Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Road to Omaha is Complete; College World Series: Play Ball!

The new TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha will host the College World Series this year for the first time. The memories of old Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha will be replaced with a new downtown facility close to hotels and Omaha's Old Market district.

Eight teams will battle in this year's double elimination bracket, followed by the best of three games championship series format for the 2011 tournament. The 2010 College World Series champs are back, with South Carolina in Omaha to defend their title.

Bracket 1: (starts Saturday, June 18Th)

  • Game 1 - North Carolina vs. Vanderbilt

  • Game 2 - Texas vs. Florida

Bracket 2: (starts Sunday, June 19Th)

  • Game 3 - California vs. Virginia

  • Game 4 - South Carolina vs. Texas A&M
Twenty years ago, Creighton and Wichita State faced off in the 1991 College World Series in one of the most memorable games at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium. The losing pitcher that day was Creighton's Brian O'Connor. O'Connor is back in 2011 as the head coach leading the Virginia into the 2011 CWS.

New memories begin in 2011 at the College World Series in the new downtown venue in Omaha.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heading into the 2011 College Football season... who looks worthy and who is not for the preseason Top 25?

The first college preseason magazines are hitting the shelves for the 2011 season. The preseason magazines will get some right and get some wrong, in both directions. In 2010, Auburn and Stanford became the surprise teams of the season, while, on the flip side, Texas went from the BCS title game runner-up in 2009 to a sub .500 season under Mack Brown in Austin in 2010. Who will not make it from the Top 25 in 2010?

Over the past four seasons, Boise State has been the #1 program for winning percentage. Actually, you have to go back to 1996 to knock Boise State off as #1 program in terms of winning percentage. Since 1996, Ohio State was #1, but times may be changing in Columbus with the resignation of coach Jim Tressel on Memorial Day.

Boise State moves to the MWC in 2011, while Utah moves to the new Pac 12 and Boise State become the fourth Independent in College Football. Will Boise State knock off TCU, who is coming off an undefeated season in 2010? It should be an interesting race in 2011 in the MWC.

Auburn is the defending champion. They went from unranked in the final poll in 2009 to #1 in 2010. Are they even worthy of a Top 25 ranking, after one-season wonder, Heisman Trophy winning QB Cam Newton bolted to the NFL? As Phil Steele highlights on his web site, Auburn ranks #120 in number of returning starters for the 2011 season. They could fall from top team in SEC to near the bottom of the SEC West.