I attended the Saturday Tallahassee Regional baseball game between Florida State and Alabama.
Old Buddy Phil Gregory invited me. Since I haven’t been able to see the Seminoles any other time this year, I gladly accepted the invite.
The Crimson Tide’s lefthanded pitcher, Justin Kamplain, did a number on Florida State, shutting the home team out through eight innings.
A ninth inning rally came up short and the 6-5 loss eliminated the host team for the season.
They weren’t the only host eliminated during the weekend.
Other state teams Florida and Miami bit the dust. So did Rice, LSU, Cal Poly, Indiana and South Carolina. And to top it all off, the overall number one team Oregon State is gone.
What is left are Big Twelve teams Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and TCU; ACC teams Maryland and Virginia, and SEC teams Mississippi and Vanderbilt.
Only Stanford remains from the Pac 12 and Louisville from the American Conference.
The other teams, Kennesaw State, College of Charleston, Pepperdine, Louisiana-Lafayette, Houston and Cal-Irvin, are all mid-major conference teams.
Baseball people in the know can tell you quickly the key to these upsets. It’s pitching, and most every team has an ace. If that ace is at the top of his game, any number one seeded team can find itself in the losers’ bracket after the first game.
It’s hard to climb that mountain out of that losers’ bracket.
Anyhow, I think it’s really good to have landscape changes in the play-offs. It certainly allows more programs to dream.