W&L: No signs of slowing

College : : Story
Kendall Rogers        
Published: Sunday, April 08, 2012

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Surprises are abound in college baseball these days.

Whether it's the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, Conference USA or Big West, some team, somewhere, is in the process of taking a step forward this spring.

In the SEC, there's no team making greater strides this season than Kentucky. The Wildcats were picked to finish near the bottom of the league before the season, but are sitting pretty at 30-3 overall, 9-3 in the SEC, after another fantastic showing over the weekend in a series win over Ole Miss.

Also surprising in the SEC has been the progression of the Tennessee program under new coach Dave Serrano. The Volunteers may or may not make the NCAA postseason, but they've certainly made strides with a 20-10 overall record and a .500 mark in the SEC.

In the ACC, N.C. State was picked to finish in the middle of the pack, but has stormed off to a 9-6 start in conference with a solid 21-9 overall record. Meanwhile, Maryland -- which took two of three from N.C. State over the weekend -- and Wake Forest are programs that have improved their profiles.

In the Big 12, it's safe to say this league is, for the most part, down this season. However, Texas A&M and Texas once again are having solid campaigns, while Baylor has been a huge surprise, riding a 14-game winning streak and sitting at an impressive 12-0 in Big 12 play.

In the Pac-12, UCLA and Oregon have exceeded expectations in a big way so far this season. The Bruins were expected to take a step back after losing starting pitchers Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer, while the Ducks were expected to finish near the bottom of the conference.

Cal Poly has been a slight surprise in the Big West, while the West Coast Conference has several teams taking a step forward, including San Diego, Portland, Gonzaga, Pepperdine and Santa Clara. The WCC legitimately could be a three-bid league in the NCAA postseason.

Many of these surprising teams headline our list of weekly winners, while others on and off the list headline our biggest losers of the week.



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