College : : Story
Wednesday, June 29, 2011

PG Top 25: South Carolina the one

Kendall Rogers        

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OMAHA, Neb. – Fresh off the program’s first national title last fall, the South Carolina Gamecocks, at the time at least, couldn’t have imagined finding a way to win back-to-back national titles. But after beating Florida in the CWS title series, the Gamecocks are just the ninth team in NCAA history to earn back-to-back championships.

The Gamecocks, as a result of their national title, also finish the 2011 college baseball season atop the Perfect Game Top 25 rankings.

Though Florida dropped a tough series to the Gamecocks, they finish the season at No. 2 while fellow SEC foe Vanderbilt finished at No. 3.

Virginia, the top national seed entering the postseason, finished the season at No. 4, while five other ACC teams including North Carolina, Florida State, Miami, Clemson and Georgia Tech also are ranked.

With the last rankings until now coming at the end of the regular season, the new entrants in our final rankings include California, UC Irvine, Stanford, Dallas Baptist and Mississippi State.

The conference breakdowns are as follows: ACC 6, SEC and Pac-10 5, Big 12 and Big West 2, while the Big East, Mid-American, Independents, Conference USA and Mountain West each have one representative.

1. South Carolina (55-14)
Previous ranking: 1

The Gamecocks couldn’t have had a more exciting campaign. They established consistency early in the season and won back-to-back national titles, just the ninth team to do so.

2. Florida (53-19)
Previous ranking: 4

The Gators, as with the Gamecocks, were consistent throughout the spring and put together a campaign to remember. They’re expected to be back in Omaha in 2012.

3. Vanderbilt (54-12)
Previous ranking: 5

The Commodores entered the season with high expectations and didn’t disappoint. They won an NCAA Regional and Super Regional before reaching the CWS.

4. Virginia (56-12)
Previous ranking: 2

The Cavaliers were extremely consistent throughout the season and were two wins away from competing for the national title. Still, they had a solid campaign.

5. North Carolina (51-16)
Previous ranking: 10

There’s no doubt the Tar Heels were one of the nation’s pleasant surprises this season. They put together a solid regular season before storming their way to Omaha.

6. Texas A&M (47-22)
Previous ranking: 11

The Aggies couldn’t have put together a much more successful campaign. They won the Big 12 regular season and tourney titles before reaching the CWS.

7. Texas (49-19)
Previous ranking: 3

The Longhorns had another solid campaign on the diamond. They won the Big 12 regular season title before reaching the College World Series for the 34th time.

8. California (38-23)
Previous ranking: NR

What an amazing campaign the Golden Bears had. They saved their program and had a magical march to the College World Series. What a year for Cal.

9. Florida State (46-19)
Previous ranking: 8

The Seminoles put together another solid campaign, but failed to get to Omaha after losing the Tallahassee Super Regional.

10. Oregon State (41-19)
Previous ranking: 7

The Beavers weren’t expected to make a huge splash entering the season, but certainly did so with a solid regular season, almost earning a national seed.

11. Arizona State (43-18)
Previous ranking: 13

The Sun Devils put together yet another solid campaign. They won the Tempe Regional before getting a win away from returning to Omaha.

12. Connecticut (45-20)
Previous ranking: 17

It took the Huskies a few weeks into the season to get acclimated to the warmer weather, but they were fantastic once they got into a groove.

13. UC Irvine (43-18)
Previous ranking: NR

The Anteaters were extremely consistent throughout the spring and literally were a strike away from returning to the CWS for the first time since 2007.

14. Georgia Tech (42-21)
Previous ranking: 6

The Yellow Jackets weren’t expected to be great entering the season. But this team actually exceeded expectations much of the year. The future is bright.

15. Stanford (35-22)
Previous ranking: NR

The Cardinal entered the season with incredibly high hopes. And though they had some consistency issues, they played their best baseball in the postseason.

16. Rice (42-21)
Previous ranking: 15

The Owls were consistent for much of the season, earning a national seed entering the postseason. They stumbled in the Houston Regional.

17. Dallas Baptist (42-20)
Previous ranking: NR

We were skeptical about the Patriots throughout the season because of their lack of marquee wins, but they more than proved themselves in the NCAA postseason.

18. TCU (43-19)
Previous ranking: 9

The Horned Frogs put together a solid regular season campaign, but serious injuries finally caught up to them in the Fort Worth Regional.

19. Mississippi State (38-25)
Previous ranking: NR

The Bulldogs had some consistency issues at times during the regular season, but played exceptionally well in the NCAA Regional and NCAA Super Regional.

20. Clemson (43-20)
Previous ranking: 14

The Tigers certainly had some issues at times during the regular season, but got hot at the end of the regular season before falling flat against Connecticut.

21. UCLA (35-24)
Previous ranking: 24

The Bruins won the Pac-10 title with starting pitchers Gerrit Cole, Trevor Bauer and Adam Plutko leading the way. The offense wasn’t enough in the postseason.

22. Cal State Fullerton (41-17)
Previous ranking: 12

The Titans clawed their way to another national title, but fell well short of getting to Omaha, their expected destination entering the season.

23. Miami (38-23)
Previous ranking: 18

The Hurricanes put together a solid regular season campaign with a strong pitching staff leading the charge. However, they didn’t have enough offense to go the distance.

24. Kent State (45-17)
Previous ranking: 21

The Golden Flashes made easy work of the Mid-American Conference this season and were a win away from reaching an NCAA Super Regional.

25. Arkansas (40-22)
Previous ranking: 23

In what was expected to be somewhat of a rebuilding campaign, the Razorbacks were close to hosting their own NCAA Regional. The Hogs should very good in ’12.

Kendall Rogers is the managing editor of college baseball for Perfect Game USA and has covered the sport for over 10 seasons. He can be reached at

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