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College | Rankings | 1/6/2022

Preseason Division I Top 25

Vincent Cervino      Craig Cozart     
Photo: Perfect Game
College Preview Content: Perfect Game/Rawlings Preseason Collegiate All-Americans

College preview content is already underway as the world turns the calendar over from 2021 to 2022. Preseason All-Americans were released yesterday and next week we will rank the top seniors, juniors, sophomores, and freshmen, respectively, in Division-I. Perfect Game will be your ultimate home for all things college baseball as we’ll also have conference previews for every Division-I conference along with previews and breakdowns for Division-II, Division-III, NAIA, and JUCO baseball.
 
This was one of the more difficult years in choosing a preseason No. 1 as, legitimately, every team in the current top-10 was considered for the No. 1 spot at some point in the process. Vanderbilt opens the 2022 season as the No. 1 team in the country given their pedigree in recent years, returning starters on what should be a potent offense, and the talent of the pitching staff, some of which will be expected to take jumps in their second or third season. The Commodores featured a team high of three All-American selections with Dominic Keegan on the first team, Enrique Bradfield Jr. on the second team, and Nick Maldonado on the third team. There will be a full feature on Friday, Jan. 7 from Blake Dowson on Tim Corbin and the No. 1 Commodores.
 
The rest of the top-5 rounds out with two Omaha participants in 2021 with Texas at No. 2 and Stanford at No. 3. Texas returns a ton from an already very dangerous team and there’s experience throughout the Longhorns’ roster, while the Cardinal re-established themselves atop the Pac-12 and return one of the best players in the country in Brock Jones. LSU comes in at No. 4 in Jay Johnson’s first year at the helm in Baton Rouge, while Link Jarrett’s upstart Notre Dame opens at No. 5. LSU might legitimately be the best offense in the country as they’ll be led by transfer Jacob Berry along with Cade Doughty and Gavin Dugas along with super sophomores Dylan Crews, Tre’ Morgan, and Jordan Thompson. Notre Dame only really loses two pieces from what was an Omaha-caliber team and their roster is littered with various third or fourth-year guys who have won before and have a bevy of experience.
 
The defending champion Bulldogs come in at No. 6, which might be low for Mississippi State when looking at season’s end. They’ll need to replace their entire rotation along with some key offensive pieces, but we don’t envision Landon Sims having any trouble transitioning to Friday nights at The Dude. NC State opens at No. 7 eager to get the 2022 season started after a disappointing finish in Omaha, the influx of a strong freshman class along with veteran arms makes them dangerous. TCU opens at No. 8 as they should compete with Texas and Texas Tech for the Big 12. Arkansas is at No. 9 as they’ll need to replace Golden Spikes winner Kevin Kopps, but there’s no absence of talent on the pitching staff and the experienced offense will be led by Robert Moore and Cayden Wallace. Ole Miss rounds out the top-10 at No. 10 as they’ll need to replace weekend starters Gunnar Hoglund and Doug Nikhazy, though the talent is there and of course captain Tim Elko returns.
 
Next week we will have full team breakdowns for the Top 25 along with blurbs on teams that just missed the cut in the 26-40 range. The rankings will be updated on Mondays following weekend series during the season. Make sure to follow along on Twitter for all things college baseball and Perfect Game.



@PerfectGameUSA | @PGCollegeBall | @vcervinoPG

Top 25 breakdown by conference:
SEC: 7 (Vanderbilt, LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Florida)
ACC: 5 (Notre Dame, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami)
Big 12: 4 (Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State)
Pac 12: 4 (Stanford, Arizona, UCLA, Oregon)
Big West: 2 (UC Irvine, Long Beach State)
American: 1 (East Carolina)
Big 10: 1 (Nebraska)
ASUN: 1 (Liberty)

Rank Team 2021 Finish 2021 Rec. Conference
1 Vanderbilt 2 (49-18) SEC
2 Texas 3 (50-17) Big 12
3 Stanford 5 (39-17) Pac 12
4 Louisiana State 15 (38-25) SEC
5 Notre Dame 10 (34-13) ACC
6 Mississippi State 1 (50-18) SEC
7 North Carolina State 4 (37-19) ACC
8 TCU 22 (41-19) Big 12
9 Arkansas 9 (50-13) SEC
10 Ole Miss 11 (45-22) SEC
11 Georgia Tech NR (31-25) ACC
12 Texas Tech NR (39-17) Big 12
13 East Carolina 12 (44-17) AAC
14 Arizona 8 (45-18) Pac 12
15 Florida State NR (31-24) ACC
16 Oklahoma State NR (36-19-1) Big 12
17 UCLA NR (37-20) Pac 12
18 Miami NR (33-21) ACC
19 Oregon 17 (39-16) Pac 12
20 UC Irvine 20 (43-18) Big West
21 Tennessee 7 (50-18) SEC
22 Nebraska 19 (34-14) Big 10
23 Florida NR (38-22) SEC
24 Long Beach State NR (28-15) Big West
25 Liberty 25 (41-16) ASUN
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