My favorite weekend
I have followed college baseball since 1999. I absolutely love this sport…more than most…I get it. But over the last 6 or 7 years, the rest of the country is catching up. College baseball is growing in many parts of the country. It’s always been big in the southeast and the west coast, but it’s really taken off the last decade in the middle of the county and especially in Big Ten country.
This year is a very very strange one. Most years there’s a constant battle between the southeast and the west coast over who has the best teams. This year, it’s never been more simple..the southeast is the only place to find a team that has any hope of winning the College World Series. Nonetheless, this should be a great tournament, and it starts with my favorite weekend of the year…REGIONAL WEEKEND.
16, four team, double elimination tournaments…at the same time. From Friday thru Sunday, games will start at noon and end around 2:00am, and I won’t miss a pitch. Then how many games will we get on Monday is always fun to see (those are the Game 7s.)
The questions are always: Which 2 seeds fall to the elimination games on day 1 (3 seeds win more than you think), which 1 seeds fall opening night, and of course which 1 seeds don’t make it to the Super Regionals. How coaches handle their pitching staffs is always up for debate; do you save your #1 for Saturday, but what if you lose on Friday? Jack Leggett got caught on the wrong end of this once before.
I have loved Regional Weekend since 1999, but not every one has been equal to the others. I absolutely can’t stand it when they put USC and Clemson in the same regional or set up as a possible Super Regional matchup. It’s lazy work by the committee. Bowl games and the NCAA basketball committee will do everything they can to avoid rematches, but the baseball committee cares more about travel concerns which is hilariously hypocritical since they’ll send 4 seeds anywhere and they have much less money in their athletic budgets. Not to mention on multiple occasions they have used “travel” as a reason for a matchup, but if they would’ve matched up 2 other teams who haven’t played each other, it would’ve been less traveling.
The fact is the committee tries their best to set up TV ratings. I understand that when trying to grow the sport but admit it already. Fans, coaches, and the players hate seeing a team before the CWS that they’ve played at least 3 times that same season. It’s time for the committee to seed the 2 seeds as well and set a parameter of not matching up teams in regionals and super regionals that have faced each other 3 times.
We’ve seen USC and Clemson matched up enough earlier this decade. Hopefully it won’t happen again. But nonetheless, I can’t wait for Regional Weekend. So many great college baseball games at the same time. I CAN’T WAIT!!