As a year-round college sports fan, I have a sport for all seasons. Football takes up most of my time, but I make room for other things.
I usually get into college basketball right about New Year’s Day and am fully invested by Valentine’s Day. By the beginning of March the basketball games start slowing down and college baseball begins, which has my attention until football magazine day in the summer, and then we start all over again. With my hoops team residing in the basement this year, it’s time to escalate my timetable. On to baseball.
The college baseball is now in full swing. College baseball is not considered a “revenue” sport by most, but head out to Disch-Falk Field when the Longhorns are playing and you’ll see nearly 7,000 fans tailgating and watching Texas play. When the weather turns really nice in April and May it swells even larger.
It doesn’t bring in the money that football and basketball do, but its big time college sports nonetheless, and I love it. But things are different now. No more Ags, No more Tigers. Now it’s Horned Frogs and Mountaineers. Let’s see what’s what in the Big 12.
Big 12 baseball
First of all, notice that there are nine teams, not 12, so we are keeping the poor counting concept alive on the diamond. There are 9 because Iowa State doesn’t play baseball (how that’s allowed is a topic for another time). Secondly, this isn’t a great pre-season year for the Big 12. Most of the time half the conference is ranked, but right now it’s just two: oklahoma and TCU, ranked No. 18 and No. 22 respectively. North Carolina is No.1 and Arkansas, Vandy, Louisville and powerhouses South Carolina, Oregon State and LSU are big names in the top 10.
Some Big 12 baseball info for you:
- TCU is widely considered the favorite to win the Big 12 this year and the roster is littered with talent, both new and old. TCU should fit into the Big 12 baseball culture nicely: deep pitching, good defense and big time bats like Kevin Cron make Fort Worth Purple the team to beat.
- The sooners are a close second. But I hate them, so that won’t be good. Objectivity!
- For the first time in 14 years, Texas did not make the post-season in 2012. A new streak will start in 2013. Gone is long time assistant Tommy Harmon and in is former player Tommy Nicholson.
- Baylor had the second best record in conference history at 20-4 last year, only lost 17 games all season and won the Big 12. After opening weekend they are 0-3 in 2013.
- Oklahoma State hired former head coach (and Texas pitching coach) Tom Holiday’s son Josh (and brother of big leaguer Matt) to turn around a Cowboys program that has missed the Dance two of the last three years. I expect them to be much better.
- Both West Virginia and Texas Tech are starting over as well. Neither has been very good as of late and I don’t expect anything other than an occasional upset from these two for a while.
- K-State and Kansas aren’t going to be very good, either, but they have two things going for them: Midwest Purple has player of the year candidate Jared King and KU has basketball season.
If we follow the same teams, I invite you to escalate your sports calendar with me and get yourself to Disch-Falk. If your basketball team is doing well, we will see you in a month.