And just like that, South Carolina won the SEC title by wiping out any daylong suspense, edging Alabama 3-2 to claim the regular-season championships for both the conference and the Eastern division. Florida took out its frustrations by annihilating Kentucky 19-3 -- a strategy that would have worked had the Gators' pitching not completely abandoned them in an almost as lopsided loss to the 'Cats on Friday.
The second straight loss to South Carolina completed Alabama's fall from the lead in the Western division, which Arkansas claimed by sweeping a double header against Ole Miss -- and ensuring that the division winner had at least a .500 record in SEC games. Which has to be worth something, I suppose.
Brackets don't work as well because of the convoluted nature of the SEC tournament, but here's a guide to the first-round games:
|Game 1 · 9:30 a.m. · CSS|
|Game 2 · 30 min after Game 1 · CSS|
|Game 3 · 4:30 p.m. · CSS|
|Game 4 · 30 mins after Game 3 · CSS|
If you must have predictions for the first round: An East sweep of the interdivision games, Arkansas over Alabama and Georgia defeats Vanderbilt. We'll get to the second round when it's time to worry about that. I will say it would be something of a surprise if the championship game is interdivisional,
As for one of the teams not on this list of tournament teams, Tennessee is likely headed in a new direction as far as its head coaching goes, if tweets from local radio personalities are to be believed. (And you use your head for just a moment, but let's side that aside for now.) Todd Raleigh, what say you?
"I haven't talked to (athletic director) Mike (Hamilton) since the Christmas party,'' Raleigh said. "So I don't know how to answer that question."
Um, Todd, I think that's probably all the answer that you need.
More bizarre, though, is the supposed leading candidate to take over in Knoxville: Chris Burke, who was a former Tennessee player and had six largely forgettable years as a major-leaguer and could now assume command of a team in a power baseball conference.
Please, someone remind me why Mike Hamilton is still gainfully employed.