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CBD Column: Top Ten Weekend Storylines (May 19th)

We head into the final weekend of action in nearly every conference either as they come to the end of the regular season or play in their conference tournaments. Here are College Baseball Daily’s Top 10 stories of the upcoming weekend to follow.

10. The SEC Western Division is an absolute mess right now with a four way tie at the top of the conference between Auburn, Alabama, Mississippi State, and Arkansas while last place LSU is only two games back of the massive tie. My pick to come out of the tie is Auburn as they have the easiest matchup this weekend with Tennessee.

9. The SEC East is not much better with three teams tied at the top of the standings with Florida, Vanderbilt, and South Carolina all with identical 20-7 records. Vanderbilt heads to Georgia while Florida stays home to host Kentucky, and South Carolina will head down to Tuscaloosa for a three game series with the Crimson Tide. Based on the matchups, I would put Vanderbilt as the favorite as Kentucky’s Alex Meyer has the potential to shut down the Gators offense.

8. Bethune-Cookman had their second straight undefeated season in the MEAC and have extended their current conference winning streak to an NCAA record of 43 games. Will they be able to continue it this weekend in the MEAC Tournament where they defeated Florida A&M 18-5 on Wednesday evening.

7. Who will win the Patriot League title between the two series academies? The Navy Midshipmen enter with a 31-22-1 overall record while the Army Black Knights are 21-24 overall. Navy advanced to the championship series by winning two out of three games against Bucknell while Army swept Lafayette 2 games to none. The teams split their four game series earlier this year.

6. San Francisco leads the West Coast Conference by a half game over Gonzaga with two weekends left in conference play. Gonzaga will play at Pepperdine this weekend in search of making up that half game difference. San Francisco is off this weekend and will face off against the Bulldogs to decide the conference championship on the final weekend of the season starting on May 27.

5. #25 ranked Charlotte has their bye this week from Atlantic-10 play but they will not be idle with a trip to Dallas Baptist University. This will be the 49ers and Patriots last chance to make an impact on the selection committee before the brackets are picked. The 49ers enter the series with an RPI of 90th while Dallas Baptist is at 71st.

4. The big talk from the national media is the Texas and Texas A&M series this weekend which features a matchup tonight between Taylor Jungmann and John Stilson. Jungmann is a ridiculous 11-0 with an ERA of 0.86 while Stilson is 5-1 with a 1.59 ERA. The first game of the series will be in College Station tonight before moving to Austin for the final two games. The winner of this series is likely going to lock up a seeded host spot in the 2011 NCAA Tournament.

3. The Stetson Hatters have lost two straight games and four out of their last six games. This weekend they will host Belmont in a key Atlantic Sun showdown as the Hatters need to get back on track if they want to be in the hosting discussion come end of May plus Belmont is a borderline Top 100 RPI team at 109 right now according to Boyd’s World.

2. Oregon State will host a dangerous USC squad this weekend as the Beavers try to lock up a national seed and a Pac-10 regular season title with six games remaining. They currently have a two game lead over both Arizona State and UCLA with the Sun Devils heading to Washington and UCLA hosting Cal. The Trojans are dangerous as they have taken series from both Arizona State and Stanford this year.

1. The biggest conference matchup this weekend takes place in Conference USA as the Rice Owls take on the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles. The Owls are currently only a game behind Southern Miss but with a key series victory will get themselves back into the hosting picture.

As always, College Baseball Daily will be holding a Live Chat on Sunday evening at 8pm Eastern/5pm Pacific to wrap up the weekend of action while previewing the conference tournaments. (REMINDER SIGNUPS BELOW) You can follow the site on Twitter @CB_Daily and on Facebook by clicking here.