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Ranking the Champions: #5-1


5. 2002 Texas

This was a great team going 57-15 on the season. Augie Garrido was masterful and a true presence in Omaha. The Longhorns went 19-8 in conference, winning the Big 12 Conference regular and postseason titles. They were somehow underrated as the national 5 seed. Florida State, Clemson, Alabama, and Rice ranked above the Longhorns sent Texas down a path of destruction heading into the tournament. Texas would host the Austin regionals and cruise through before dropping the first game against Houston in the supers. They would then go onto crush Houston in the next two, sending this Longhorn team back to Omaha. Once in Omaha, they would take on fellow in-state rival, the Rice Owls, defeating them 2-1 in a great game. They then went on to defeat Stanford twice before meeting the perennial powerhouse South Carolina in the final game. Texas beat the Gamecocks 12-6 and clinched the title. While they were led by the freshman Huston Street (easily their best MLB Talent), a few others were drafted as well. Alan Bomer, Ryan Hubele, and Brad Halsey would all be taken in the top 10 rounds. The regular season record and crushing it in the Big-12 really set this team apart as a top 5 team on my list.


4. 2001 Miami

Jim Morris would lead this Hurricane team to a 53-12 record and as they were not in a conference at this time, every game was non-conference. Heading into the tournament as the number 2 national seed, Miami was looking to duplicate what they had done in the ’99 season and leave Omaha with another title. Starting off in the Coral Gables Regional and Super Regional was easy sledding as Miami would breeze through, quite easily defeating Bucknell, Florida, and then Stetson to set up a matchup with a very good Clemson Tiger team. Taking two of three from the Tigers and scoring 24 runs really set this team on a path to do big things in Omaha. In game one versus Tennessee, the Hurricane would score 21 runs to really set the plate of things coming down the line. After a great game with the USC Trojans, Miami would again put a beating on Tennessee, 12-1. Miami set up a final with Stanford and scored another 12 runs on the way to claiming its second title in three seasons. While the MLB draft talent really didn’t pan out from this club, Mike Rodriguez, Chris Sheffield, Tom Farmer, Brian Walker, and Charlton Jimerson were all taken in the top 10 rounds. I believe this team would be better thought of on the national stage had their players turned out to be great professionals. The lack of league play hurt their chances at being crowned our number 1 spot.


3. 2018 Oregon State

The 2018 Beavers were a team on a mission, going 55-12-1 as Pat Casey was in search of his third and final title. This Beaver team did not win the Pac-12 title after going 20-9-1 in conference play, but they did have the best record in college baseball. The Beavers led the NCAA in winning percentage in back to back seasons, a feat only previously accomplished by Southern University in 2001-2002. This was just one of the many records that Oregon State would set. Heading into the tournament as the national 3 seed, OSU would be matched up with powerhouse LSU and looking for some revenge from the 2017 season. After winning game one with relative ease, Oregon State would beat LSU 14-1 and then 12-0 to set up a super regional match up with the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Unfortunately for Minnesota they were just outmatched as the Beavers would take the first two games, sending them back to Omaha. Oregon State would lose the opener to North Carolina before beating Washington and North Carolina to set up a match with Mississippi State in the semifinals. Needing to take the next two games, the Beavers would come out with an offensive barrage beating the Bulldogs 12-2 and 5-2 putting them in the finals against a super talented Arkansas Razorback team. Arkansas would take game one, putting Oregon State’s backs against the wall. Arkansas had the Beavers down to their final out in the ninth inning before a dropped foul ball would forever change the landscape of college baseball folklore. Oregon State would take advantage of the opportunity coming back to win that night and after a rain delay the next day Kevin Able would throw a complete game, 2 hit, gem to win Oregon State its third title. Adley Rutchman would have 17 hits in the College World Series, a new record, and teammate Trevor Larnach would add 15 with 5 doubles, also a new CWS record. Kevin Able would go 4-0, also setting a record for most wins in the CWS. The MLB draft talent from this team is actually insane. Trevor Larnach, Nick Madrigal, Steven Kwan, Drew Rasmussen, and Adley Rutchman are all in the big leagues already with Kwan winning a gold glove and finishing 3rd in the Rookie of the Year category with Rutchman finishing 2nd in the same award as he's looking to be the future of the Orioles franchise. Overall this team could have been the number one team on our list,but not winning the conference title hurt them while in most other facets they were immaculate.


2. 1997 LSU Tigers

LSU went a crazy good 57-13 and 22-7 in SEC play, leading them to a regular season title. However, in the SEC Tournament, the Tigers would fall to Alabama. There are some insane stats about this team. They hit 188 home runs and hit one in each of their 70 games that season. Yes, you read that statistic correctly. They were led by Brandon Larson, who hit 40 home runs with a .381 average and driving in an insane 118 runs. Chris Demouy (friend of the CBC team) led the Tigers with a 3.63 ERA. The Tigers were an absolute offensive juggernaut under coach Skip Bertman, but this was his best team by far in my opinion. Back in these days there were no regionals so it was straight to Omaha for the Tigers and they would garner the 2 seed with Alabama being awarded the 1 seed. LSU would squeeze past Rice 5-4 before beating Stanford twice, setting up the final with hated in season rival Alabama. The Tigers just would not be denied and they would take the title game 13-6, once again winning the National Championship. Brandon Larson would be the lone MLB talent from this terrific roster, and while many Tigers were drafted it just didn’t pan out. Overall, this team was very close to being named number one if it hadn’t been for the SEC postseason struggles and the lack of MLB talent. Still number two isn’t bad, right LSU fans?


1. 2019 Vanderbilt

The Commodores would go a staggering 58-12 as Tim Corbin’s squad would win the SEC regular season title at 23-7 and win the tournament title as well. Somehow, UCLA would steal the number 1 national seed, leaving the 2 seed for the Commodores. This team was poised to make a deep run in the 2019 season and really wanted to put themselves in a class alone. After cruising through the Nashville regional, defeating Ohio State and Indiana State twice, they would take on a very hot Duke team. Almost as a get right game, Vanderbilt lost the first game to Duke 18-5. They would go onto win the next two games 3-0 and 13-2 respectively. This would send Vanderbilt back to Omaha, looking to win another title for Coach Tim Corbin. Vanderbilt would beat Louisville, then Mississippi State before defeating Louisville a second time to send them into the finals with unlikely hot Michigan team. Michigan came out swinging, taking the first game 7-4 and looking to upset the Commodores. But in typical Vanderbilt fashion, pitching, defense and timely hitting would emerge as they would hold Michigan to just 3 total runs in the next two games. Thus giving Vanderbilt its second title and winning an impressive 58 games. The MLB talent on this team was highlighted in the draft by outfielder J.J. Bleday who has made his MLB debut in Miami and was drafted 4th overall. Drake Fellows, Phillip Clark, Ethan Paul, and Stephen Scott were all drafted in the top 10 rounds and add in that Kumar Rocker was a freshman for this club. The MLB talent is starting to reach the big leagues but we just haven’t had enough time to truly see what this class is, due to COVID seasons. The absolute dominance in the regular season and complete masterclass on coaching is why this team is ranked number one on our list. Winning the SEC regular and postseason title is a feat all their own but going out on top and winning almost 60 games and losing the least games of any champion is why they are here.

 

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