If you were betting on which SEC teams would have made it to the College World Series, you probably would have had a lot of money on Tennessee, Texas A&M, and maybe even the Auburn Tigers. Yet, nobody in their right mind would have imagined that Ole Miss or the Arkansas Razorbacks would be among the final eight still standing at the College World Series. Both the Rebels and Razorbacks have shown slight signs of excitement this season. However, heading into the 2022 NCAA Tournament, nobody knew what to expect from either Ole Miss or Arkansas.
But, without Tennessee no longer in the mix, the pathway to a National Championship for all four SEC programs remaining has become less murky and more optimistic.
For a program like Texas A&M, you come into the College World Series as the clear-cut favorite to win the National Championship, especially with how the Aggies have been playing over the last month and a half. Coming into the NCAA Tournament, the Aggies had won three games in Hoover, reaching the semi-final round of the SEC Tournament before eventually falling to Florida. Texas A&M is also one of two teams remaining that has gone undefeated in the NCAA Tournament. A&M will open their College World Series appearance on Friday afternoon against the Sooners of Oklahoma.
The only other team to go undefeated in the NCAA Tournament is Mike Bianco and his Ole Miss Rebels. Coming into the Tournament, Ole Miss wasn’t even sure if they’d make the Tournament. But here they are; the Rebels are playing in the College World Series for the first time since 2014. Ole Miss has had its back against the wall all season long. At one point, the Rebels were ranked number one in the country and had some folks around College Baseball talking National Championship for the Rebels.
For Arkansas and Auburn, a trip to the College World Series is a rite of passage the two programs over the last several years. Arkansas got to the College World Series by dominating the Stillwater Regional and earning a hard-fought Super Regional win over the Tar Heels of North Carolina. For Auburn, Butch Thompson had an early exit in the SEC Tournament after falling to Kentucky, but that didn’t stop the Tigers. Auburn ran through the Auburn Regional before taking two games over Oregon State on the road to reach their second College World Series in three years. Arkansas will play Stanford on Saturday, while the Auburn Tigers will face Ole Miss following the Arkansas game.
Another year and another opportunity for the Southeastern Conference to bring home another National Championship to the greatest conference in the country.
For the SEC, ” It Just Means More.”