Saturday, May 17, 2008

No Love For Finishing Ninth

Ninth places finishes don't get any love do they? What's up with that? I don't know about you, but I was pumped after Tres Borrachos (pictured left) finished ninth in The Preakness on Saturday. That's my boy... errr, horse! Tres Borrachos translated means "Three Drunks". What's not to love about that horse? Well, the fact that he got blitzed by Big Brown and most of the rest of the field is probably what's not to love about him. But, the fact that he was in Maryland running is something to be proud of.

Unfortunately, the Hog baseball team also finished ninth in the SEC, and won't be invited to Hoover, Alabama for this weekend's SEC tourney.

My actual paying job kind of ruined any real posting time for last week, but the biggest Razorback storyline heading into Thursday was whether or not the Diamond Hogs could win a couple or three and find a way to get into the SEC Tournament while in Starkville, MS this weekend.

The Hogs lost the first two games 6-5 (the second when they gave up four runs in the ninth to lose 6-5... arrgh), and bounced back with a 15-10 win on Saturday in what was legendary MSU Bulldog coach Ron Polk's final game at the helm (take that, Polk!). Polk got himself a car given to him as a retirement gift (somebody check the NCAA rule book about that), so it wasn't a total loss for him on Saturday.

(Three drunks just didn't have it on Saturday, much like the Razorback baseball team this past weekend in Starkville.)

Alas, though, it was not to be as the Hogs finished in Tres Borrachos place in the SEC by half a game with a 33-22 record and 14-15 in the SEC (a game at Vandy was washed out earlier in the year and never re-scheduled).

But, c'mon. Basketball has figured a way to run a SEC tourney with 12 teams, why not baseball? Why can't teams 5-8 host teams 9-12 in a best of three game series Monday through Wednesday, and then the winning four teams go onto Hoover, Alabama to participate in "Part II" of the SEC tournament with the final eight say on Friday through Tuesday. It's just a thought, but it's probably "too much" or "makes too much sense." Sure, it's probably too much for teams five through 12, but the top four should get some sort of slight advantage just like the basketball tournament. What do they get now? To wear their home jearsey in the first round? You say teams nine through 12 don't deserve to be in the SEC Tourney? Tell the Georgia Bulldog basketball team that. Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox for now.

Ironically, in what will probably be the Diamond Hogs final game of the season (their odds of making the NCAA tournament look slim at best), the Hogs take on the Western Illinois Leathernecks at Baum Stadium in their final home game Monday evening at 6:35pm. The Razorback football team opens the season in 104 days in Fayetteville against WIU.

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