One of the best parts of the 2012 College World Series up to this point is how unpredictable everything has been. With the regionals and super regionals providing their share of surprises, we can only speculate what will happen now that the action shifts to Omaha.
With eight of college baseball's best and brightest converging on TD Ameritrade Park this weekend, predicting what will happen is an exercise in futility. No one would have guessed that Kent State and Stony Brook would make it to this point, so who knows what the next two weeks have in store?
Instead of just predicting what will happen, we wanted to offer up the best possible matchups for the championship series of the 2012 College World Series.
Arizona vs. Kent State, Stony Brook vs. Kent State
Arizona just isn't a sexy team. I like and respect what the Wildcats have done this season. Putting them in a matchup with Kent State is intriguing, just because of the allure of the underdog Golden Flashes.
Stony Brook vs. Kent State is a dream for fans of underdog teams. Personally, I want to see a Cinderella against a powerhouse. Having two Cinderellas dance in a championship series loses some of its appeal.
No. 3 Florida State vs. South Carolina
This would be a matchup of arguably the best team in the country right now (Florida State) and the two-time defending champions (South Carolina).
South Carolina always manages to put itself in a great position to make a deep run, even if the experts aren't hot for the Gamecocks.
The Seminoles are rolling along. They have posted a 48-15 record and have been pounding their regional and super regional opponents into submission.
No. 2 Arkansas vs. UCLA
On Major League Baseball talent alone, this would probably be the best series. The Bruins and Razorbacks have built strong, consistent programs that have been staples of the postseason for the better part of a decade.
Arkansas still manages to fly under the radar in the SEC, thanks in large part to teams like Florida, LSU and South Carolina. The Razorbacks aren't going to complain, as they can just sit back and let the wins pile up en route to another appearance in Omaha.
UCLA had two of the best pitchers in college baseball last season—Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole—but didn't have enough offense to make it out of the regionals. This season, the pitching has been outstanding, and the offense has been able to support it.
This would be a close, hotly contested, three-game series that fans of future big league talent would love.
No. 1 Florida vs. Florida State
No surprise here, as Florida and Florida State are the two best teams remaining in the tournament.
The Gators have more talent than anyone in the country. They have been ticketed for Omaha since before the season even started.
The Seminoles, while not boasting a lot of big league talent, have put together one of the best teams in the country and have dominated this tournament like no one else thus far.
If you are looking for the two heavyweights who will have an excellent back-and-forth battle before deciding who the champion will be, Florida State vs. Florida is the series for you.