CWS: Various notes I didn't know where else to put

Hey Stitch-heads

Here's the deal. I started writing some various notes and crud about the College World Series on Friday morning. But I didn't quite know how to post it or where to post it. So it's now Saturday morning and I'm just going to go ahead and add a few more things and then put this up on the Extra Innings site.

It's just a few notes about the time here in Omaha so far and some of the things about the College World Series. Feel free to add to it in the comment section if you want.

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In the words of Homer Simpson... Mmmmm. The Drover.
I always feel a little bad about skipping out on the opening ceremonies on Thursday night before the CWS starts. But instead of subjecting myself to another horrible country music act in the Rosenblatt parking lot, I ended up going to The Drover steakhouse on 73rd Street. While there, I saw Vanderbilt stud David Price. I also met up with Kyle Horn and Jim Darby, a pair of Easton honks that are huge ambassadors of the college game. They were grueling down on steak and salad bar with Baseball America big-wig Lee Folger, who I finally got to meet.

Word of advice: if you go to The Drover, get the Whiskey Filet. (And speaking of whiskey, the bar hop made a wicked Jack-n-Coke too.)

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On the Western Front---
The last five national champions have all been teams West of the Mississippi River.
2002- Texas
2003- Rice
2004- Cal State Fullerton
2005- Texas
2006- Oregon State

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Weak Stick Western Teams---
Those last five national champions have also been some of the lightest-hitting teams in Omaha with low batting averages and few home run total in College World Series play recently.
2002- Texas, .274 (5HRs)
2003- Rice, .279 (2HR)
2004- Cal State Fullerton, .244 (1HR)
2005- Texas, .278 (7HRs)
2006- Oregon State, .281(4HRs)

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The most overrated team in College World Series---
Northern Colorado.
The Bears have the second-longest streak of appearances in CWS history, playing in six straight June classics from 1957 to 1962. But get this, in those six years, NoCol went 1-12. They went 0-2 each time, except in 1958 where they beat Lafayette 10-5.

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Being sent home soon---
Five of the last eight teams to go 0-and-2 in Omaha have been from the SEC.
2003- LSU
2004- LSU and Arkansas
2005- Tennessee
2006- Georgia
Right now Mississippi State is following that track as they'll play an elimination game with Louisville on Father's Day morning.

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Flipped off---
CSTV's Carter Blackburn and I were shooting a short Day One video commentary/recap last night after the conclusion of the second game that is apparently going to go up on the CSTV website somewhere. Just to show you what a freakin' amateur I am, Carter started his short intro, something along the lines of, "Well we're through with day one and it was the story of comebacks by Rice and North Carolina. But Eric, let's look at the losers, who is in a tougher position, Louisville or Mississippi State?"

And I answered with, "Well I think Louisville is sitting in a little bit better position, they've got a lot of quality pitchers... (fumbling to remember the No. 2 starters name)... a deep staff... (still balking)... they've got.... dammit! F.U.!" I exclaimed while also flipping off camera operator Doug Kroll who had begun chuckling.

We decided to skip the loser's bracket talk and concentrate on the comeback abilities of Rice and Carolina while also touching on today's games.

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Who needs a roster of 40 players?---
In 1952, Holy Cross won the national title by going 6-1. The Crusaders used only 11 players in the entire series. Eight position starters and three pitchers. Those three pitchers combined for seven complete games. HC outscored their opponents 54-11.

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The way the College World Series used to be formatted-
Before CBS came along in 1988 (ruining the format, forcing the championship to be a one-game deal) the CWS was a true double elimination tournament, NOT broken into two different brackets. In other words, you had the possibility of playing any of the other seven teams during the tournament. Which made it better because it prevented a team from getting stuck in an easy four-team bracket like we see here in Omaha on occasion nowadays. Here's a look at how the brackets used to work, using the 1973 CWS program I bought at that card/memorabilia shop across from Rosenblatt. As you see, it's broken down into a winner's bracket and a loser's bracket and all teams are eligible to play any of the other teams, depending on the result.


OldCWSbracket.jpg

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