College Baseball World Series 2012: New Fan Favorites After Stony Brook's Loss

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2012

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 28:  The South Carolina Gamecocks celebrate after winning the men's 2011 NCAA College Baseball World Series at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha on June 28, 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska.  The Gamecocks defeated the Florida Gators 5-2 and won the series 2-0.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Fans of the College World Series loved cheering for underdog Stony Brook, but the fans at Omaha will need a new team to root for to replace the now eliminated Seawolves.

Stony Brook became a national story when it upset perennial contenders LSU in the super regional round of the NCAA baseball tournament. For the Long Island school to make it even that far was quite a shock.

Unfortunately, the team was eliminated after just two games of the College World Series.

The good news for fans of the sport is that there are seven teams remaining with a number of great stories. For those without a horse in the race, these few teams could be worth cheering for as they attempt to win the 2012 title.

Kent State

If Stony Brook did not reach this point in the tournament, Kent State would be the team that everyone would be discussing. Despite the long history of the program, the Golden Flashes had never reached the CWS until this year. 

Kent State got by Purdue and Kentucky in the first regional and upset Oregon in a best-of-three series that featured three one-run games.

Kent State is also the only team remaining outside of a major conference. 

It would be a long shot for the team to survive, but sports are anything but predictable.

Florida State

Head coach Mike Martin has almost done it all for Florida State. 

CLEARWATER, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  Manager Mike Martin of  the Florida State Seminoles watches warmups against the Philadelphia Phillies February 24, 2011 at Bright House Field in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

He has the third-most wins of any baseball coach in the history of the NCAA, and he is second on the list of winning percentage. In 33 years at the school, he has reached the NCAA tournament every year and has been to the College World Series 15 times.

The only thing he has not done is win a title.

In fact, Florida State has never won a championship despite 21 appearances in the CWS. Clemson's 12 is the next most appearances without winning it all.

It is about time for Martin to cap a great career by getting the one thing that has eluded him all these years: a championship.


Although there is nothing heroic about the top-ranked team in the nation winning a championship, there is something to be said about a team that comes close to their goal and then finally accomplishes it.

The Gators have reached this point three years in a row, but they have consistently come up short. Last year, they lost to rival South Carolina in the final round of the College World Series.

The team is stacked with talent, so this year should be different. In the recent MLB Draft, five Florida players were selected in the first three rounds. Catcher Mike Zunino was taken by the Seattle Mariners with the third overall pick.

Hopefully, this is the year Florida breaks through and wins the program's first ever NCAA championship.


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