Stacking Up the SEC Before Conference Play


May 26, 2013; Hoover, AL, USA; General view of the field before the start of the LSU Tigers vs the Vanderbilt Commodores in the championship game of the SEC baseball tournament at the Hoover Met. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The nitty gritty of the SEC Baseball season will start on Friday. All 14 teams will open the conference portion of their schedule and we start to determine which teams are contenders and which teams are pretenders. Here is the overall records for each team in the SEC as of Wednesday afternoon. I’m headed out of town on Thursday, so I had to type this up before the Wednesday games ended. That means the record won’t be exact portrayals of what each team has done

Eastern Division
South Carolina(13-3)
Kentucky(12- 3)
Western Division
Texas A&M(17-0)
Mississippi State(15-3)
Ole Miss(8-7)

Nothing terribly shocking there. So how good are those teams? If you go by rankings, then you might have some idea. In the USA Today Coaches Poll, these teams are ranked.

  • Florida – 3rd
  • LSU – 4th
  • Vanderbilt – 5th
  • Texas A&M – 7th
  • South Carolina – 8th
  • Mississippi State – 13th

Here are the ranked SEC teams in the NCWBA poll.

  • LSU – 3rd
  • Florida – 4th
  • Vanderbilt – 6th
  • South Carolina – 7th
  • Texas A&M – 8th
  • Mississippi State -15th

  • Florida – 1st
  • LSU – 4th
  • Vanderbilt – 5th
  • Texas A&M – 6th
  • South Carolina – 7th
  • Mississippi State – 22nd

There are a few others, but most of them do not vary too much from what these have. In general, there looks to be three top tier teams in each division. Florida Vanderbilt, and South Carolina are the cream of the crop. Over on the Bulldog side of things, LSU, Texas A&M, and  Mississippi State have set themselves apart from the rest of the division. Those six teams are the front runners to land NCAA tournament bids. Auburn, Alabama, and Kentucky are holding out hope as well, and Ole Miss could certainly make a case if they can right the ship in SEC play.

Here are the teams that lead the conference in batting average.

  • LSU – .325
  • Vanderbilt – .324
  • Arkansas – .318

For comparison’s sake, the Bulldogs are 9th in the league in hitting at .302. Three teams in the SEC currently have team ERAs below 2.00.

  • Texas A&M – 1.59
  • Tennessee – 1.63
  • Missouri – 1.98

And to compare Mississippi State to these teams, the Bulldogs have a 2.87 ERA which is good for 8th in the SEC. The number you will hear so much about as we get closer to Memorial Day will be the RPI of each team. It’s still early and will likely change drastically once conference play begins across the country, but here is where the SEC teams sit according to Warren Nolan. Currently, the SEC is #1 in terms of RPI among conferences.

  • Florida – 17th
  • Kentucky – 28th
  • Texas A&M – 31st
  • South Carolina – 35th
  • Ole Miss – 40th
  • Vanderbilt – 51st
  • LSU – 53rd
  • Mississippi State – 56th
  • Auburn – 71st
  • Georgia – 79th
  • Alabama – 81st
  • Tennessee – 86th
  • Missouri -121st
  • Arkansas – 145th

So if you weren’t sure just what the Bulldogs were facing when they play Alabama tomorrow, maybe this gives you a slightly better idea. The SEC is always tough in baseball, and this year appears to be no different.