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College baseball: Sooners, Cowboys do not rate among the Big 12's elite

Both teams need to improve — quickly — for a chance at making the NCAA Tournament.
by John Helsley Published: April 12, 2012
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Big 12 baseball boasts three of the nation's Top 25 ranked ballclubs: No. 2 Texas A&M, No. 7 Baylor and No. 23 Texas.

Beyond that… not much.

Over the regular season's final six weeks, Big 12 pride and respect are on the spot and on the line, with a league typically considered a power conference needing to prove it still belongs among the big boys, or face the very real prospect of a reduced role in the NCAA Tournament.

The road to Omaha?

Right now, teams 4 through 9 in the Big 12 standings might want to simply show they're on a road to respectability — to .500.

Behind the league's Big 3, none of the other teams own a winning record in conference play. And to illustrate how fragile is the bottom two-thirds of the Big 12, consider Oklahoma State, which entered last weekend in the league cellar and climbed all the way to fourth with a sweep of Kansas.

Solidly in fourth, even at 4-5, standing 1 1/2 games in front of fifth-place and 4-8 Oklahoma.

As it stands right now – and things can change – the Big 12 deserves but three postseason bids.

According to the RPIs at boydsworld.com, Baylor is No. 6 and A&M No. 8. Texas is hardly stout at No. 41, but then, it is Texas, which always means something extra when the NCAA Tournament committee goes into session.

The Sooners are next at No. 65, while the Cowboys are well down the list at No. 151.

Likewise, the league has taken a hit, ranking just No. 6 in the conference ratings, behind the likes of the West Coast Conference and Conference-USA.

Only three schools (again, the Big 3) have managed winning road records, and the Big 12 overall owns few solid non-conference wins.

The rest of the league should thank the Sooners for their 4-0 win over Arkansas (No. 11 ranking; No. 21 RPI) Tuesday night. That's a victory that will help not only OU but every team it faces.

“We remember Arkansas as a team that came in here three years ago, we're a national seed, they upset us,” OU coach Sunny Golloway said after the game. “They went to Florida State and won and went to Omaha in '09. We went in '10, so we are talking about two teams that have had great success here recently.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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Coming up

Cowboys

Friday: at Texas, 6 p.m.

Saturday: at Texas, 3 p.m.

Sunday: at Texas, 2:30 p.m.

Tuesday: at Wichita State, 2:30 p.m.

Friday: Texas Tech, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Texas Tech, 2 p.m.

Sunday: Texas Tech, 1 p.m.

Sooners

Friday: Missouri, doubleheader 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Missouri, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday: at ORU, 6:30 p.m.

Friday: Alabama State, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: Alabama State, 2 p.m.

Sunday: Alabama State, 1 p.m.

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