Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany hopes you're happy, college baseball: merit-based seeding of a national pool of teams contending equally through a playoff bracket has yielded exactly what he feared in a College World Series Final... SPEED COUNTRY, SPEED COUNTRY, AND MORE SPEED COUNTRY. /shoots skeet from atop custom RV in Rosenblatt parking lot while shirtless
Delany "warned" the media last week that unless special concessions were made for cold-weather baseball programs, Sun Belt (the region, not the conference) teams would continue to unfairly dominate the sport of college baseball, which relies on a specific type of weather to be played but, Delany assures, is totally not like a regionalized sport like college hockey.
Without a special bracket allowing cold-weather programs a direct route to Omaha, Delany has considered advocating the Big Ten to form its own postseason baseball tournament.
(Oh dear. It seems the entire city of Boise has just suffered an aneurysm.)
Back in the present, we're not sure which ALL SEC, ALL THE TIME scenario would sting the Delany contingency worse - another SEC school establishing unquestioned dominance in a revenue-generating sport, or the tiffany program of the conference adding the last jewel in its crown as the Ohio States and Southern Cals wilt?
A win by South Carolina will create a Gamecock dynasty, clear up a good bit of USC's identity crisis since joining the SEC and will once again build fan confidence by ousting the class athletic program of the SEC East in another sport. And given the current... personnel philosophy going on back in Columbia, 2010-11 could be the dawn of a Gamecock Renaissance.
A win by Florida and the Gators will claim their first CWS title, while the University of Florida will arguably become the Boston of college sports - they'll be the first SEC team to claim a national title in baseball, basketball and football, and will have raised five banners across the three major sports since 2006 (so if you happen to see a Gator fan sporting a Red Sox hat, be sure to eat him first in the sports version of the Cormac McCarthy apocalypse).
But HEY GUESS WHAT WE WON THE BRONZE, TOO! Pending some sort of large-scale explosion in Omaha Monday, or a far, far-reaching eligibility scandal across both teams (we're not sure what college baseball players cheat for, or how, but it must certainly involve inappropriate usage of Axe Body Spray), Vanderbilt's your emergency champion. The Commodores were the third-best team in the tournament, having plowed through North Carolina but unable to solve the Gators - or they were simply displaying first class bro'-dom.
Oh, and Jim - as if your glass of nightmare juice needed topping off: HERE WE COME.