There were a few surprises in the SEC over the last week. Several of the nationally ranked members of the conference suffered from rough weekends of conference play. Others collected their first series victories of the year. The top two teams in the rankings proved why they deserve to be in the position that they are and they are almost interchangeable. This weekend will provide even more insight into who the top teams are as there are several great matchups on tap.
1) Vanderbilt (2)
Record: 30-4, 11-1
This weekend: Home vs. Missouri
Vanderbilt is coming off of a very good last week of baseball. The Commodores swept Ole Miss in Oxford and then defeated UT-Martin in a midweek contest. With the recent success of the program, this weekend shouldn't change anything. Vanderbilt will host a Missouri squad that has yet to find any consistency in 2013. It should be a weekend for Vandy to add a few more wins to their record.
2) LSU (3)
Record: 23-2, 11-1
This weekend: At #10 Arkansas
LSU hosted a nationally ranked Kentucky team over the weekend and came away with a series sweep. The Tigers also demolished Southern University in two midweek games this week. They will now travel to take on #10 ranked Arkansas in what should be a real test for the offense, being that the Arkansas pitching staff is among the top ranked rotations in the conference.
3) Arkansas (10)
Record: 24-10, 8-4
This weekend: Home vs. #3 LSU
Arkansas took two out of three from an Alabama team that has been on the cusp of breaking out all season. The Razorbacks had similar success during the week when they hosted New Mexico. They split the midweek matchups. Arkansas will now host #3 LSU for a series between two of the top teams in not only the SEC, but also in the country. The productive LSU offense will provide the Razorback pitching rotation with a huge test.
4) South Carolina (11)
Record: 27-7, 8-4
This weekend: At Florida
The Gamecocks completed a series sweep of Tennessee over the weekend to bring their conference record to 8-4. They also defeated The Citadel in a midweek matchup. South Carolina will now travel to take on a struggling Florida squad. While Florida may be suffering from inconsistency, it could be a dangerous series for the Gamecocks as Florida still has plenty of talent.
5) Kentucky (13)
Record: 23-9, 6-6
This weekend: Home vs. Tennessee
Kentucky had their first big speed bump of the season when they traveled to LSU over the weekend. The Wildcats were swept by the Tigers after winning their first three conference series'. They bounced back during the week to collect a victory against Austin Peay. They will now host Tennessee for a series that should help the Wildcats get back on track in 2013.
6) Mississippi State (21)
Record: 27-9, 5-7
This weekend: At Texas A&M
Mississippi State bounced back in a big way over the weekend when they took two out of three games from Florida. They also defeated Ole Miss in a midweek game that did not count towards their conference record. The Bulldogs will now travel to take on Texas A&M. They will be catching the Aggies on somewhat of a down note after they suffered a series loss last week.
7) Ole Miss (23)
Record: 23-10, 4-8
This weekend: Home vs. Alabama
Ole Miss suffered from a huge drop in the rankings because of their performance last weekend. The Rebels were swept by Vanderbilt at home and they were also defeated by Mississippi State in a midweek non-conference matchup. They will look to get back on track this weekend against a very dangerous Alabama squad. However, given the way conference play has gone for the Rebels, it could be a very long weekend.
Record: 22-13, 8-4
This weekend: At#23 Ole Miss
Alabama lost two out of three over the weekend to Arkansas to suffer their first conference series loss of 2013. They did bounce back during the week to take two games from Alcorn State. The conference slate doesn't get any easier this weekend as the Crimson Tide will have to travel to take on #23 Ole Miss. Alabama is getting a chance to take on Ole Miss while they are struggling in conference play.
9) Texas A&M
Record: 21-13, 6-6
This weekend: Home vs. #21 Mississippi State
The Aggies surprised a lot of people when they were defeated twice over the weekend by Auburn. They did bounce back to defeat Sam Houston State in a midweek game, but things won't get any easier for Texas A&M this weekend. They will now host #21 Mississippi State for a series that could shake up the standings in the SEC West.
Record: 16-18, 5-7
This weekend: Home vs. #11 South Carolina
The Gators continued their streak of inconsistency over the weekend when they lost their series against Mississippi State. Florida did rebound to defeat rival Florida State in a midweek game, but it looks as though this weekend might not be as kind to them. They will host #11 South Carolina to continue conference play. If the Gators lose this series, it will make things much harder for them to get back into the discussion of SEC contenders. Time is running out for the Gators.
Record: 20-13, 3-9
This weekend: Home vs. Georgia
Auburn had their first conference success of 2013 over the weekend when they swept a Texas A&M team that has been solid throughout 2013. The Tigers also defeated Alabama State in a midweek contest. The Tigers can expect more of the same this weekend as last-place Georgia will come to town. It will be a great chance for Auburn to pick up more wins as well as another series victory.
Record: 14-17, 3-9
This weekend: At #13 Kentucky
Tennessee had a rough weekend as they were swept by South Carolina. The Volunteers did have some success during the week as they defeated a very out-manned East Tennessee State squad. They will now have to travel to #13 Kentucky to continue SEC play. While it may seem like a daunting task to take on Kentucky, Tennessee is catching them on a serious down note as they were swept in conference play by LSU over the weekend.
Record: 12-17, 4-8
This weekend: At #2 Vanderbilt
Missouri won their SEC series over the weekend by taking two games from Georgia. The also defeated Missouri State during the week. The Tigers have shown some bright spots in 2013, but have struggled with consistency. Things will be made very difficult this weekend when they travel to take on #2 Vanderbilt. This weekend will present Missouri with an opportunity to make a name for themselves in the conference.
Record: 12-22, 2-10
This weekend: At Auburn
Georgia was defeated twice over the weekend by Missouri. They were also defeated by Georgia Tech in a midweek matchup. The Bulldogs will now travel to take on Auburn to continue SEC play. This weekend could pose a problem for the Bulldogs as Auburn is coming off of their first conference series victory of 2013. The Tigers will be hungry for more, especially with Georgia coming to town.
***() – Rankings according to Baseball America
SEC Baseball Poll: Week 8
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