Omaha or Hoover? The World College Championship is heavy on current and future SEC teams

FAYETTEVILLE – Many games in the 2022 College World Series could be a sneak peek into the 2026 SEC baseball schedule.

Arkansas conference mates Auburn, Texas A&M and Olly Mays will join this week in the College World Series, giving SEC West half the field at the college baseball pinnacle event in Omaha, NE.

This will be the seventh World College Championships to feature four teams from one league. Six of these cases involved SEC teams, and the other was the ACC in 2006.

The SEC has had at least three teams going to Omaha in six of the last seven championships.

In a testament to the league’s long-term health, two additional participants, Texas and Oklahoma, will join their future SEC partners in Omaha. The Longhorns and the Sooners will be joining the convention by the 2026 baseball season.

The Razorbacks (43-19) ensure at least one SEC team has played in Omaha. Arkansas plays Stanford (47-16) on Saturday at 1pm and will play either Ole Miss (37-22) or Auburn (42-20) on Monday.

Arkansas has played at least one game against each of the other three teams in its group. The Razorbacks lost 5-0 to Stanford on February 27 at the Round Rock (Texas) Classic. won twice in a row after losing the series opening to Ole Miss in Fayetteville on April 29; She won the first and third games of the series in Auburn on May 6 and 8.

The Razorbacks lost two of their three games at Texas A&M (42-18) on April 22-24. These teams will not play again unless they play each other in the National Championship Series.

Arkansas will play SEC in the World College Championships for the fourth time in the last six trips. The Razorbacks lost two games to the LSU National Champion in 2009; went 1-2 against South Carolina national runner-up in 2012; He defeated Florida in the 2018 national semi-finals.

While a member of the Southwest Conference, Arkansas defeated South Carolina and lost to Mississippi State at the 1985 World College Championship, and defeated Georgia and lost to LSU in 1987.

The SEC is well represented in Omaha despite the fact that the tournament’s No. 1 seed, Tennessee, was eliminated by Notre Dame at a major regional stadium in the biggest sporting event of the year.

“Who knew the league was going to be so tough, especially in our league,” Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn said Sunday after the 4-3 win at North Carolina Stadium.

“It was just a tough year and we beat each other, preparing us for the end of the season.”

The Texas A&M Conference’s 19-11 record was the best in SEC West, one game ahead of Arkansas at 18-12. The teams were tied on the last day of the regular season.

Auburn went 16-14 in the league. Ole Miss was 14-16, but finished 7-2 to qualify for the SEC Championship. The Rebels were one of the last four teams to enter the NCAA Championship field, according to the selection committee.

Ole Miss and Auburn are set to play each other in the opening game of the College World Series on Saturday night. The Rebels won two of Auburn’s three games in the first SEC Series for both teams. Ole Miss was ranked #1 in the USA Today coaches poll at the time.

The Rebels are undefeated this season after their combined victories 46-11 over Arizona (twice), Miss South (twice), and Miami. The victories over Miss South and Miami were in their courts.

Auburn 5-1 in post-season play and outplayed his opponents by 65-30. The Tigers have won two of their three Super Regional games in Oregon after a regional sweep at home against Southeast Louisiana, Florida State and UCLA.

“It’s a really good league,” Auburn coach Butch Thompson said Monday after their 4-3 win over Oregon State. “I know you hear a lot nationwide about the SEC, but when you have four teams from one division that make up half the teams at Omaha Stadium, it’s impressive.”

Texas A&M was expected to finish fifth in SEC West in its first season under coach Jim Schlossnagle, who previously led the TCU to the College World Series five times. Auburn was selected to finish seventh in the division.

Arkansas State was expected to win by defeating West, ahead of the second-place game between Ole Miss and Mississippi State. After a national championship last season, Mississippi State failed to make the SEC Championship this year and finished with the worst league record.

“There are probably some baseball experts who have talked about the SEC’s dip…and then you wake up and look at the end of the year, which isn’t really the case,” said Ole Miss coach Mike Bianco on Tuesday. “I think that can happen in our league, where you can be fooled. The teams are good. The same teams may not be the best every year, but the league is very good.

“When you look at SEC West and what a great year it was at Auburn…..Arkansas had a great year and what Coach Schlossnagle did at A&M and the transformation – just a great year for SEC.”

All four SEC West coaches have led multiple teams to the College World Series. Van Horne’s nine matches are the most active of any coach, and include seven trips since 2004 as the Razorbacks coach. Schlossnagel is sixth in the College World Series, and Thompson and Bianco will appear for the second time.

There are 14 active coaches who have led multiple teams to Omaha; Six coach at SEC West. Only Brad Bohannon of Alabama didn’t make the College World Series.

David Pierce, the Texas coach, will make his third appearance in five seasons with the Longhorns.

Texas and Oklahoma will play in the pool with Texas A&M and Notre Dame in Omaha. The Aggies will start play with a game against the Sooners (42-22) on Friday afternoon, and the Longhorns (47-20) play the Fighting Irish (40-15) Friday night.

Texas is guaranteed to play one of their big rivals in Omaha. The Longhorns lost 12-9 midweek to Texas A&M on March 29 in Austin, and went 2-2 against Oklahoma. The Longhorns won a neutral position series over the Sooners at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas in April, and defeated Oklahoma Texas 8-1 on the same field in the Big 12 Championship Game on May 29.

Texas is in its 38th World College Series, 13 more than its next closest, Miami.

Oklahoma advanced to Omaha for the 11th time, but for the first time since 2010. And soon into their fifth season under coach Skip Johnson, who was previously a Texas coach for 10 seasons.

In January, Van Horn commented on the new teams joining the league during a speech to Hughes Illustrated FC.

“Everyone says, ‘I want to intern at the Securities and Exchange Commission,'” Van Horn said. ‘I’m like, ‘Come on.’ See what it’s all about.

“When those two schools come along, SEC baseball — and maybe all things — gets stronger and stronger. It’s going to be awesome.”

World College Championship Appearances by Team SEC

Program, Encore (Champions) – Last Appearance

LSU, 18 (6) – 2017

Florida, 12(1) – 2018

Mississippi, 12(1) – 2021

Arkansas, 11 – 2022

South Carolina, 11 (2) – 2012

Texas A&M, 7 – 2022

Auburn, 6 – 2022

Georgia, 6 (1) – 2008

Ole Miss, 6 – 2022

Missouri, 6 (1) – 1964

Alabama 5 – 1999

Tennessee, 5 – 2021

Vanderbilt, 5 (2) – 2021

Kentucky 0

NBIncoming SEC members Texas and Oklahoma have 38 and 11 College World Championship appearances, respectively. Texas has won six national championships, most recently in 2005, and Oklahoma has won two national championships, most recently in 1994.

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