Monday's "After Further Review"

I think pre-season polls are the work of the devil. Really. Shave the head and you'll see a "666" etched into the scalp.

Sure, they create interest and give media outlets a reason to include college baseball in the January conversation. But let's face it, they also create bias. And don't get me started about how bad pre-season polls are for college football. They are way too important in deciding the national championship race. Just not fair, man.

If this was a perfect world, we would only rate teams on performance. Not on talent. Not on projections. Not on who will eventually be a top seed in the post-season. And not on who has the prettiest bat girls... though I'm still dying to do that one of these days.

Like in football, the first rankings of the season shouldn't come out until at least a month into the season. At least. But if we were to rank the teams based on performance right now, what would the Top 10 look like so far this season?

Well, here is one bald man's guess at what the "Performance Top 10" would look like:

1- Florida State (3-0)
Just obliterated pre-season No. 25 Tennessee. On offense, pitching, defense, spirit, popcorn eaten, snowflakes caught on the tongue and "it's early" quotes from the coaches and players. Noles have to like what they saw in Bryan Henry and Michael Hyde on the mound.

2- Cal State Fullerton (3-0)
Man, a lot of newbies stepped up for the Titans in the sweep of No. 24 Stanford. Maybe they were really mad at my not picking them to go to Omaha this year. So far as I can tell, that's my bad.

3- San Diego (2-1)
In every new poll I've seen today, USD is ranked well below Texas. Some didn't even have the Toreros in the Top 25. Why do I feel like a wide receiver in football who got mauled going across the middle and didn't get the call from the homer ref who has money falling out of his pocket?

4- Mercer (2-0)
C'mon people, don't be afraid of a name like Mercer. Those are the same people that wouldn't have give Manhattan a chance at Nebraska or Oral Roberts a hope in hell at Arkansas. Nice weekend Bears. Keep it up.

5- Rice (1-0)
Okay, so the Owls beat Central Missouri State. But they looked good enough doing it. Savery, St. Cole, Luna, Friday and Company take a serious step up in competition this week. Can't wait.

6- Tie
Arizona State (3-0)
Oregon State (4-0)
The ASU offense looked monstrously scary in obliterating Southern Utah. How is Pat Murphy going to keep all those wicked bats happy? OSU pitching looked just as awesome at Hawaii-Hilo, including a no-hitter. But both teams did it against two of the worst teams that have played so far. We'll find out more than enough about these teams this coming weekend.

8- UCLA (2-1)
Got a bit of a gift in bad errors and pitching-heavy conditions at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Friday night's win over Winthrop. The two teams seemed pretty even until Sunday's big bruise the Bruins laid on the Eagles (19-5). They deserve this spot for now. No doubt.

9- Long Beach State (2-1)
Could've put Arkansas in this spot as well. But The Beach pitched like a mother this weekend, allowing six runs in three games to a talented USC offense. Vance Worley and Manny McElroy appear to be the real deal.

and the 10 Spot- Alabama A&M (3-0)
Gotta have one wild card in here. The Bulldogs deserve it too, winning the HBCU Classic in three straight games over Savannah State, Norfolk State and Florida A&M, all of whom were projected to be much better than Jay Martin's crew. Keep it up A&M.

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)


Eric Sorenson Eric Sorenson
Eric Sorenson is's National Baseball Columnist, and also appears on CSTV as a baseball expert