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Sprints Is Glad to Not Be an SEC Baseball Coach Today // 03.10.10

Play Ball! Or: What the @#$% just happened?
Um, this is still a good baseball conference, right? At least, it used to be. Right? I'm not misremembering things, am I? Because this didn't look like a very good baseball conference on Tuesday.

Sure, you expect a team like Tennessee to lose to a team like Western Kentucky once in a while. The Hilltoppers are a pretty good team, and the Vols are far from one of the SEC's name brands. So a 5-4 defeat in extra innings isn't too bad.

But Arkansas -- losing to South Dakota State?!? Arkansas is supposed to be a good team. Ranked and everything. South Dakota State is not. How not? Boyd's World has them 185th in its pseudo-RPI. This, suffice it to say, not ranked. And while the "whatever you call South Dakota State"s having a winning record, that RPI is below, say, 4-8 Kennesaw State. The Owls are 151st.

Speaking of Kennesaw State: Georgia played them Tuesday. And lost. By a score of 11-1. To put that in football terms for SEC fans, it would be like Vanderbilt defeating Alabama. By 70.

Baseball is a strange game. Unlike college football, the better team will lose many times over the course of a season. So, all hope is not lost for any of these teams yet.

Scores for teams that didn't make their case for being kicked out of the conference in baseball:

LSU 18, Louisiana-Monroe 7
Florida 8, Illinois State 2
Ole Miss 14, Austin Peay 4
South Carolina 12, Valparaiso 4
Kentucky 7, Evansville 1
Auburn vs. Alabama (ppd)

Up today: LSU vs. Northwestern State (at Shreveport); Alabama vs. Michigan State, 7:35 p.m. ET; Florida vs. Illinois State, 6:30 p.m. ET; Ole Miss vs. Austin Peay, 7:30 p.m. ET; South Carolina vs. Valparaiso, 2 p.m. ET; Vanderbilt vs. Tennessee-Martin, 5 p.m. ET; Kentucky vs. Evansville, 4 p.m. ET; Arkansas vs. South Dakota State, 4:05 p.m. ET; Auburn vs. Appalachian State, 7:30 p.m. ET; Mississippi State vs. Western Kentucky, 5 p.m. ET; Georgia at Kennesaw State, 5 p.m. ET; Tennessee at Middle Tennessee State, 4 p.m. ET.

The best thing about it is, you never have to pay your speeding tickets
The 'Coach Cal' Mustang is now available.

If you've seen Jim Delany smiling, this is why
Notre Dame Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick addresses the third rail of Irish football: independence or lack thereof.

"I believe we’re at a point right now where the changes could be relatively small or they could be seismic," he said. "The landscape could look completely different. What I have to do along with Father Jenkins is try and figure out where those pieces are falling and how the landscape is changing." ...

"We start that process with a clear preference," he said. "You each could invent a scenario that would force our hand. It’s not hard to do. We just have to pay attention and stay on top of the game and talk to people. That’s what I’m spending 50 percent of my time doing right now. I’m talking to people who you’re writing about and trying to make sure I understand what they’re thinking and what’s going on."

My guess is that Notre Dame has always understood that it would be the 12th team in the Big Ten if it ever needed to. Now that the Big Ten is looking at other candidates, ND's fallback option is likely to evaporate.

But this is Jim Delany. He'll mess it up somehow.

Because who doesn't want to watch a college football game in New York City in December?
Coming soon to an overpriced baseball stadium near you: The Pinstripe Bowl.

The game will be third in line to choose a Big East team and sixth in line for a Big 12 team (after the conferences’ selections for the Bowl Championship Series games are made). If the game were played last year, the Yankees said, Rutgers (3-4 in the Big East, 8-4 over all during the regular season) would have played Texas A&M (3-5 in the Big 12, 6-6).

Oh wow. That's just ... wow. Man, that's bad.

The best comment, though, goes to the NCAA official who says "To go above 35 bowls doesn't make practical sense."

No, to go above 20 bowls doesn't make practical sense. We passed that a long time ago.

Call it a 'new rule in waiting'
The NCAA is giving Texas and Maryland time to get the new head-coach-in-waiting recruiting rule overturned. (HT: Burnt Orange Nation)