Once again this week, some teams showed improvement, while others struggled. Conference play begins this week for the SEC and there is still a lot to be learned about most of the squads in the conference. The top five teams in the conference all have to travel on the opening weekend for the SEC, which could result in some shakeups in the rankings next week.
1) Vanderbilt (2)
This weekend: At Auburn
Vanderbilt improved their record over the weekend against some stiff competition from Oregon. The Commodores were able to take two out of three from the Ducks. They also defeated Buffalo in a midweek game. Vanderbilt will now travel to Auburn to face one of the hotter teams in the conference to open SEC play.
2) South Carolina (5)
This weekend: At Missouri
South Carolina went 5-0 over the last week. They swept a series from Rider and also claimed victories against USC-Upstate and Davidson. Their success resulted in them jumping up a spot in this week's poll. The Gamecocks will now travel to Colombia, Missouri to take on the Tigers of Mizzou to open SEC play.
3) Ole Miss (6)
This weekend: At #15 Arkansas
Ole Miss also went 5-0 over the last week. The Rebels swept Libscomb in Oxford and also took a two game series at UL-Monroe. This week will be a true test for Ole Miss as the will travel to Arkansas to face the 15th ranked Razorbacks to open SEC play.
4) LSU (7)
This weekend: At #13 Mississippi State
LSU was dominant in the four games that they played over the last week. The Tigers swept a three-game series from Washington, one of the more talented teams that they have faced this season. They also defeated Nicholls State for the second time this season in a midweek game. LSU will travel to Mississippi State for perhaps the best opening SEC series this week.
5) Kentucky (10)
This weekend: At Florida
The Wildcats got their first test of 2013 when Michigan State came to town over the weekend. They took two out of three from the Spartans, in addition to defeating Ohio in a midweek game. Kentucky will now travel to open SEC play against a struggling Florida Gators squad. This should be a good gauge of how Kentucky stacks up against the rest of the SEC.
6) Mississippi State (13)
This weekend: Home vs. #7 LSU
Mississippi State had their winning streak snapped over the weekend when they suffered their first two losses of 2013 to Central Arkansas. The Bulldogs bounced back to defeat Southern Miss in a midweek game. They will now host LSU to open SEC play in what should be a very telling series for both teams.
7) Arkansas (15)
This weekend: Home vs. #6 Ole Miss
After a rough trip to Arizona the week before, Arkansas bounced back with a strong performance last weekend. The Razorbacks defeated San Diego State in a four-game series and also beat Alabama A&M twice. Arkansas will face a real test this weekend when #6 Ole Miss comes to town to open SEC play.
This weekend: Home vs. #2 Vanderbilt
Auburn swept Brown and beat Kennesaw State over the last week to improve their record and make them one of the hottest teams heading into SEC play. Auburn will have to begin conference play against Vanderbilt, the highest ranked team in the conference. This weekend will be a good gauge as to whether the Razorbacks can compete at the top in the SEC.
9) Texas A&M
This weekend: Home vs. Georgia
Texas A&M traveled to California over the weekend to face Cal State Fullerton for a three-game series. The Aggies were defeated in two out of the three games that they played the Titans. However they bounced back in their midweek game to defeat Houston Baptist. The Aggies will begin SEC play against a Georgia squad that has lacked consistency in a big way this season. It should be a good series for the Aggies to get a quick start in the SEC.
This weekend: At Alabama
Tennessee has gone 5-0 over the last week, after sweeping a series from Alcorn State and beating Western Kentucky twice. They will now travel to face an Alabama team that has last four out of their last five games, after a quick start to 2013. This will give both teams an opportunity to ease into SEC play.
This weekend: Home vs. Tennessee
Alabama struggled for a second straight week. The Crimson Tide were swept by #5 Louisville and also split with Memphis in a midweek series. With Alabama having lost four out of their last five games, they will now host a Tennessee team that is just starting to get on the right track.
This weekend: At Texas A&M
After an extremely inconsistent start to 2013, Georgia defeated Liberty twice and split with Appalachian State over the last week. The Bulldogs will now travel to Texas A&M for a series that could put them behind in the conference standings early, unless something changes.
This weekend: Home vs. #10 Kentucky
Florida is arguably the most disappointing team in the SEC so far in 2013. The Gators have never really seemed to find an identity and it has resulted in a losing record to start the season. Florida was defeated twice by Indiana over the weekend and lost another game to Florida State. They will now host Kentucky in perhaps the most important series of the season for Florida. If they lose this series, it could result in a very long conference schedule for the Gators.
This weekend: Home vs. #5 South Carolina
After a slow start in 2013, Missouri has posted winning records in back-to-back weeks. The Tigers split with San Francisco over the weekend, and also beat Jackson State and Truman State in midweek games. They will now host one of the hotter teams in the conference in South Carolina to open SEC play.
***() – Rankings according to Baseball America
SEC Baseball Poll: Week 4
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