Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> Brrr! Well, OK Sog, Anyway About the author, Boyd Nation

Brrr! Well, OK Sog, Anyway

Publication Date: November 19, 2002

Mildly Cold and Wet, Anyhow

If you're a) in the midsouth, and b) one of my longer-term readers, you've probably already guessed at this week's topic. The weather's been really wet and a bit colder than usual, so it's time for me to do my annual February preview. College baseball's a bit odd, of course, because almost all of the important non-conference games take place before everybody really gets ready (I suppose basketball's really the same way, but work with me here). Nonetheless, a lot of good ball gets played early, so let's take a look at the highlights. As usual, I'm going to ignore the perennial matchups. I also can't guarantee that these games will actually matter; last year's call of title implications for the February 1 Miami-Tennessee matchup looks kind of silly now.

January 31-February 2

Arizona State at Long Beach State
Stanford at Cal State Fullerton

I know I said I was going to ignore the perennials, but the Stanford-CSUF game looks extremely likely to actually have title implications. If I were foolhardy enough to put together a preseason top 5, both teams would be in it (Fullerton would actually be well-served by a lengthier schedule; they just don't have enough innings to keep the amount of quality pitching talent they have in right now busy), and with the perennial seeding problems Western teams have, this could make a big difference.

Meanwhile, Long Beach has put together a schedule for the ages this year. Time will tell if it pays off, but there's really not a weak team on their schedule.

February 7-9

Baylor at Arizona
Florida State at Stanford
Long Beach State at Southern California

Baylor-Arizona is one of those interesting matchups where both teams had the potential to be better than they were last year, and one of them could really make a move for national prominence on this weekend. Florida State-Stanford has turned into a really fun annual event, and the LBSU roller coaster continues.

February 14-16

Astros Classic (Baylor, Houston, Rice, Louisiana-Lafayette, Alabama, Texas A&M)
South Alabama at Southern Cal, 2/14-16

The name has changed, but this is still one of the best tournaments around -- back to six teams this year, with less of a SWC grudge match air about it, but none of these six teams would be shocking in Omaha. Meanwhile, which USA team will show up -- the one that gives regional powers fits, or the one that disappears every time they leave the Southeast?

February 21-23

Penn State at Arizona State
Clemson at Auburn
Southern California at Baylor
East Carolina at Central Florida
Houston at Louisiana State
Stanford at Texas

Things get serious this weekend; this may be the best overall weekend of the year. Some of these are intriguing, in that a team could shape their season here to a large extent -- the ECU-UCF loser, for example, probably isn't going anywhere, but the winner might be.

February 28-March 2

Kia Baseball Bash (Texas, UCLA, Cal State Fullerton, Tulane)
Hormel Classic (Nebraska, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Minnesota)

Neither of these are quite as impressive as they have been in some other years, but there should still be some excellent matchups here, and some of the others could be more interesting by this point, as most of the teams will have a dozen or so games in before this.

Hang in there, folks, better days are coming.

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Boyd's World-> Breadcrumbs Back to Omaha-> Brrr! Well, OK Sog, Anyway About the author, Boyd Nation