FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas baseball team was picked to finish second in the Southeastern Conference Western Division by the league coaches, as announced by the conference office Tuesday. The Razorbacks were also chosen as the third favorite to win the overall conference title.One season removed from its postseason run to the College World Series, Arkansas received 59 points in the SEC Coaches poll. The Razorbacks sit four points behind defending national champion, and the league coaches’ preseason favorite, LSU. In addition to the top two teams, Ole Miss, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi State round out the Western Division predictions, respectively."We have tremendous depth in the SEC and I think the coaches’ votes prove that," head coach Dave Van Horn said. "If you look at the preseason top 25 rankings, there are five or six (SEC) teams represented in all of them. Regardless of rankings, every conference opponent is tough and teams sitting at the bottom of these preseason polls are just as good as the teams at the top."In a tight race for the outright conference title, the Razorbacks received three votes compared to five votes for LSU and four votes for Florida. Arkansas last won the overall regular season SEC title in 2004. The Razorbacks have won three Western Division titles, most recently during the 2007 season.The Razorbacks received four first-place votes from the SEC coaches, trailing LSU which grabbed the remaining eight first-place votes for the division. In the Eastern Division, Florida received nine first-place votes and 64 points to sit in the top spot. The Gators are followed by South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt, Kentucky and Tennessee.Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for each division. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
Arkansas is ranked nationally in five major college baseball polls. The Razorbacks are ranked No. 15 by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Rivals.com. The USA Today/ESPN poll has the Hogs at No. 16 while Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball have the Razorbacks ranked No. 17 and No. 23, respectively.The 2010 season gets under way Feb. 19-21 with home series against Ball State. First pitch for the season opener is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. at Baum Stadium. For ticket information, fans can go online to ArkansasRazorbacks.com or call the Razorback Ticket office at either 479-575-5151 or toll free at 1-800-982-HOGS.
Western DivisionLSU (8) – 63Arkansas (4) – 59Ole Miss – 39Alabama – 32Auburn – 28Miss. State – 25
Eastern DivisionFlorida (9) – 64South Carolina (2) – 52Georgia – 42Vanderbilt (1) – 41Kentucky – 25Tennessee – 19