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Monday, March 11, 2013

College Top 25: Surprises abound

Kendall Rogers        

MORE: Weekly chat transcript | College Premium Blog

No matter the year, there are always significant surprises in college baseball.

This year, UNLV and Central Arkansas seem to be cut from that cloth. UNLV and UCA each were expected to finish in the middle of their respective conferences this spring. But thanks to incredibly fast starts, both entered this week's Perfect Game College Top 25.

The Rebels certainly are the more known commodity in this sport. Head Coach Tim Chambers built a junior college power at the College of Southern Nevada, and now has things headed the right direction at UNLV with a good balance of starting pitching and hitting. Meanwhile, the Bears shocked the country over the weekend with a road series win over red-hot Mississippi State, marking the first big statement this program has made since moving Division I in 2007.

While the Rebels and Bears are new entrants in this week's rankings, North Carolina holds steady atop the rankings after doing a clean sweep of Wake Forest in impressive fashion last weekend. The top five now includes the Tar Heels, Vanderbilt, LSU, UCLA and new top-five member Oregon State, which is off to a great 15-0 start.

In terms of movement in this week's rankings, Stanford dropped from No. 5 to No. 18 following a dismal weekend against UNLV, while Arizona State continues to climb the rankings, going from No. 19 to No. 19. Meanwhile, Notre Dame catapulted from No. 23 to No. 17 after tallying a 2-1 record in last week's Dodgertown Classic.

UC Irvine (21) and Virginia Tech (25) dropped out of this week's rankings. The Anteaters dropped a series to BYU over the weekend, while the Hokies dropped a tough home series to sizzling Georgia Tech.

Conference breakdown

SEC: 7

Pacific 12: 6

ACC: 5

Big 12: 1

Big East: 2

Big West: 1

Conference USA: 1

Mountain West: 1

Southland: 1

The Perfect Game Top 25 will be released each Monday morning throughout the college baseball season.

ALSO SEE: Sunday's roundup/Weekend in review

Rank Team W-L Conference Previous rank
1. North Carolina      
14-0 Atlantic Coast 1
2. Vanderbilt
15-2 Southeastern
3. Louisiana State 15-1 Southeastern
11-3 Pacific 12 4
5. Oregon State
15-0 Pacific 12 6
6. Georgia Tech
14-2 Atlantic Coast 9
7. South Carolina
Southeastern      7
8. Mississippi
16-1 Southeastern 12
9. Cal State Fullerton 13-3
Big West 11
10. Louisville 12-2
Big East 14
11. Florida State 15-0 Atlantic Coast 15
12. Kentucky
13-2 Southeastern
13. Arizona State
Pacific 12 19
14. Mississippi State
17-2 Southeastern
15. North Carolina State 12-4 Atlantic Coast
16. Arkansas
11-5 Southeastern 16
17. Notre Dame 10-3 Big East
18. Stanford
10-5 Pacific 12 5
19. Oregon 11-5 Pacific 12 17
20. Rice
9-7 Conference USA 20
21. Oklahoma 12-4 Big 12
22. Virginia
14-1 Atlantic Coast 24
23. Arizona 13-5 Pacific 12
24. UNLV
11-3 Mountain West NR
25. Central Arkansas 14-2 Southland

Dropped out: UC Irvine (21), Virginia Tech (25)

Entered: UNLV, Central Arkansas

Others to watch: Mercer, Florida Gulf Coast, Clemson, Cal Poly, Indiana, San Diego, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas, Furman, Lamar.
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