Hey look, it’s another rankings list! Put off work for another 10 minutes. Believe me, your cubicle mate isn’t paying attention either.
College baseball: You got to love it. Aluminum bats and rally caps. Little kids eating ice cream, as their folks knock back a cold beer. America!
And the Louisiana college baseball fan has A LOT of teams to choose from. Honestly, I had no idea there were so many. If you do the math, and I think I read this in the latest census, on average one out of every eight humans in the Pelican state is a college baseball player. Weird, I know.
And everybody loves lists on the Internet, don’t they? Reading lists just seems cooler than trudging through all of those old, pesky paragraphs. And rankings are the pinnacle of lists, and make us say things such as, “The Saints are ranked LOWER than the Cowboys? Not on my watch!” Then we invade the message boards to show everyone what’s up.
Anyway, the college baseball season is in full swing, and here is my totally subjective, all-Louisiana, top 12 baseball rankings.
NOTE: Head-to-head rules the day this early in the season. Also, due to the encroachment of March Madness, sport fans shall soon be pummeled with the phrase, “body of work.” I hate that phrase. Just wanted you to know. Thank you.
Louisiana Baseball Top 12
#1 – Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (6-2)
Uh-oh! Controversy at the top! Now it’s our friends in Baton Rouge that are screaming, “Not on my watch!” But hey, this team can’t be denied at this point. The Bulldogs are one of the few teams in the country to have victories over two different Top 25 teams (#6 UL-Lafayette, #12 Arkansas), and, with a solid weekend against Valparaiso, should be nationally ranked next week.
#2 – LSU Tigers (6-2)
Now let’s talk body of work. I’m sure over the long run of the season, LSU is going to be in the mix for the SEC title, and then have a great shot at Omaha. That’s just what they do in Baton Rouge. Six NCAA national championships since 1991 is no joke. But, this year so far? Meh. They’re basically just avoiding disasters – they almost got beat by Cincinnati to open the year, then dropped a game to Sacramento State. The Tigers also lost to Lamar – a team who then lost 3 out of 4 to North Dakota State. Hmmm.
#3 McNeese State Cowboys (4-4)
Yeah, that’s right. Lake Charles, son. The Cowboys got the season started with a series win over Southern Illinois, then lost a series to UT-San Antonio, and then absolutely got demolished by Houston. So, naturally, the Cowboys then went out and upset #16 UL-Lafayette in a pretty easy fashion, 7-2. I tell ya man, baseball, it’s crazy.
#4 UL-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns (5-4)
Weird year so far for the Cajuns – a team that entered the season ranked in all of the national polls. Lafayette had a rough weekend in the Houston Classic, losing the first two games. The second loss coming against Texas Tech, a game where the Ragin’ Cajuns pre-season All-American reliever Dylan Moore gave up a walk, a wild pitch, and three runs in two innings worked. Next up for the Cajuns is a team named Sacred Heart – who have given up 35 runs in their last three games. For local fans, Sacred Heart is a school from the northeast, and not the girl’s high school on St. Charles Avenue. You’re welcome.
#5 University of New Orleans Privateers (6-2)
I hear you. Now you’re asking, “But Mark, my favorite writer, you said you value the head-to-head matchups. Why isn’t UNO in first place?” You’re correct, local sports fan thinking about where he or she is going to eat crawfish tonight (Prytania Bar – $10 buck all-you-can-eat while it lasts), the Privateers did beat Louisiana Tech, 9-6. On the other hand, they did just lost to UL-Lafayette, and, to be honest, two weeks ago you thought they would’ve been ranked #10 on this list, at best. Loving the Privateers year so far. Check them out this weekend against Pittsburgh.
#6 Southeastern Lions (5-3)
Southeastern won a season opening series against UL-Monroe, and absolutely destroyed Tulane, 13-4. The Lions could raise some eyebrows nationally with a successful weekend in the Keith Leclair Classic where they will battle #16 East Carolina, Maryland, and Tennessee. The Lions are the pre-season favorite to win the Southland Conference.
#7 Tulane Green Wave (4-4)
Just a short week ago, I would’ve told you were drunk if you thought Tulane would be ranked seventh on this list. Turns out, I was drunk (thanks, Prytania Bar). The Wave is on a three-game losing streak – a streak where the defense has committed 9 errors, and the relief pitchers have given up 15 runs. Yipes. Tulane faces Pepperdine this weekend in need of a series win and, just as importantly, a relief pitcher to establish himself as the closer.
#8 UL-Monroe Warhawks (4-4)
The Warhawks got roughed up by Southeastern to start the year. Then won a series against Western Carolina – a school that’s located in a town called Cullowhee. Cullowhee? Am I saying right? Cullowheeeeee? I’m not sure.
#9 Northwestern State Demons (3-4)
Northwestern State is on a four-game losing streak. The team will play four games this weekend – two being against the Arizona Wildcats. Either way, props to them for their nickname. It’s not silly like a Blue Devil, who turns out to just be a guy in a Halloween outfit. Nope, it’s just…Demons – the dark lords themselves.
#10 Nicholls State Colonels (4-6)
You’ll have to forgive these guys if they’re walking around bumping into things. Their rollercoaster season has seen them outscore Mississippi Valley State, 52-7, in a four-game series (all wins), then turn around and get outscored, 55-13, in their next six games (all losses).
#11 Grambling State Tigers (1-5)
I think that’s their record, anyway. I know they beat Southern. You’ll have to forgive me if I’m wrong. It seems no one in the athletic department told the intern they were supposed to update the “Schedule” page on the website.
#12 Southern University Jaguars (1-6)
Shellacked is a fun word. The Jaguars have been shellacked so far this season to the tune of giving up 70 runs, while only plating 14 themselves. But hey, they beat Auburn once, so that’s cool.
Hope you enjoyed it. Now pass me the hot sauce, and about 47 napkins. Big Love and Mud Bugs, Louisiana!