Dawgs get MTSU then Clemson

ATHENS – Georgia will begin the Athens Regional by hosting number four seed Middle Tennessee State University at 3 PM on Friday at Foley Field. The Friday nightcap is number two seed Clemson against number three seed Birmingham-Southern.

The Bulldogs' attempt to get back to Omaha appears rather difficult. Georgia played Clemson twice this season, losing both times and the Bulldogs spilt their games with Birmingham-Southern. Georgia has never played MTSU. Getting a national seed might have helped the Dawgs avoid such a difficult draw.

NCAA Baseball Committee Chairman Charlie Carr, senior associate athletic director at Florida State, said in a teleconference today that it was a difficult decision to narrow the top 16 teams down to 8 national seeds. Georgia was left out of the top 8 while several of the Bulldogs' opponents this season, South Carolina, Georgia Tech, and Arkansas, were named as top seeds.

"When it comes down to the top 16 teams everything is taken into consideration because every factor is so big because these teams are so close," he said.

Georgia may have been punished for the difficult league that they played in terms of national seeding. Carr also spoke about the power of the teams in the SEC this season. The conference got a record 9 teams invited to this year's national tournament.

"In the SEC every team had strengths and every team had a few (weaknesses). It was a very close call and a very difficult call," said Carr about every SEC team except Kentucky, Alabama, and Auburn getting into the tournament.

Mississippi State was the only SEC team that did not advance to Birmingham this past weekend to get into the NCAAs.

"It was just a great year for them," said the chairman of the power conference.

South Carolina turned out to be the SEC's highest seeded team. The Gamecocks, a team that Georgia beat 2 games to 1 a week ago, were given the overall number two seed placing them behind only Texas. Carr said that even though the Gamecocks finished 5th overall in the SEC regular season that their SEC Tournament win was enough to propel them to the number two seed.

"Their run at the end had a big impact on the committee," said Carr. "They were very strong towards the finish. The (SEC) Tournament was a big factor for the Committee. One of the things that we consider is how teams finish and where they are and how they have done," he said.

The Bulldogs' finish, losing three of its last four games and scoring only one run at the SEC Tournament, may have made their path to Omaha difficult.

The Bulldogs will have to go through not only Clemson and the rest of the Athens Regional but also through arch-rival Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets, who beat Georgia 2 games to 1 this season, are hosting their own regional in Atlanta this weekend. The winners of the Athens and Atlanta Regionals will meet in a Super Regional. If the seeds hold, the instate rivals will square off in Atlanta with the winner heading to Omaha

South Carolina and Georgia both have the most difficult paths to Omaha according to various RPI and ranking services. Georgia last went to Omaha in 2001, the last year they won the SEC Title.

Dawg Post Top Stories