational basis. No question Zach Cox has the tools and will be a high first round draft pick, but that does not make him an elite college hitter; something which he has not been to date. Yes, he’s got terrific power, but until he can demonstrate that he can hit even .300 over the course of an extended season, with a .400 OBP, and not strikeout twice as frequently as he walks, I’m not crowning him the POY. Again, the fact that Arkansas made it to Omaha last year means diddledeesquat with regards to how they fare in 2010. All I know is that when I look at the stat sheets I see an aggressive, free-swinging team with good power, but hitting for sub-par AVG?OBP, and with absolutely no plate discipline and not much team speed…and a pitching staff that is pedestrian, at best. That’s not a recipe for prolonged success or a repeat CWS appearance. You cannot count on getting “hot” at the perfect time in consecutive seasons.

    • Again, Walt….It is an OPINION yet you fail to recognize that. Cox and Wilkins are absolute studs that will be picked in the top 3 rounds.

  • Aman Reaka (bkmhoxx)

    We are different Walt. You are a stathead. I’m a coach and scout. I beleive in what my eyes tell me. Stats mean very little in my world. I saw a talented team that had some very impressive bats and were well coached and had a lot of fire. If stats were what put teams in the CWS, then we all could pick the 8 teams with ease and we could do it right now. Stats often are skewed and cant provide a proper evaluation. Some stats are a good “tool” but i just cant use a lot of them to make my predictions (and especially to do any scouting). I do agree that their plate discipline and OBP will need to improve but with another year under their belt, i just think they are too talented to not make it back to Omaha. I love to debate and I love to do so in a rational manner, BUT just because I dont throw stats out in every statement, doesnt mean that my thoughts aren’t rational. I am correct a lot more than I am wrong. That being said, I am definitely wrong sometimes and you could very well be spot-on in this debate. If you tell me that a team with questionable pitching, poor plate discipline, poor OBP and not a lot os speed fell short of making it to Omaha, I’m not going to be shocked by any means. But the talent I saw with my eyes and the feel that I got from watching them, says that the talent should get them there. It’s ok if we disagree. Thats why this is fun!

  • jimi nyc

    Watch out for Mississippi State out of the SEC. Cohen turned Kentucky in one year with less talent. The new arms are even better than advertised and Connor Powers turned down the Dodgers and is back.

    • That could be true but there are a ton of SEC teams that I can make a case for.

  • Matt

    UVA will dominate the ACC and Yes, theyll make it to the world series for 2nd time in 2 years

  • Marcus Kingsley

    This looks like a fair prediction. Altough I’m not too into college baseball, this sounds like a pretty good prediction. And Walt what the f–k is your problem? What is with all the bigotry? Who the hell can possibly predict what’s going to happen just according to stats? They may tell us some things, but they aren’t that reliable based on my experience. I am more prone to believe that upsets happen and statistics can never determine when that’s gonna happen.

  • waltgreenberg

    Gotcha, Marcus– instead of basing one’s predictions (of CWS participants and Top 100 college players) on how the teams and players have performed at the D-I level in the past (and the quality of the returning players), let’s base it on putting our fingers to the wind. Makes sense to me.

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