Folks, we’ve just about made it. After months and months of waiting, college baseball returns in 14 days!
With the dawn of a new season quickly approaching and just about every schedule out, it’s time to rank the top matchups of Opening Day.
There are plenty of good games to watch, even in a COVID-19-filled year, but these are the park yourself in the man-cave with a hot dog and beer type matchups… the best of the best…
Southern Slams Baseball is here to prepare you for a full weekend of fun:
So without further ado, let’s get started …
Honorable Mentions: GSU-WVU, GASo-UTK
Coming in for the honorable mentions, we have Georgia State-West Virginia and Georgia Souther-Tennessee. The Panthers return almost everyone from last season and kick-off a loaded non-conference slate with a talented Mountaineers team in a four-game series. If Georgia State can string together a couple big wins this season, the Panthers have the schedule to make the tournament without winning the Sun Belt. Down in the Boro, the Eagles closed 2020 with a season sweep of Georgia, while the Vols look to keep things rolling as a ranked team.
10. Florida Atlantic vs UCF
The FAU Owls participated in the Athens Regional in 2019 as the No. 2 seed. Meanwhile, UCF skyrocketed up the polls in the short 2020 season after sweeping Auburn on The Plains. This series may not be on the radar of many, but it should be a good one.
9. Kentucky vs. North Carolina
Although the Wildcats and Tar Heels are known for their dominance on the basketball court, the baseball version of this series should be fun. Neither team enters the season ranked, but each have been a player in recent postseason history and could surprise some folks this year. When two major conferences square off in February, it always deserves a mention.
8. Louisiana vs Tulane
The Green Wave were off to a solid start to the 2020 season. Meanwhile, Louisiana always packs a punch and should create an entertaining rivalry game to open the new year. For mid-major matchups, this one should be quite fun.
7. San Diego vs San Diego State
An under-the-radar game out west, the battle of San Diego will be fun to watch in the late-night slots for college baseball fans. What a series this will be after three fun days of baseball.
6. UConn vs Virginia
The Huskies of UConn made a bit of noise last season after coming up just short of an AAC Tournament crown in 2019. Meanwhile, Virginia looks to return to its dominant form of a few years ago. Not a bad way to start off the season here for either Eastern program.
5. Duke vs Coastal Carolina
A battle between perennial postseason powers, Duke and Coastal Carolina are regulars to playing in big games. The Blue Devils won the Athens Regional in 2018 and the Morgantown Regional in 2019 while taking the defending national champions to the brink in Nashville. As for Coastal, a lot of excitement awaits with national attention on the school and program thanks to football’s big run. The Chanticleers won the 2016 national title and will look to make another big run this season.
4. Miami vs Florida
Last season, the Gators went to Miami and swept the Canes in a battle of Top 5 teams. This series may not have as much hype to it, but it will still be fun to open up the New Mac down in Gainesville. What a ballpark they’ve got going there with the 360-degree views… Ahh…
3. Ole Miss vs TCU
To be ranking this matchup at No. 3 goes to show just how stacked the lineup at Globe Life Field is this year. The Rebels were arguably the best team in the short stint of 2020 play, while the Horned Frogs have been an Omaha-bound program for many years. What a game this is to officially kick-off the college baseball season.
2. Mississippi State vs Texas
Another loaded matchup in the Heart of Texas. The Bulldogs of Mississippi State will look to return to their winning ways against what should be a very-good Texas baseball team. The Longhorns have had a couple down years of late, but will look to return to their dominant success of the past on Opening Day.
- Arkansas vs Texas Tech
Coming in at No. 1, a matchup between two Omaha teams from 2019 brings out the best of Opening Day. The Razorbacks and Red Raiders will tangle in the Lone Star State in primetime, Friday night baseball. Does it get any better than this?