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  1. John Rhys is also a baseball player. He saw a good bit of action for the Rebels last spring as part of an outfield platoon and a late-game pinch runner. Would be intriguing to Jeff Mercer as well.
  2. I'll be thrilled with anyone winning but Vandy. Ole Miss-Vandy is maybe the most underrated rivalry in the SEC.
  3. I wouldn't count out Tennessee though, they might be the best all around team. Just so tough to beat Vandy with their starting pitching. Where Vandy could be susceptible is their number three starter spot. They never really found anyone consistent in that spot. However, their mid week guy is a 17 year old touching 97.
  4. With Arkansas eliminated, have to believe Vandy is now the heavy favorite in Omaha. Terrific 1-2 punch with Rocker and Leiter and a sound offense that provides just enough support. Can't wait to see how Kumar handles that potent Arizona lineup. Should be a great game.
  5. I don't disagree at all. The Old Guard at LSU is said to really like Bianco though. He's an LSU guy and knows the ways and tradition of the program inside and out - should sound familiar to IU fans!
  6. Surprisingly, Vitello's name has not come up for the LSU job. Rumor is that the job will go to either Mike Bianco of Ole Miss or Cliff Godwin of East Carolina. Bianco played at LSU in the late 80's for the legendary Skip Bertman and later assisted under Bertman. He's guided Ole Miss for the past 20 seasons building an incredible program. Godwin served as Bianco's hitting coach for the 2014 Ole Miss team that finished third in Omaha before heading to Greenville, North Carolina to take over the program at his alma mater. I am an Ole Miss baseball fan and have followed the program closely for many years now. Despite the lopsided game 3 loss to Arizona in the Super Regionals, this season may have been Mike's best coaching job. He overcame the loss of Gunnar Hoglund (expected to be a first round pick next month) to Tommy John while his top hitter played the last month of the season on one ACL. Not to mention the loss of a top reliever very early in the season. Despite building a program that has been the model of consistency (17 NCAA tournament appearances in 20 years, 7 Super Regionals, and 1 College World Series), a growing segment of the Ole Miss fan base has grown dissatisfied with Mike's ability to guide the team to Omaha consistently. Given the incredible fan base support, top notch facilities, and talented rosters, this isn't entirely an irrational point of view. Thus, I could see the chance to coach his alma mater as being very appealing to him. At LSU, Bianco would have some built in scholarship advantages that are not available to him at Ole Miss. Not all baseball programs are on equal footing with regards to scholarship money, but that is for another post. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. If Mike does indeed head to Baton Rouge, I'd expect Ole Miss's first call to be to Louisville coach Dan McDonnell. McDonnell previously assisted Bianco at Ole Miss. The second call would be to Cliff Godwin.
  7. Now on to winning a state championship at Gibson Southern!
  8. Assuming football is played this fall, Gibson Southern will play a much stronger schedule due to conference realignment. They've added games with Columbus North, Owensboro (KY), Mt. Vernon, Washington, and Boonville while retaining games with Southport, Southridge, Heritage Hills, and Princeton. Forest Park, South Spencer, North Posey, Pike Central, and Tell City all drop off the schedule. Much more challenging for Gibson Southern.
  9. Lifelong IU basketball fan here. Over the past several years, I've become a big Ole Miss baseball fan. Great game yesterday. The Rebels were fortunate to pick up a win against a probable regional team. Since you will want Ole Miss to do well to help IU in the RPI, here are some quick observations on the Rebel's prospects going forward. - The offense has been a three true outcome offense thus far. They've made up for a poor overall team batting average through drawing walks and hitting home runs. Ole Miss led the nation in home runs coming into the weekend and hit several more in Greenville. I think this offense has the potential to struggle at times when the home runs aren't coming. Will be an interesting storyline to follow. - The weekend rotation with Doug Nikhazy, Gunnar Hoglund, and Derek Diamond will be one of the best in the SEC as well as the entire country. The starters will need to aid a shorthanded bullpen by going deep into games. High end talent here. - At this point, the bullpen appears to have at least 4 reliable arms. After that is a big question mark. Although Coach Mike Bianco often rides his top 3-4 bullpen arms as much as possible, we'll still need a few young guys to step up in the midweek and in spot duty on weekends. With the 5-2 lead on Sunday, Bianco took a chance on putting in some of the more inexperienced arms. It almost cost us the game, but it was necessary to see who can handle the stress of pitching in tough matchups. - The SEC slate is brutal for the Rebels. Of the SEC East opponents, Ole Miss will not play Tennessee, Kentucky, or Missouri. These are generally three of the weaker teams in the league, although Tennessee has looked tough so far. 16-14 would be an achievement in SEC play. As for IU, I think they have a talented and deep roster capable of winning the Big Ten and competing for a regional host spot. If not a host, they will be a tough out as a two seed in someone's regional. The success of IU's program has been remarkable. Even more impressive when you add that IU is a northern school and that the success has spanned three different head coaches. Hopefully, Coach Mercer sticks around for the long haul. Like Archie Miller, Mercer seems to be employing an "inside-out" approach to recruiting, locking up many of the top players in the state. I'd like to see IU follow Louisville's model, as the Cardinals have become a national powerhouse and perennial Omaha contender on the backs of Midwestern talent.
  10. Scott Rolen has joined the IU staff as the Director of Player Development. Having a MLB All-Star on staff sure can't hurt.
  11. The Big Ten doesn't hold much weight in baseball overall. The conference is behind the SEC, ACC, PAC 12, Big 12, Big West, and probably some of the smaller Southern Conferences.
  12. Wright State has long been an excellent program. That would be a great hire. If you go the experienced coach route, you'd have to look at USI's Tracy Archuletta. He's been to the Division II World Series 3 or 4 times, winning it twice. He knows the area from a recruiting standpoint and has built a power in the Midwest.
  13. It's much easier to build a strong RPI playing in the SEC. Strong RPI means more hosting opportunities in the post season. Yes, Tracy Smith has really struggled so far! Meggs at Washington (Former ISU coach) could be an interesting possibility. Although, I don't know if he'd be interested in leaving the PAC 12.
  14. Missisippi State is one of the elite blue blood baseball programs. The renovations they've done to Dudy Noble Stadium are top notch. IU is a great program with a lot to offer, but it's not State.
  15. No doubt. Tough break. Hopefully IU targets Tracy Archuletta of USI.
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