SoCon ranked 8th of 30 conferences

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SoCon ranked 8th of 30 conferences

Postby dialing8 on Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:38 am

SEC leads ranking of nation’s best conferences

By Kendall Rogers, Yahoo! Sports
7 hours, 55 minutes ago

Buzz up! PrintWe’ve all heard the heated debates about conference superiority the past few seasons.

There are some out there that believe the ACC is the nation’s best conference. Others choose to go with the Big 12 or Pac-10.

There certainly are plenty of great options for best conference out there, but there’s only one league with complete balance.

It’s the SEC.

More From Kendall RogersLandscape changing for some conferences Dec 7, 2009 St. John's hopes to rejoin regional discussion in 2010 Dec 7, 2009 ADVERTISEMENT

The SEC received a boost last season when LSU won another national title. But the conference’s pluses go well beyond one national title. The conference consistently puts the most teams in NCAA regionals and also has the most balance top-to-bottom.

The ACC, though, isn’t far behind.

It’s time to rank the nation’s conferences with the 2010 season around the corner.

1. SEC. The SEC has the most balance from top-to-bottom and also has the defending national champion LSU Tigers. It’s the model conference.

Virginia’s rise the past few seasons has helped the ACC take a huge leap forward.
(Associated Press)
2. ACC. The upper teams in the ACC always have been solid, but now even the lesser known programs are beginning to rise to the occasion. Scary indeed.

3. Pacific Ten. The Pac-10 didn’t have a particularly strong ’09 campaign, but it was only two seasons ago many considered the conference the nation’s best.

4. Big Twelve. The Big 12 hasn’t exactly made a statement the past few seasons, but Texas making the title series last season was a small step forward.

5. Conference USA. One of the more impressive conferences out there, East Carolina soon could join Rice as a consistent College World Series contender.

6. Big West. The West Coast version of C-USA. The Big West has made major strides with the rise of UC Irvine and Cal Poly. The league is solid top-to-bottom.

7. WCC. It’s in the process of declining, but there still are some solid programs such as San Diego, Pepperdine and Gonzaga leading the way. Others need to step up.

8. Southern. Didn’t have a fantastic ’09 campaign, but there are some solid programs, including Elon, Georgia Southern, Western Carolina, College of Charleston and the The Citadel.

9. Mountain West. One of the rising conferences in college baseball. The sky is the limit if San Diego State and New Mexico can consistently get their acts together.

10. Sun Belt. Programs such as Troy, Louisiana-Lafayette and South Alabama haven’t made splashes lately, but Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky are picking up the slack.

11. Big East. Look for the Big East to only rise in the near future. Louisville is a national power and South Florida soon could be following. Oh yeah, there’s also a Notre Dame program that historically is pretty solid.

12. Big Ten. The conference is entering a new era. Michigan and Minnesota have earned headlines the past few seasons, but now it’s Ohio State’s turn to be in the national spotlight. The Buckeyes are a potential CWS contender.

13. WAC. Fresno State brought a lot of glory to the WAC two seasons ago, but it’s time for another program to step up and bring in some headlines, too.

14. Southland. The SLC took a step forward last season with Texas State and Sam Houston State making a regional. Other teams, though, must rise to the occasion.

15. Colonial Athletic. The CAA is far from a bad conference, but it’s not the conference it was capable of being a few seasons ago. Georgia State is the rising program to watch out of this league.

16. Missouri Valley. Wichita State and Creighton are constants atop the league standings. Can Missouri State and Indiana State find a way to establish consistency, too?

17. Atlantic Sun. Florida Gulf Coast is the best-kept secret in America, but that will end in the spring. Outside of FGCU, there’s not much to holler about when it comes to the A-Sun. Jacksonville and Stetson are solid programs, though.

18. Big South. Here’s a regular season conference race that has screamed dominance by Coastal Carolina the past few seasons. Can anyone in the Big South actually step up and challenge the Chants for the title?

19. MAC. Here’s a league that is not near as bad as come believe it is. Kent State, a very solid team last season, finished third in its division last season. That’s some food for thought with the ’10 campaign around the corner.

20. Ohio Valley. Jacksonville State was a bust last season, but perhaps Eastern Illinois and Murray State are ready to take control. The OVC must make sure its morale isn’t hurt by the fact EIU was snubbed from a regional last season.

21. Atlantic Ten. Rhode Island, Xavier and Charlotte are respectable programs, and Dayton took a step forward last season. Other than those four, though, the A-10 is incredibly weak to say the least.

22. Horizon. This league is far from good, but Illinois-Chicago and Wright State are solid programs. The same can be said about Wisconsin-Milwaukee, too. Not a bad conference considering its resources.

23. Summit. Let’s be honest. Without Oral Roberts, the Summit League is probably down in the 27-30 range. Centenary took a step forward last season with 33 wins, but we’ll see if it can establish some consistency.

24. Patriot. Other than a few upsets the past few years, the Patriot League is incredibly weak. Army is the lone ranger when it comes to a solid program. The Black Knights actually should be pretty good again in ’10.

25. Metro Atlantic. Manhattan and Canisius have solid programs, but this conference leaves much to be desired outside of those two programs. Marist and Rider have potential, though.

26. Northeast. Given some programs’ lack of resources, this conference has done surprisingly well with Monmouth, Central Connecticut State and others leading the way. It’s a conference to watch in the Northeast region.

27. America East. Binghamton and Stony Brook are the bright spots for this league, but the rest of the conference is in shambles. By the way, what in the world has happened to Maine the last 15 years?

28. Ivy League. It’s never a good sign when only two teams in the entire conference, Dartmouth and Brown, finished last season with winning records. It’s evident that athletics takes a backseat to academics in every facet.

29. MEAC. This should just be called the Bethune-Cookman Conference. The Wildcats always are a solid team, but the rest of the league leaves much to be desired to say the least.

30. SWAC. Southern and Jackson State are solid SWAC programs, but the rest of the conference is a non-factor in the grand scheme of things. That won’t be changing anytime soon.

Re: SoCon ranked 8th of 30 conferences

Postby wocogoose94 on Wed Dec 09, 2009 9:46 am

Is this just one person's opinion? Any quantitative info to back this up?

Re: SoCon ranked 8th of 30 conferences

Postby COHAZE on Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:42 am

This is all just one guy's opinion. He sits behind a keyboard out in Texas. My guess is he has never even seen teams from many of these conferences play.

For a SLIGHLY more scientific approach see Warren Nolan's conference RPI rankings, . His rating of the SoCon is the same as Kendall's. Looks like a lot of Kendall's opinions are really someone else's.

Re: SoCon ranked 8th of 30 conferences

Postby lawdog on Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:51 am

Still pretty impressive...I am pleasantly surprised.
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Re: SoCon ranked 8th of 30 conferences

Postby WoCoBaseball on Mon Jan 25, 2010 11:34 pm

It amazes me how most of you self-proclaimed Wofford fans (which I don't doubt you are) always hate on the baseball program - and then are shocked - or refute - that the SoCon is absolutely legit in baseball. If the Wofford Football team played in a similar conference (we'll say the WAC - Boise St., Fresno St., etc.), they'd likely lose every game (or most). I love wofford, I'm just saying - for as much as you guys dog on the baseball program - you don't really account for the conference we're in.

Unfortunately, I think you guys rag on the program because of the head coach. And your not so subtle assumptions that Coach I is to blame for these coaches leaving is humerous. Coach I is what he is. Coach Traylor was 100x worse than Coach I. The reason Wofford struggles is because their pitching - as a collective unit - isn't near as talented as the rest of the SoCon's. On an individual basis, Wofford has had some hitters/players over the last 6 years that can play with anyone in the country... but as a whole, they just don't have the pitching to dominate such a pitching rich conference (and you can then settle on the monetary constraints). I don't understand what's so difficult about that, it's pretty obvious - but you guys will continue ragging on Coach I and questioning why the baseball Program isn't like the football program (which plays in a significantly weaker conference than Baseball).

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