There has been some shuffling among the top teams in the conference after a very competitive weekend of baseball. There is also a new number one team in the power rankings. A team that was a preseason favorite in the SEC East is also starting to creep up on the leaders in the conference. With a weekend full of great matchups on deck, there is still plenty to be learned about the programs around the SEC.
1) Vanderbilt (2)
Record: 39-6, 19-2
This weekend: At #15 South Carolina
Vanderbilt holds the overall lead in the SEC now after living expectations in a tough series against Mississippi State over the weekend. The Commodores swept the Bulldogs in the three-game series. This week, they will have to travel to face a South Carolina team that is coming off of a series victory against SEC West leader LSU. It should be a great series between the two and it will also be very important that Vanderbilt wins the series to protect their lead in the conference.
2) LSU (3)
Record: 40-6, 16-5
This weekend: Home vs. #21 Florida
LSU lost their first series of the 2013 season over the weekend to South Carolina in Alex Box Stadium. However, LSU bounced back to defeat McNeese State on Tuesday night in a game where it seemed that the Tigers were back on track. They will host #21 Florida at home this weekend for a series that is very important with regards to the SEC standings. LSU must win the series to keep Arkansas from gaining on their lead in the West. Overall, it should be a competitive series with Florida coming in on a bit of a high note.
3) Arkansas (14)
Record: 30-15, 13-7
This weekend: At #23 Kentucky
Arkansas had their series over the weekend cut short due to weather, but still managed to win both of the games that they played against Georgia. Arkansas will now travel to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats in what should be a great pitching matchup. It is imperative that Arkansas continue their winning ways if they hope to gain ground on the leader in the SEC West, LSU.
4) South Carolina (15)
Record: 33-12, 13-8
This weekend: Home vs. #2 Vanderbilt
South Carolina did something over the weekend that not many people gave them a chance of achieving when they took two out of three games at LSU. The strength of the Gamecocks squad is their pitching staff, which held LSU in check all weekend. They will need a similar effort from the rotation if they hope to compete with Vanderbilt this weekend. A series win against the Commodores could put South Carolina right back in the SEC discussion.
5) Florida (21)
Record: 25-20, 12-9
This weekend: At #3 LSU
Florida has been on a tear recently, with the Gators now back over .500 and ranked in the top-25. They are also in the discussion in the SEC East a little bit. They will get a chance to make another statement this weekend when they travel to take on LSU in Baton Rouge. Pitching will be key for the Gators as the LSU bats struggled over the weekend against South Carolina. A series win for the Gators will only put them back on track more and will go a long way in setting them up for success as the SEC schedule comes to a close.
6) Mississippi State (22)
Record: 33-13, 10-11
This weekend: Home vs. Alabama
Mississippi State has struggled to find consistency throughout SEC play. That continued last weekend when Vanderbilt swept the Bulldogs. Mississippi State has managed to stay in the top-25 this season because of the early success that they saw, but SEC play has given them trouble. They will host Alabama this weekend for a series that the Bulldogs must win. It is definitely possible for the Bulldogs to pull off a series win at the very least, with a sweep also possible. With them competing with Alabama for standing the SEC West, a series win this weekend is imperative.
7) Kentucky (23)
Record: 26-17, 9-12
This weekend: Home vs. #14 Arkansas
After several series in which Kentucky did not perform up to expectations, the Wildcats bounced back over the weekend to win the series and take two games from Ole Miss. They will now host Arkansas in what should be an excellent matchup between two great pitching staffs. Offense will most likely be hard to come by, so Kentucky needs to come out and make a statement early in the weekend against the Razorbacks.
8) Ole Miss (24)
Record: 31-14, 11-10
This weekend: At Auburn
Ole Miss is another program that has struggled to find consistency in conference play in 2013. The Rebels started out very hot, but have since dropped multiple series', including one over the weekend to Kentucky. This weekend they host Auburn in what should be a good series for the Rebels to get back on track in some capacity. If they hope to compete in the SEC West, a series win this weekend is a must.
Record: 27-18, 11-9
This weekend: At #22 Mississippi State
Alabama has been consistent so far this season, with several victories against teams that they shouldn't have beat. They defeated a struggling Texas A&M squad twice last weekend on their way to winning the series. This weekend they will travel to Mississippi State to take on the Bulldogs. A series victory over the weekend will secure a spot for the Crimson Tide among the leaders in the SEC West.
10) Texas A&M
Record: 23-22, 7-13
This weekend: Home vs. Missouri
After a very good start to the 2013 season, the Aggies have fallen behind in a major way in the SEC. They were defeated twice over the weekend by Alabama in a series that was cut short by a game due to weather. They also defeated Grambling in a midweek game. The Aggies will now host Missouri for a series that will provide a good indication on exactly where Texas A&M stacks up in the SEC. Right now, things are not going in the right direction for the Aggies.
Record: 25-18, 7-14
This weekend: Home vs. #24 Ole Miss
Auburn has suffered through conference play so far in 2013. Series wins have been very hard to come by for the Tigers. They lost two out of three games over the weekend to Missouri, thus pushing them further down the standings in the SEC West. Things won't get any easier this weekend for them as they are set to host Ole Miss. However, if there was a highly-ranked team that Auburn could take down, it would be Ole Miss because of a lack of consistency on the part of the Rebels.
Record: 18-25, 6-15
This weekend: Home vs. Georgia
Tennessee had a very rough week of games, as things did not turn out how they had hoped. They were defeated twice by Florida and lost the series. They turned right around and lost again in a midweek contest with Middle Tennessee State. The Volunteers will now host last-place Georgia this weekend. Look for Tennessee to win the series at the very least, anything less will be very hard to deal with for the Volunteers, especially with the week that they have had so far.
Record: 15-25, 7-14
This weekend: At Texas A&M
Missouri played very well over the weekend when they won a series against Auburn. However, they followed that up with a midweek loss to Southeast Missouri State. They will now travel to College Station to take on a struggling Aggies squad. The season hasn't gone according to plan for the Tigers, but a series win this weekend could get things back on the right track.
Record: 16-28, 4-16
This weekend: At Tennessee
Georgia had their weekend series with Arkansas cut short due to weather, but th Bulldogs still lost the two games that they played. Georgia has struggled in just about every aspect of the 2013 season and they will now have to travel to take on Tennessee. The Bulldogs are already sitting in last-place in the overall SEC standings, but they could make a statement with a series win this weekend.
***() – Rankings according to Baseball America
SEC Baseball Poll: Week 11
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