Monday Morning QB Column: Sweeps Raise Stakes

Auburn teams had a big weekend on the diamond with sweeps of Georgia and Arkansas while former golfer Blayne Barber had a successful trip to New Orleans.

It was a weekend of sweeps on the Plains as Auburn’s baseball and softball teams both won three games against Georgia and Arkansas respectively to move closer to determining their positioning for the postseason.

While softball has been solidly in both the SEC and NCAA Tournaments for several weeks, Coach Sunny Golloway’s team still remains in a dogfight for the postseason, but there is no question that beating Georgia three times moved them a giant step closer to making the league tournament Hoover and the first NCAA appearance in five seasons. With an RPI in the Top 25, Auburn’s magic number could be 13 SEC wins, but if the Tigers get to 14 you can punch their ticket to a regional.

With three SEC series remaining in the regular season Auburn is currently tied for eighth with Ole Miss at 10-11, but the Tigers have the tiebreaker advantagge based on a series win over the Rebels. Missouri and Florida are just two games ahead of Auburn in fourth place so the possibility of moving up is definitely there as the Tigers get ready to hit the road to South Carolina this weekend.

On the flipside the Tigers are just three games up on Tennessee and Mississippi State, two of the teams battling to make the top 12 in the league and advance to the SEC Tournament.

SEC Baseball Standings
Vanderbilt 15-6
LSU 14-6
Texas A&M 13-7
Missouri 12-9
Florida 12-9
Arkansas 11-10
Kentucky 10-10
Auburn 10-11
Ole Miss 10-11
South Carolina 9-12
Alabama 8-13
Tennessee 7-14
Mississippi State 7-14
Georgia 6-14

This Week’s Schedule:
Auburn at South Carolina

Texas A&M at Tennessee
Vanderbilt at Kentucky
Arkansas at Alabama
Florida at Georgia
LSU at Mississippi State
Ole Miss at Missouri

In The Title Chase

While baseball is fighting for the postseason, Coach Clint Myers’ Tigers are fighting for an SEC Championship on the softball diamond after dominating Arkansas with three consecutive run-rule wins. Combined with wins by Missouri over LSU on both Saturday and Sunday, Auburn is in second place by itself just a half-game behind Florida in the SEC standings heading into the last weekend of SEC play.

Whether or not the Tigers win the league title, a good weekend at LSU and some wins in the SEC Tournament would put Auburn in great position to be a national seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers are already likely a host team for the regionals, something that hasn’t happened since 2005. That is the only time in program history that Auburn has been a host site for a regional.

SEC Softball Standings
Florida 16-4
Auburn 16-5
Alabama 14-7
Missouri 13-7
LSU 13-7
Georgia 14-9
Tennessee 12-9
Mississippi State 9-12
Texas A&M 9-12
South Carolina 8-13
Ole Miss 6-15
Kentucky 5-16
Arkansas 1-20

This Week’s Schedule
Auburn at LSU
Florida at Missouri
Alabama at Arkansas
Ole Miss at Texas A&M
Mississippi State at South Carolina
Kentucky at Tennessee

The Barber Did It

It’s hard to say enough positive things about the way Blayne Barber has continued to pursue his dream of playing golf on the PGA Tour. Despite some well-documented scorecard troubles trying to qualify for the tour, Barber has kept at it and over the weekend he almost had a breakthrough performance at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

The tournament where Jason Dufner got his first career win, the Zurich Classic, almost did it again for a former Auburn golfer as Barber fired rounds of 67-70-64-70 to finish tied for eighth. It was his third Top 10 result this year and bumped him 16 spots higher to 88th in the FedEx Cup Points list. Barber continues to show the game to be successful on the tour and last weekend was more proof of that.

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