SEC Baseball Power Rankings: Where things stand heading into the final weekend of the regular season
We are about to enter the final weekend of the SEC college baseball regular season and with that comes the need to assess where we stand ahead of the SEC and NCAA Tournaments.
I’ve put together a comprehensive SEC Power Ranking and what to expect from each team as we head into the postseason.
14. Ole Miss Rebels (25-26, 6-21 SEC)
It doesn’t feel right to put the reigning National Champions at the bottom of this list but, sadly, here we are.
In last weekend’s series loss to Missouri, the Rebs gave up 37 runs, being only matched by allowing 37 runs again this weekend to the Auburn Tigers. It’s a near-impossible task to win anywhere when you consistently allow more than ten runs per game, let alone in the powerhouse-filled SEC.
13. Mississippi State Bulldogs (26-24, 8-19 SEC)
It’s been a rough season in Starkville, encapsulated by the rare mid-season firing of their pitching coach Scott Foxhall last Monday, only two seasons removed from winning D1 Assistant Coach of the Year.
Since winning the National Championship in 2021, the Bulldogs have gone a dismal 17-40 in conference play, a disappointing freefall that will surely raise questions about the future of Head Coach Chris Lemonis come season’s end.
Even still, they completed a massive series upset over LSU at The Box in Baton Rouge this weekend and will have the chance to qualify for the SEC Tournament if they have a good showing against Texas A&M and Missouri falls flat against Auburn.
12. Georgia Bulldogs (28-24, 10-17 SEC)
After starting SEC play in abysmal form, the Dawgs have found a way to bounce back including with an impressive sweep over Arkansas and taking last weekend’s series with Tennessee. Despite dropping this weekend’s series with Missouri, the Dawgs have done enough to book their trip to Hoover.
Most of note for the Dawgs has been their star freshman 1B Charlie Condon, who, this weekend broke Pedro Alvarez’s freshman record for home runs, totalling 23 and headlining an exceptional freshman class across the conference.
11. Missouri Tigers (30-20, 10-17 SEC)
After securing their first conference series win since the opening weekend last week, the Tigers came back this week and secured a must-win series victory against Georgia this weekend.
For Missouri, it’s been a matter of finding a consistent hitting stroke and they certainly did this weekend, running up the score on the Dawgs on both Friday and Saturday, potentially sealing their trip to Hoover for the SEC Tournament.
10. Texas A&M Aggies (30-22, 12-15 SEC)
The Aggies have been a model of consistency this season, beating the teams that on paper they should have no problem with but falling short when playing against higher-end teams like LSU, Tennessee, and Arkansas.
As postseason play starts though, the Aggies will need a steady set of starters to emerge in order to lessen the burden on their bullpen and offense to make a deep run in the tournament.
9. Alabama Crimson Tide (35-17, 13-14 SEC)
In spite of the Brad Bohannon gambling scandal, the Crimson Tide fought to seal a huge series win over Vanderbilt last weekend.
Bama has had no lack of distractions these past few weeks but have managed to pull through and win some close games against tough opposition, helping to solidify their tournament seeding.
8. Auburn Tigers (30-19-1, 14-13 SEC)
Coming off of a huge series win over South Carolina, a defining series win over LSU last weekend, and a dominant sweep of Ole Miss, Auburn has put themselves in solid standing to reach the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid.
The Tigers are one of the hottest teams in the conference right now and are looking to play spoiler in the upcoming conference tournament and NCAA Regionals.
7. Kentucky Wildcats (35-15, 15-12 SEC)
Perhaps the biggest surprise in SEC Baseball this season was the early season success of the Kentucky Wildcats. Originally picked in the preseason to finish 10th in the conference, the Wildcats have been nearly unbeatable in Lexington and have shown that they can compete with some of the best teams in the country.
However, after their initial success, they faltered, losing four straight weekend series. And after getting a glimpse of hope last weekend with a series win over South Carolina, the Wildcats dropped their series to Tennessee this weekend; once again falling short.
The Cats will need to regain their form heading into the final weekend of the series and into the postseason as they look to host Lexington’s first Regional since 2006.
6. Tennessee Volunteers (35-17, 14-13 SEC)
The Vols aren’t where they were last season and that’s okay. Last season, there was so much hype and energy surrounding Head Coach Tony Vitello and the Tennessee program it led to distractions, added pressure, and their eventual demise in the Super Regional.
This season, they’ve settled into their spot in the SEC and are still loaded with top-end talent, especially on the pitching staff. The weekend rotation of Drew Beam, Chase Dollander, and Chase Burns has been critical to their success this season and will be vital to their postseason success.
The question for Tennessee is whether or not they can win games away from Lindsey Nelson Stadium in Knoxville; when playing on the road this season the Vols have gone a horrific 2-10.
5. South Carolina Gamecocks (37-14, 15-11 SEC)
South Carolina comes from the school of thought that if you slug more than your opponent, you will win a lot of games. That theory has been proven true by this Gamecocks team. They lead the SEC with 102 home runs as a team and RF Ethan Petry has emerged as one of the most electrifying players in the country with a near .400 batting average and 21 home runs.
But it hasn’t only been their explosive offense winning them games, their bullpen is at the forefront of the SEC and one of the best in the country. When you can crush the ball on offense and prevent any late-inning comebacks you get a recipe for success cooking in Columbia, SC.
4. Vanderbilt Commodores (35-16, 17-10 SEC)
Head Coach Tim Corbin and the Commodores are showing once again why they have been at the forefront of college baseball for the better part of the past two decades.
Led by LHP Devin Futrell, their weekend rotation is one of the best in the country, putting themselves in a strong position to win any game and lending itself to a deep run in the postseason as we saw with Ole Miss last season.
Entering the final weekend of the season though, Vandy has lost back-to-back series. First, to Alabama last weekend, followed by being swept by Florida this weekend. They’ll host the red-hot Arkansas Razorbacks next weekend as they look to regain their footing entering postseason play.
3. Florida Gators (40-12, 18-9 SEC)
You can’t talk about the Gators without talking about the legendary season of Jac Caglianone. He is hitting .361 with a monstrous 27 home runs, setting the Florida school record for most home runs in a season, surpassing Matt LaPorta last weekend.
But it’s not just Caglianone, the Gators also have OF Wyatt Langford, a projected Top-10 pick in this year’s draft, and INF Josh Rivera in the heart of the lineup, forcing opposing pitchers to make mistakes to dangerous hitters.
The Gators managed a huge sweep over Vanderbilt this weekend to set themselves atop the SEC East entering their final weekend matchup with Kentucky in Lexington.
2. LSU Tigers (39-12, 17-9 SEC)
Time and time again the LSU Tigers have shown us why they were picked as the rightful preseason favorites. Paul Skenes, Dylan Crews, and Tommy “Tanks” White have lived up to every ounce of their hype and haven’t looked back.
But the problem for the Tigers entering the postseason will be the longevity and consistency of their pitching staff after losing both Chase Shores and Garrett Edwards to season-ending Tommy John surgery.
They’ve now lost back-to-back series against Auburn and Mississippi State respectively. If they can’t figure out how to win when Skenes isn’t on the mound LSU could easily be eliminated earlier than anybody could’ve predicted. They need answers and they need them fast.
1. Arkansas Razorbacks (38-13, 19-8 SEC)
In what could be Coach Dave Van Horn’s greatest work to date, Arkansas has battled through injuries to virtually every area of their team and has still managed to be a consensus Top-10 team for the duration of the season.
They’re not flashy but they do just about everything right when they need it. The Hogs are maybe the most fundamentally sound team in the country and they’ve been using that to full advantage in recent weeks, minimizing simple mistakes and winning ballgames.
With Coach Van Horn leading the way the Hogs are in a position to make another deep run with a good shot at returning to Omaha, chasing the program’s first National Championship.
Follow Grayson Buchholz on Twitter - @GBuchholzNWA