Feb. 18, 2011


Gators are coaches’ pick to win national title


Florida is the favorite to win the 2011 national championship, in voting by Division I head coaches.


There were 166 responses of the 300 D-I schools. The Gators received 52 votes as national champ and 132 votes to reach the College World Series. Florida is No. 3 in the preseason CBI Composite Poll.


UCLA, national runner-up a season ago, was second with 49 votes as national champ and 123 votes to reach Omaha.


Others projected to reach the CWS include Texas (127, 17), TCU (107, 17), Cal State Fullerton (88, 4), defending champ South Carolina (72, 3), LSU (54, 2) and Vanderbilt (53, 2). Numbers in parentheses represent votes to reach the College World Series and national champion votes.


Just missing the elite eight were Clemson (52, 2), Virginia (50, 3), Oklahoma (48, 3) and Oregon (44, 1).


There were votes for 49 different schools to reach Omaha and 20 different teams to capture the crown.


Last season, the coaches picked only two of the eight CWS teams. The top six vote-getters missed the trip to Omaha, including Texas, LSU, Cal State Fullerton, Virginia, Rice and North Carolina. They were correct on Florida and Arizona. There were 19 votes for eventual champ South Carolina to advance to the CWS and nine for runner-up UCLA. Florida State got 56 votes, with 31 for TCU, 11 for Clemson and three for Oklahoma.


Thanks to all the coaches who responded to our survey.


(photo by Jimmy Jones)