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College  | Story  | 2/14/2014

Projecting college's Field of 64

Kendall Rogers     
ALSO SEE: Preseason College Top 25Preseason College All-Americans | College Baseball Preview index

• The race for conference supremacy between the Atlantic Coast Conference and Southeastern Conference will continue in 2014, and the SEC is expected to have a slight edge in terms of NCAA postseason bids entering the season. The SEC leads the way of all conferences in the preseason projections with 10 teams in the field, as compared to nine teams in the 2013 field. Meanwhile, the ACC has seven teams in this field, as compared to eight last season. Ole Miss was the final SEC team in the field, as we don’t feel the difference between the Rebels, and let’s say, Arkansas, for instance, is going to be great. Meanwhile, in the ACC, I’d keep a very close eye on Maryland, and perhaps even Duke, Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Pitt might be the surprise team on this list. Pitt won a lot of games last season, and welcomes back several key cogs, especially on the mound.

• Speaking of conference races, how about the Pac-12 Conference? Oregon State and UCLA lead the charge in this group, which totals six bids in the preseason projections. However, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the league earns up to one or two more bids. Southern California is headed the right direction this season, and should have the arms to make a strong push toward the NCAA postseason, while Stanford and California both are teams with an opportunity to earn an at-large bid. I’d also keep an eye on a Washington club with some impressive key parts back this spring.

• The Big 12 Conference hopes to surge forward this spring after having what was a rather unimpressive 2013 season. Oklahoma might be down a bit this season without starting pitchers Jonathan Gray and Dillon Overton, but look for Texas and TCU to get things somewhat back to normal, while coach Josh Holliday has Oklahoma State in good shape, and in the mix to potentially host an NCAA Regional. But the surprise team in our field? Randy Mazey’s West Virginia Mountaineers, which should have one of the nation’s best one-two punches on the weekend in left-handed pitchers John Means and Harrison Musgrave. WVU hasn’t reached the NCAA postseason since 1996, but we think that changes this year.

• Could Conference USA be ready for a resurgence this year with some new faces? It certainly looks like it. C-USA only garnered one bid to the NCAA postseason last year, thanks to Rice. And the Owls made the league proud by reaching the NCAA Super Regional round. This year, beyond the Owls, Florida Atlantic (a new member) and East Carolina are safe bets to make the postseason, while Tulane and Florida International also are expected to be heavily in the mix come May.

• In case you didn’t notice, there’s an extra automatic bid this season with the creation of the American Athletic Conference, which is a break-off of the Big East Conference. Louisville, of course, leads the way in the AAC, while Todd Whitting’s Houston Cougars are expected to make a statement with a postseason berth. Meanwhile, in other notable items, the Summit League representative, South Dakota State, isn’t picked to win the league this season. However, league leader Nebraska-Omaha is still in a transition to Division I, thus isn’t eligible for the postseason.

-- The projected national seeds are listed on the left, seed denoted in parenthesis. Regional on the right matches up to be projected NCAA Super Regional.
* Denotes automatic bid

College Baseball Field of 64 (Preseason)
1. Virginia* (1)
4. Delaware State*

2. Kentucky
3. West Virginia
1. Kansas State*
4. Creighton*

2. Alabama
3. Wichita State*
1. Oregon State* (2)
4. South Dakota State*

2. TCU
3. San Diego*
1. Louisville*
4. Kent State*

2. Arkansas
3. Washington State
1. Cal State Fullerton* (3)
4. Canisius*

2. Arizona State
3. Pepperdine
1. Oregon
4. Sacramento State*

2. Texas
3. UC Santa Barbara
1. South Carolina* (4)
4. Binghamton*

2. UNC Wilmington*
3. Georgia Tech
1. North Carolina State
4. Liberty*

2. Florida Atlantic
3. Mississippi
1. Florida State (5)
4. Alabama State*

2. Florida
3. Mercer*
1. LSU
4. Columbia*

2. Oklahoma State
3. Houston
1. Indiana* (6)
4. Illinois-Chicago*

2. Miami (Fla.)
3. Arizona
1. Vanderbilt
4. Tennessee Tech*

2. Clemson
1. Mississippi State (7)
4. Army*

2. Louisiana-Lafayette*
3. Nebraska
1. North Carolina
4. Western Carolina*

2. East Carolina
3. North Florida
1. UCLA (8)
4. Bryant*

2. Cal Poly
3. Fresno State*
1. Rice*
4. Saint Louis*

2. Texas A&M
3. Sam Houston State*


Atlantic 10: Saint Louis
American Athletic: Louisville
Atlantic Coast: Virginia
America East: Binghamton
Atlantic Sun: Mercer
Big Ten: Indiana
Big 12: Kansas State
Big East: Creighton
Big South: Liberty
Big West: Cal State Fullerton
Colonial Athletic: UNC Wilmington
Conference USA: Rice
Horizon: Illinois-Chicago
Ivy League: Columbia
Metro Atlantic: Canisius
Mid-American: Kent State
Mid-Eastern Athletic: Delaware State
Missouri Valley: Wichita State
Mountain West: Fresno State
Northeast: Bryant
Ohio Valley: Tennessee Tech
Pac-12: Oregon State
Patriot: Army
Southeastern: South Carolina
Southern: Western Carolina
Southland: Sam Houston State
Southwestern Athletic: Alabama State
Summit: South Dakota State
Sun Belt: Louisiana-Lafayette
West Coast: San Diego
Western Athletic: Sacramento State