Gators Not Quite Favorites

I stand corrected. A couple of days ago, I posted an article about Florida trying to live up to high expectations in Omaha. I assumed the Gators were one of the top 2 or 3 favorites to win the College World Series. I assumed that the #2 national seed meant others felt UF had a good chance. Didn’t the Gators finish the season as co-SEC regular season champs and outright tournament champs? Wasn’t that finish in the best conference in the country (by far, 3 of the 8 CWS teams are from the SEC) impressive? 

While perusing through some links ahead of tonight’s opening game, I found a couple of ESPN.com stories that told a different story. Baseball prospect guru Keith Law picked Vanderbilt over Virginia. College splits, a service used by ESPN Insider, also picked the Dores and the Cavs to advance to the Finals.

These experts and sabermetric analysts don’t believe in Mike Zunino and Hudson Randall. They think Preston Tucker and Karston Whitson are overrated. They feel Brian Johnson and Austin Maddox’s returns, coupled with the extra experience and confidence the rest of the team gained without them, don’t matter. Is it too late for bulletin board material?

Sorry both of those are Insider reads only so you might not be able to see the full articles. But the table below spells out how the crunched numbers tell a story that Florida will be very lucky to make the Finals, let alone claim the school’s first national title. So I guess Gators fans don’t need to be so nervous. Expectations aren’t as high as I thought they were. Time to embrace the “just happy to be here” and “no one believes in us” roles and have some fun out in Omaha. According the experts, the odds aren’t so good.

What are the odds?

Based on the College Splits power rankings, here’s every team’s chance of reaching the finals and winning it all.

Team Finals Champion
Virginia 49.5% 30.3%
California 13.2% 4.4%
Texas A&M 14.4% 4.9%
South Carolina 22.8% 10.4%
Florida 20.7% 9.4%
Texas 14.7% 5.7%
Vanderbilt 41.6% 24.3%
North Carolina 23.0% 10.7%
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