For those of you who completely turned off the television when Mississippi State was eliminated from contention in the 2014 NCAA Baseball Tournament, Vanderbilt Commodores won the College World Series last night by a score of 3-2 over the Virginia Cavaliers. First off, I’d like to congratulate the Commodores on a great season and carrying on the great tradition of the Southeastern Conference. Now that we have that over with, let’s get down to the question that we all want to know. “How does Vanderbilt winning benefit our Bulldogs?” There is no simple answer to this, but I’ll give it a stab.
Let’s put ourselves in the shoes…err…cleats of a high school baseball recruit. You know that you won’t get drafted that high, but you aren’t leaving out any options. You decide to yourself that if you can’t compete in the Majors, you might as well face off against the best baseball competition in the nation. Look at which conference has sent 6 teams to the National Championship Series in 7 years, including the National Champion from this past College World Series, one year even having two teams from the same conference compete in the Championship Series. That conference? None other than the Southeastern Conference.
Next step is a little harder. You’ve decided on the conference, now you need to decide on a school. You start looking at options. Let’s say you want to play in front of the largest baseball crowds in the nation. You look at the NCAA list of the highest ever on-campus crowds for a baseball game. One school owns that top spot. In fact, one school owns the top 11 on-campus attendance records for baseball. That one school is our very own Mississippi State University. Who just happens to be the flagship baseball university for Adidas apparel.
Now let’s get down to the financial side of it for the fans/administration. Vanderbilt winning the National Championship funnels money to not only Vanderbilt, but to the rest of the Southeastern Conference. That means money for Mississippi State. We know that renovations/rebuilding of Dudy Noble Field/Polk-Dement Stadium are being talked about in a serious manner. Who can say no to money from the Conference to better ourselves in this situation? Certainly not a university that wants to renovate the “Carnegie Hall of College Baseball”
Now for the argument that everyone will give to this article and trying to disprove all of what I’ve said. “Vanderbilt will win recruits over us because they’ve won the National Championship this year!!!” Very true. We will lose a few recruits because of that, but it won’t affect us too detrimentally. We will still get the recruits we need and Vanderbilt will continue to get the recruits it needs. We have nothing to worry about ladies and gentlemen.
Feel free to argue otherwise in the comments below.