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College | Story | 2/26/2021

Weekend Preview: Week 2

Vincent Cervino        
Photo: Luca Tresh (NC State Athletics/Jaylynn Nash)
College Top 25 | Player, Pitcher of the Week | College Player Report Database

If the first weekend of the season is any indication of how the season is going to play out, then we should buckle up because 2021 is going to be a wild ride. Three out of the top five teams in the country dropped their series with Florida losing to Miami, Texas Tech going 0-3 in Arlington, and UCLA dropping the opening series to San Francisco. As such, the rankings had a shakeup at the top and now the Ole Miss Rebels enter the second weekend of the season as the top team in the land.

Top 25 in Action

Rank Team Opponent Location
1 Ole Miss Home vs. UCF Oxford, Miss.
2 Louisville Home vs. Western Illinois Louisville, Ky.
3 Miami Home vs. Virginia Tech Coral Gables, Fla.
4 Florida Home vs. Samford Gainesville, Fla.
5 Arkansas Home vs. Southeast Missouri Fayetteville, Ark.
6 Vanderbilt Home vs. Georgia State Nashville, Tenn.
7 Virginia Away vs. North Carolina Chapel Hill, N.C.
8 Mississippi State Home vs. Tulane Starkville, Miss.
9 Texas Tech Home vs. Houston Baptist Lubbock, Texas
10 Louisiana State Home vs. Youngstown State, Nicholls Baton Rouge, La.
11 UC Santa Barbara Home vs. Pepperdine Santa Barbara, Calif.
12 East Carolina Away vs. Georgia Southern Statesboro, Ga.
13 UCLA Home/Away vs. UC Irvine Los Angeles/Irvine, Calif.
14 Indiana Season Starts 3/5 N/A
15 NC State Away vs. No. 20 Georgia Tech Atlanta, Ga.
16 Arizona State Home vs. Hawaii Phoenix, Ariz.
17 Auburn vs. Oklahoma, Baylor, & Texas A&M Round Rock, Texas
18 Michigan Season Starts 3/5 N/A
19 Arizona Home vs. Southeastern Louisiana Tucson, Ariz.
20 Georgia Tech Home vs. No. 15 North Carolina State Atlanta, Ga.
21 Duke Home vs. Boston College Durham, N.C.
22 Florida State Home vs. Pittsburgh Tallahassee, Fla.
23 Ohio State Season Starts 3/5 N/A
24 Georgia Home vs. Gardner-Webb Athens, Ga.
25 TCU Home vs. Liberty Fort Worth, Texas

Here are some storylines we’re looking at heading into the weekend:

Start of ACC Play

Most of the ACC, outside of Louisville and Clemson, begins conference play this weekend with a number of highly-touted matchups including Virginia and North Carolina, which got started on Thursday as the Tar Heels took game one by a score of 3-2. The matchups are led by the only series featuring two ranked teams in No. 15 North Carolina State at No. 20 Georgia Tech. Duke hosts Boston College while Wake Forest hosts Notre Dame and Pittsburgh goes to Florida State while Virginia Tech travels to Miami to wrap up the slate. Outside of conference play, Louisville hosts Western Illinois and Clemson hosts in-state, SEC rival South Carolina. The games this weekend should provide a clearer picture of who the top teams in the conference are and all of these games feature intriguing matchups.

Round Rock Classic

The second in three straight weeks of Texas tournaments to open the year, this round robin tournament features Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Auburn playing in Round Rock. Texas A&M and Baylor both dropped their opening weekend’s while Oklahoma split against multiple opponents, finishing 2-2. Auburn is flying high as they enter 5-0 after an opening weekend sweep of Presbyterian and outscoring Alabama A&M by a score of 50-2 over two games in the midweek. Some power arms should be toeing the rubber, including Texas A&M’s Bryce Miller, Auburn’s Richard Fitts, and Oklahoma’s Wyatt Olds. This, along with several other opening weekend tournaments throughout the country, are good barometers for some of the top teams in the country as we should find out a lot more about these four teams on the other side of the weekend.

Rocker, Leiter Star in Debuts

Defending national champion Vanderbilt had their opening weekend series delayed throughout the weekend due to weather in that part of the country. They were able to get off a doubleheader on Monday and both staff aces Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter were masterful. Rocker went four shutout innings with just one hit allowed and eight strikeouts while Leiter had five shutout with no walks, one hit, and eight strikeouts as well. The duo is going to get national attention all season long as both arms will look to one-up each other with some friendly competition and both are candidates for the first overall pick. The Commodores have Georgia State traveling to Nashville this weekend and will look to remain unbeaten with their 3-0 record on the line.

SEC Dominant Early

At the College Baseball Showdown in Arlington the SEC finished a remarkable 8-1 against their Big 12 competition and the conference has six teams in the top-10 in the entire country. Ole Miss ascended to the top of the rankings and the top-5 features three teams, including both Ole Miss and Arkansas who went 3-0 at the Arlington event. The SEC is known as the top conference in the country and it only dropped three weekend series last weekend, with Florida dropped their top-10 matchup with Miami, while Missouri and Texas A&M both dropped their home series. How well the conference will retain their staying power we likely won’t know until the season is in the history books, but they’re certainly off to a good start as the conference is looking to break the record for most teams in the postseason.

Can Former Top 5 Schools Bounce Back?

Three teams in the preseason top-5 dropped their first series of the year as Florida lost to Miami, Texas Tech went 0-3 in Arlington, and UCLA was upset by San Francisco. We still believe that these teams are supremely talented and they’ll all be looking to get back on track in the second weekend of the year. Florida hosts Samford, Texas Tech hosts Houston Baptist, and UCLA has a home and away with UC Irvine coming up. All three teams are legitimate national title contenders, but they’ll all have to right the ship in the early going of the season as they can’t let their opening weekend losses snowball into something worse.

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