Sprints Teaches Kansas Baseball Fans About Geography // 03.12.10

A little information is a dangerous thing
It's time to replace the Big Ten as the conference we most love to hate with the Big XII. Because, having given up at defeating the SEC on the field in apparent recognition that this is a lost cause, the Folks from the Flat Earth have taken to ad hominem attacks. Even in baseball.

From the SB Nation Kansas blog, Rock Talk Chalk:

SEC baseball teams have rubbed college baseball fans across the nation the wrong way for decades by their refusal to play non-conference road games and the favoritism they receive most years from the NCAA tournament committee. Many college baseball fans think that SEC teams should either prove themselves by scheduling quality non-conference road games or drop their sense of entitlement.

Hmm. So I guess South Carolina's three-game series at No. 13 East Carolina didn't count? How about their two games in the Upstate (one at a "neutral" field) against No. 12 Clemson? Or perhaps you missed Georgia's series at No. 5 Florida State? (In fairness, Georgia fans probably wish they had missed it.) Or Alabama's sweep at College of Charleston, currently at 27 in the mock RPIs? Did you catch Florida's three-game series at No. 20 Miami, or its game later this season at Florida State? Notice Tennessee's trip to Corvallis to play No. 21 Oregon State for a series? Are you aware that Auburn plays No. 11 Arizona State this weekend in Tempe, as Mississippi State goes to Corpus Christi for a tournament that includes No. 15 UCLA and No. 25 Oklahoma? What about the West Coast journeys by Vanderbilt, which included at game at UCLA, and Kentucky, which also won a game at No. 8 Coastal Carolina?

Precisely which of those games would you not classify as "quality non-conference road games"? Because there are nine teams there, which is three-quarters of the league. (This is assuming we should take the criticism seriously when the post includes the sentence: "KU won two games this week vs. NAIA foes at Hoglund.")

Of course, RCT would probably discount some of the games above because of that old favorite for non-SEC fans: leaving the region.

If the SEC were to ask me how they might get their game back (no, I'm not waiting by the phone) one suggestion I'd make is to start playing non-conference schedules that involves leaving the south to face quality opponents. SEC teams seem to prefer playing comfortable non-conference schedules composed almost exclusively of home games vs. regional opponents rather than preparing themselves to face the best teams in the nation by leaving home and seeing how they stack up against the better teams across the nation.

For the 8,000th time we've addressed this in either football or baseball: The SEC rarely leaves its region to play quality nonconference opponents because it doesn't have to leave its region to play quality nonconference opponents. In the SEC footprint, there are good baseball programs in (to name just a few) Louisville, Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Atlanta, Tallahassee, Miami, Clemson and Hattiesburg. If you expand "the region" to include all the "Southern" states, there's not enough space to even hit the highlights.

Know how many non-SEC teams from SEC states are in the mock RPI Top 40 right now? Eight. For the Big XII, it's two. There are six non-SEC teams from SEC states in the Baseball America Top 25, compared to two for the Big XII -- both in Texas.

Leaving all that aside, though, there's one very good reason why this weekend's series between Kansas and LSU is being played at Alex Box Stadium. (Okay, two, the first being the insane amounts of money LSU makes off home games.) The temperature in Lawrence this weekend isn't expected to get higher than 50, which is a few degrees above the forecasted lows in Baton Rouge. The question isn't why LSU wouldn't play a baseball series at Kansas, but why Kansas would. (HT: And The Valley Shook)

SEC TOURNAMENT

Strange guy named "Wunderlich" still writing SEC recaps
Follow the tournament at SBNation.com.

Clock ticking for Jeff Lebo
Auburn's loss in the SEC tournament might not just be the end of the season. It could be the end of the Jeff Lebo Era.

"We've got a good recruiting class coming in. We've got to get some guys who need to get better,'' Lebo said.

Lebo was asked about his "body of work" at Auburn.

"I just got through with the game. I really haven't thought of the body of work,'' he said.

I would suggest he think rather quickly about how to answer that question the next time it's asked.

Nashville = Baghdad?
Reports of a landmine near Bridgestone Arena appear to have been untrue. Everyone should stop being alarmed. Except those of you who live in Birmingham, who were never alarmed by this in the first place, thinking it a normal aspect of urban life.

OTHER NEWS

I'd like to see a Les Miles discount
Terrance Toliver is back on the practice field for LSU.

Miles said Toliver, a senior-to-be, will be able to practice during spring and summer, but will pay "a tremendous price." Miles said there won't be a suspension involved.

"A tremendous price" that won't include a suspension? What is the punishment going to be, writing "I will not get tased by police" on the blackboard 100 times?

SEC looking to make sure things are fair for disadvantaged program
Always sure to look out for the fortunes those programs who face an unfair situation, the SEC is helping out ... Alabama? Yes, the Tide might soon see something happen to fix the large number of programs it faces coming off a bye week.

"The numbers are so out of whack," Bloom said, "I think the athletics directors agreed that we needed to look into it. ... I can't tell you what the options are, but we're hopeful we'll have something done in the next month or two months."

Because no one would want Alabama to have to face an uphill climb or anything.

Edward Thomas forgot 'a shared belief that agriculture is the highest aspiration of mankind'
The Mayor is not pleased with Dabo Swinney's idea of an exhibition game between the Clemson Tigers and Georgia Bulldogs, who hate each other for reasons I still do not clearly understand. (It might be that the two fan bases are stunningly similar, except that Georgia has acknowledged that its 2010 and Clemson still acts like it's the 1950s.)

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