NCAA Top 25 Podcast: West Coast Highlights, ACC Play Begins
On this episode of the Baseball America College Podcast, Teddy Cahill and Joe Healy recap another eventful weekend of college baseball and chat about the newest Top 25 rankings.
While the top of the rankings stayed fairly static, there was chaos in the middle portion of the Top 25, thanks in large part to ACC play getting going, which affected a good percentage of the teams ranked in that range.
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A lot of attention was paid out west over the weekend, what with the Southern California College Baseball Classic going on in Los Angeles.
It was a tough weekend for No. 11 Vanderbilt out there, as evidenced by the fact that they arrived in L.A. as the number three team in the nation. After consecutive losses to UCLA and Southern California, they salvaged the final game of the weekend with a win over Texas Christian. Offensive production continued to be the biggest issue for the Commodores, and with Austin Martin out with a hamstring injury, there's no easy fix right around the corner.
It was also a 1-2 weekend for TCU, which fell out of the rankings as a result. UCLA went 2-1 and is now a top-five team. With an excellent pitching staff and a deep lineup, the Bruins look like an incredibly well-rounded bunch. In something of a surprise, USC also went 2-1, collecting wins by 2-1 scores over TCU and Vanderbilt before getting blown out by rival UCLA on Sunday. It's still early, but the Trojans have the look of an improved bunch.
Also out west, Pepperdine pulled off an upset series win over Michigan. As a result, the Waves jump into the rankings for the first time this season and Michigan falls all the way to No. 25 after sitting atop the rankings just a few weeks ago.
The ACC also gave the hosts plenty to talk about. Duke continued to ride outstanding starting pitching in a series win over Florida State, pushing the Blue Devils into the top ten. Virginia jumps into the rankings after a series win over North Carolina State, which also served to cast some doubt about the Wolfpack.
Things wrap up with an in-depth discussion of the early postseason picture on the West Coast, where the West Coast Conference and Big West look poised to syphon off bids from the Pac-12, which is strong at the top but lacks a defined middle class.