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What To Watch For This Weekend In College Baseball (4/16)

Top 25 Schedule

RankTeamOpponents (Fri., Sat., Sun.)TV
1ArkansasTexas A&MSEC Network+
2Louisvilleat VirginiaACC Network Extra
3Mississippi State(9) MississippiSEC Network (Fri.), SEC Network+ (Sat., Sun.)
4TexasAbilene ChristianLonghorn Network
5Tennessee(6) VanderbiltESPNU (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.), SEC Network+ (Sun.)
6Vanderbiltat (5) TennesseeESPNU (Fri.), SEC Network (Sat.), SEC Network+ (Sun.)
7Notre DameNorth Carolina StateACC Network Extra
8East CarolinaIdle
9Mississippiat (3) Mississippi StateSEC Network (Fri.), SEC Network+ (Sat., Sun.)
10South Carolinaat LSU (Thurs.-Sat.)SEC Network+ (Fri., Sat.)
11Texas Techat West VirginiaESPN+
12Virginia Tech(21) Georgia TechACC Network Extra
13Arizonaat Washington StatePac-12 Network+
14Oregonat Southern CaliforniaPac-12 Network+
15Texas Christian(20) Oklahoma StateESPN+
16Louisiana TechSouthern MississippiCUSA.TV
17PittsburghNorth CarolinaACC Network Extra
18Florida StateBoston CollegeACC Network Extra
19FloridaMissouriSEC Network+
20Oklahoma Stateat (15) Texas ChristianESPN+
21Georgia Techat (12) Virginia TechACC Network Extra
22Stanfordat Arizona StatePac-12 Network+
23Oregon StateCaliforniaPac-12 Network+
24Michiganat MinnesotaESPNU (Fri.), Big Ten Network+ (Fri., Sat.)
25Indiana StateValparaisoESPN3

(9) Mississippi at (3) Mississippi State

The best rivalry in college baseball returns this weekend, as Ole Miss (25-8, 8-4) travels to Mississippi State (25-7, 8-4). The Rebels and Bulldogs are tied for second in the SEC West, trailing top-ranked Arkansas, and this weekend’s series will have implications both in the division and the race for top-eight seeds in the NCAA Tournament. Ole Miss comes into the weekend having lost back-to-back series—at Florida and against Arkansas—and will be looking to get back on track in its biggest weekend yet. Mississippi State has rebounded well since it was swept at home by Arkansas three weeks ago, sweeping Kentucky and Auburn. But Ole Miss represents a much more difficult test for the Bulldogs. Recent history has heavily favored Mississippi State—the Bulldogs are 14-2 against the Rebels in the last five years—but Ole Miss will be eager to reverse that.

(6) Vanderbilt at (5) Tennessee

It’s not an exaggeration to say this is the biggest series in the history of the rivalry. The Commodores (26-5, 9-3) and Volunteers (28-6, 9-3) are tied for first place in the SEC East division and meet in Knoxville as top-10 teams. While Vanderbilt has had more recent success in the rivalry, it enters the weekend coming off an upset series loss at home to Georgia. Tennessee, meanwhile, still has yet to lose a series this season and no team in the nation has more wins to its name. The Volunteers haven’t won the series since 2016 and if they can break that streak this weekend it would go a long way to announcing them as a serious title contender.

Hoglund, Gunnar (Courtesy Of Mississippi State)

Ole Miss RHP Gunnar Hoglund, Potential 2021 First-Round Pick, To Have Tommy John Surgery

Carlos Collazo assesses how the news could impact Gunnar Hoglund's draft stock in July.

(21) Georgia Tech at (12) Virginia Tech

The series of the weekend in the ACC is a Coastal Division showdown. Virginia Tech (19-10, 14-7) is in first place in the standings, enjoying its best season in years. Georgia Tech (15-13, 12-9) is two games off the pace and in a skid—the Yellow Jackets have lost back-to-back series and seven of their last 10 games. Georgia Tech must find a way to arrest that slide in Blacksburg to avoid sliding back to the NCAA Tournament bubble. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, can take control of the division with a series win this weekend.

(20) Oklahoma State at (15) Texas Christian

The Big 12 has become a four-horse race, with Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech competing for the title, so any time those teams play down the stretch, it’s a significant series. This weekend’s schedule provides one such meeting, as Oklahoma State (21-7-1, 6-3) visits TCU (23-9, 7-2). The Cowboys and Horned Frogs both have one series loss in conference play—at Texas Tech—and avoiding another this weekend is critical. This weekend’s winner will emerge as a serious challenger to first-place Texas, while the loser would likely need some help to make a run at the conference title.

Southern Mississippi at (16) Louisiana Tech

These two teams met three weeks ago to open Conference USA play in Hattiesburg and Louisiana Tech came away with a big series win. The Bulldogs (24-7, 10-2) have continued to roll since then and have risen to their highest ranking ever in the Top 25. The Golden Eagles (21-10, 8-3) now travel to Ruston looking for revenge. This weekend has huge implications on the CUSA West Division race—a series win would put La Tech in complete control of the division—and for La Tech’s chances to host a regional at the newly rebuilt Love Field. While there are still a few weeks before hosts are determined, this is the Bulldogs’ last significant test—and therefore last chance to impress the selection committee—before then. A series win this weekend would put them in great position to host and win their first conference title since 1987.

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