Top 8 Deserving
I thought I’d break up Clary’s POV into 2 different stories this weekend.
Gamecocks – Think back to how you were feeling after the Saturday loss to Texas A&M…national seed hopes were lost, the Gamecocks couldn’t get even one hit with a runner in scoring position, and the Holbrook “hate” was back.
One week later – national seed hopes are back, the bats have returned (and yes John Jones found his too), and Holbrook is backed to being loved…well almost.
Make no mistake, the Gamecocks deserve to be a National Seed and are in prime position to be one. The only way the NCAA committee won’t give the SEC 4 national seeds is if they have their own agenda to spread them out…which would be the worst move the committee has ever made. Even they can’t screw this one up, therefore the SEC should and will get 4 national seeds. The only question is who gets the 4th. Florida, Texas A&M, and Mississippi St will get the first 3. If the decision was tonight, the 4th would go to the Gamecocks.
USC won the SEC East, finished the regular season at #5 in the RPI, had 42 wins, and was one of two teams in the SEC with single digit losses. USC did drop 2 against Vandy and Texas A&M and only won 2 of their last 6 series. But 5 conference sweeps helped give the Gamecocks the SEC East title one year after not making a Regional.
The only issue the Gamecocks have is the SEC is incredibly strong in the top half and Ole Miss, LSU, and Vandy could make things interesting if one makes the SEC Tournament title game or even win it. All 3 finished the regular season with a Top 10 RPI.
Vandy has the toughest mountain to climb finishing 3rd in the East, 12 conference loses and did the worst against the other top teams in the SEC.
It’ll be tough for the committee to pick Ole Miss over USC since the Gamecocks swept the Rebels in Oxford. Ole Miss also finished with 3 more conference losses.
LSU could be an interesting one. The Tigers finished 19-11 and made a splash this past weekend by taking 2 of 3 against the Gators and really picked it up after starting the year off very slow.
The Gamecocks should be a National seed, but just in case, winning a game or even 2 this weekend wouldn’t be the worst thing. Winning the East normally is enough, but this is the true definition of an “Outlier” year.
One more thing – make absolutely no mistake. Chad Holbrook has done an amazing job with this team. I haven’t agreed with every lineup, but he has had his best year ever in his in game management. 42 wins, 20 in the SEC, and winning the East with Florida and Vandy in the division..if you’re not impressed, you’re doing so on purpose.
Couple more quick points.
- John Jones isn’t quite all the way back yet, but it looks like he’s beginning to find his swing.
- Adam Hill looks like he’s hitting the Freshman wall. Giving him the week off may be a smart move before Regionals.
- Dom Thompson Williams has been exactly what USC has needed him to be all year.
- Give Reed Scott a lot of credit. He has become a very reliable option for Holbrook and Jerry Meyers.
- I really like TJ Hopkins. It just deserves to be said every story.