Feb. 20, 2009


Opening Day, Let's Play!


Opening Day has arrived.


The wait for the start of the 2009 college baseball season is over. Schools begin play all across the country today. And there are several key matchups on the opening weekend.


There is a pair of series against teams ranked in the CBI Composite Poll. No. 13 Louisville, the favorite in the Big East, plays a three-game set at No. 25 Florida. The Gators are picked second behind Georgia in the SEC Eastern Division. No. 32 TCU, the favorite in the Mountain West, has a three-game series at No. 9 Cal State Fullerton, the team expected to win the Big West.


Some other meetings to keep an eye on include Atlantic-10 favorite Charlotte at No. 24 Clemson, Elon of the Southern Conference at Auburn, No. 35 Oregon State at Tennessee, Illinois-Chicago of the Horizon League at No. 6 Texas, Long Beach State against No. 30 USC, and Vanderbilt playing two at No. 8 Stanford and a pair at Cal.


NC State is hosting the Summit Hospitality Invitational with an interesting field. Santa Clara is picked third in the West Coast Conference and could be in the picture for an NCAA at-large bid if it can finish in the top three. Xavier and Rhode Island are picked second and third, respectively, in the A-10 behind Charlotte.


No. 3 Rice and No. 10 Ole Miss are the only Top 10 teams to travel this weekend. The Owls will play three at Cal Poly, while the Rebels face Liberty, Mercer and host South Alabama in the Coca-Cola Classic in Mobile.


The first Big East-Big Ten Challenge will take place in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area in Florida. The northern teams will be happy to get outside in warm weather.


Kudos again to Major League Baseball for sponsoring the MLB Urban Youth Academy Tournament in Compton, Calif. Bethune-Cookman of the MEAC and Southern of the SWAC will head west for the round-robin affair with San Diego State and No. 15 San Diego. Saturday’s games will be broadcast live on MLB Network with USD facing Bethune-Cookman at 2 pm PT and San Diego State meeting Southern at 6 pm.


Enjoy the games this weekend.