In the history of college baseball, only the University of Southern California has won more than two-straight national titles. Amazingly, the Trojans have strung together five-consecutive national titles, stretching from 1970-74.
South Carolina certainly has a ways to go to accomplish the feat of winning five-straight titles, but has an opportunity this spring to become just the second program to win three-straight national titles.
For many teams that win a national title, the following campaign typically is filled with some uncertainty and perhaps not as much fire in the clubhouse. The Gamecocks were the opposite of that last season, and that attitude isn’t expected to change in 2012.
Last season, the Gamecocks stormed their way through SEC play before arriving at the College World Series and dazzling observers with their fantastic plays in the field, clutch hitting, and of course, clutch pitching from characters such as left-hander pitcher Michael Roth and right-hander Matt Price.
This season, the Gamecocks are very much back in the mix for the national title. Roth and Price are back, as are several key puzzle pieces from last year’s club.
Though many eyes this spring will be on the defending champions, the runner-up from last season – Florida – has extra motivation and an exceptionally talented club with the starting rotation of Hudson Randall, Karsten Whitson and Brian Johnson leading a mountain of returning contributors.
Several other CWS teams from last season are expected to continue their successful ways this season. The list includes Texas A&M, North Carolina, Texas, Vanderbilt and Virginia, all teams with a chance to return to Omaha with a little luck.
As everyone from California to Massachusetts debates which teams they believe end the 2012 college baseball season in Omaha, we in turn will provide college baseball fans with optimal coverage leading up to Opening Day, beginning with our comprehensive PG College Baseball preview.
The preview series, which runs from Wednesday, January 25, through Thursday, February 16, encompasses many parts and contributors.
From a rankings standpoint, we’ll kick things off later this week with our positional power rankings, while the PG Top 100 team capsules will be unveiled as our college baseball preview progresses.
In addition to conference previews for every conference/league and the Independents, which will include top prospect lists for each, we’ll also have an unprecedented look at how this year’s college baseball players factor into the equation as prospects with overall prospect lists and reports, and lists and reports dissected by classification.
Kendall Rogers, Allan Simpson and David Rawnsley will produce PG College Baseball preview content.
Step up to the plate with a College Baseball Ticket subscription (which will be required for many of these features) as we take you inside the 2012 season like no one else.
2012 COLLEGE BASEBALL PREVIEW SCHEDULE
Subscription package legend:
I - Insider
P - Premium
C - College Baseball Ticket
Wednesday, Jan. 25: JUCO Top 50 team capsules | JUCO Top 50 team reports (I)
Thursday, Jan. 26: Preseason player power rankings | Mike Zunino (Florida) scouting profile (C/I) | JUCO Top 200 prospects (1-100) (P)
Friday, Jan. 27: Division I Preseason All-America Teams | JUCO Top 200 prospects (101-200) (P)
Monday, Jan. 30: SEC preview (C/I) | Sun Belt preview | Michael Wacha (Texas A&M) scouting profile (C/I)| NAIA Top 10/Top 50 prospects | Division II Top 10/Top 50 prospects
Tuesday, Jan. 31: ACC preview (C/I) | Atlantic Sun preview C/I) | Feature on Florida's Mike Zunino
Wednesday, Feb. 1: SoCon preview (C/I) | Conference USA preview (C/I) | Stephen Piscotty (Stanford) scouting profile (C/I) | Division III preview
Thursday, Feb. 2: Big South preview | Colonial preview | Feature on Duke's Marcus Stroman
Friday, Feb. 3: Big East preview (C/I) | America East preview (C/I) | Chris Beck (Georgia Southern) scouting profile (C/I)
Monday, Feb. 6: Ivy League preview (C/I) | Top 100 teams capsules (81-100) (partially C)
Tuesday, Feb. 7: Big 12 preview (C/I) | SLC preview (C/I) | Marcus Stroman (Duke) scouting profile (C/I) | Feature on Texas A&M's Michael Wacha | Top 100 teams capsules (61-80) (partially C)
Wednesday, Feb. 8: Missouri Valley preview (C/I) | Top 100 teams capsules (41-60) (C)
Thursday, Feb. 9: Pac-12 preview (C/I) | WCC preview (C/I) | Brian Johnson (Florida) scouting profile (C/I) | Feature on Stanford's Mark Appel | Top 100 teams capsules (21-40) (Particially C)
Friday, Feb. 10: Mountain West preview (C/I) | Preseason Chat Transcript
Saturday, Feb. 11: Big West preview (C/I) | Top 100 team capsules (1-20) (partially C)
Monday, Feb. 13: WAC preview (C/I) | Great West preview (C/I) | Kenny Diekroeger (Stanford) scouting profile (C/I) | Top 100 senior prospects (P)
Tuesday, Feb. 14: Big Ten preview (C/I) | Horizon preview (C/I) | Patriot preview (C/I) | NEC preview (C/I) | SWAC preview (C/I) | Top 100 junior prospects (P)
Wednesday, Feb. 15: Ohio Valley preview (C/I) | MAC preview (C/I) | Atlantic 10 preview (C/I) | MAAC preview (C/I) | Kyle Zimmer (San Francisco) scouting profile (C/I) | Top 100 sophomore prospects (P)
Thursday, Feb. 16: Independents preview (C/I) | MEAC preview (C/I) | Summit preview (C/I) | Top 100 freshman prospects (P)
Friday, Feb. 17: Richie Shaffer (Clemson) scouting profile
Kendall Rogers is the college baseball managing editor for Perfect Game USA and can be reached at email@example.com