College baseball is finally back. Nearly a year after the heartbreaking cancellation of last season, the long awaited 2021 season is here. It’s sure to be an unprecedented year with so many returning players from 2020, and the SEC is as strong as ever with several teams in contention to win it all.
2020 Final Standings
Two SEC teams had argument for being the No.1 team in the country at the abrupt ending of the season. Florida had won their first 16 games and dropped the last game of the season – a midweek to Florida State. Ole Miss did just the opposite, losing the first game of the season to No.1 Louisville then proceeding to win the next 16 games.
Other teams were off to big starts as well. Tennessee won the first 13 games of the season. They went 3-0 in the Round Rock Classic which included wins against then No.1 Texas Tech, Houston and No.25 Stanford. Alabama had one of their best starts in program history, winning the first 14 games of their season.
With the annual power houses waiting in the weeds off to their own good starts, the SEC conference looked destined for a strong year. With the limited draft, most rosters didn’t face heavy turnover. Some notable aces will be missing on Friday nights, but new faces will emerge with the likes of top prospects like Kumar Rocker, Jaden Hill and Connor Prielipp.
2021 Projected Standings
- South Carolina
- Mississippi State
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
The race for division titles promises to be a good one. In the East Florida and Vanderbilt are going to be neck and neck. Both teams boast very strong pitching staffs. Florida returns their entire rotation from 2020. And Vanderbilt has two high MLB picks in this year’s draft with Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter.
Florida has the edge offensively. They return most of the lineup from last year headlined by what should be the SEC’s top position player in the draft Jud Fabian. The Gators have the ability to rip apart opposing pitchers all the way down to the nine hole.
The top pitchers in our brand new College Top 150?
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) February 17, 2021
In the West it should be a three-way race between Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Arkansas. The Bulldogs return some very good arms but lack behind Ole Miss and Arkansas with their bats. Ole Miss has arguably the best rotation in the West. The bats are capable of producing similar numbers from 2020. Arkansas returns pitching experience from last year but they need to prove themselves first. The offense is set though with numerous powerful bats back from a solid 2020 offense.
As for the rest of the teams, Auburn is a team to keep an eye on in the West. They have what could be one of the conference’s best Friday night starters in Richard Fitts. The Tigers also got the most favorable draw of East opponents in conference play with only Florida ranked out of the four teams.
South Carolina and Tennessee should be solid teams but likely lack the talent to compete with Vanderbilt or Florida for the top spot. Kentucky brings back a very good offense and could cause some trouble themselves.
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