Predicting D1Baseball's top 25 rankings after opening weekend

On3 imageby:Jonathan Wagner02/18/24

Jonathan Wagner

Tennessee Baseball AJ Causey Details Volunteer Debut, Pitching Delivery

College baseball is officially back. Opening weekend was filled with upsets, walk-offs, and excitement, and it was an exciting weekend all across the country. After the action, we are here to predict what D1Baseball’s top 25 rankings will look like heading into the second week.

Entering Sunday, ten top 25 teams were in need of a win to avoid losing their weekend. That includes Florida, who lost on opening day before seeing their Saturday game get called off due to rain, giving them just two opportunities on the weekend.

Overall, four teams lost their series over opening weekend – Florida, UC Santa Barbara, Coastal Carolina (Baseball at the Beach Tournament) and Northeastern. Additionally, Arkansas is 2-1 entering Monday’s series finale against James Madison, needing a win to clinch the series while a loss will even it up.

Here is a look at how we expect D1Baseball’s top 25 rankings to look when they are released entering Week 2.

1. Wake Forest

Jun 21, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Tom Walter walks off the field after being defeated by the LSU Tigers at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Ranking: No. 1
Weekend Record: 3-0

The preseason No. 1 team began the season in strong fashion, behind a strong outing from opening day starter Josh Hartle in a 9-3 win vs. Fordham. That was followed by an even more dominant performance from Chase Burns in his Wake Forest debut, striking out 10 in six innings in a 5-2 victory over Illinois on Saturday. The Demon Deacons secured the weekend sweep on Sunday, defeating Akron 14-3.

2. LSU

Jun 24, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; LSU Tigers third baseman Tommy White (47) celebrates after hitting a home run against the Florida Gators during the eighth inning at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Ranking: No. 4 (+2)
Weekend Record: 3-0 (Finishes series vs. Central Arkansas on Monday)

The defending national champions had a four-game, split opening series, with two games against VMI and two against Central Arkansas. After getting just 2.2 innings from Thatcher Hurd on Friday, the Tigers held on to an 11-8 victory against VMI. Luke Holman made the most out of his LSU debut on Saturday against Central Arkansas, with 5.1 shutout innings, leading the Tigers to a 2-0 win. LSU blew it open on Sunday against VMI, impressing all-around in a 27-5 rout. LSU will get another battle against Central Arkansas on Monday.

3. Arkansas

Jun 18, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks coach Dave Van Horn walks off the field after the national anthem before the game against the Stanford Cardinal at Charles Schwab Field. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Ranking: No. 3
Weekend Record: 2-1 (Finishes series vs. James Madison on Monday)

Arkansas’ season began with a four-game series vs. James Madison, spanning through Monday. The Razorbacks started off strong, winning 6-4 despite a rocky start from ace Hagen Smith. Arkansas then won 15-5 on Saturday. The Razorbacks couldn’t keep it going on Sunday, though, with James Madison winning 7-3. The series will conclude on Monday.

4. Florida

© Cyndi Chambers / USA TODAY NETWORK

Previous Ranking: No. 2 (-2)
Weekend Record: 0-1

One of the biggest upsets of opening weekend came on opening day, with St. John’s stunning Florida 9-5 to open the season. Saturday’s game was canceled due to inclement weather, meaning the best Florida could do was split the series. Then, the rain wouldn’t go away, and Sunday’s game was also called off.

5. TCU

Jun 21, 2023; Omaha, NE, USA; TCU Horned Frogs head coach Kirk Saarloos points to the bullpen during the ninth inning against the Florida Gators at Charles Schwab Field Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Ranking: No. 5
Weekend Record: 3-0

TCU vs. Florida Gulf Coast was one of the more entertaining series of the weekend. The Horned Frogs trailed 9-3 after six innings, but responded with seven runs across the final three frames, winning in walk-off fashion on opening day. Behind five home runs on Saturday, TCU won a high-scoring Game 2 13-10. TCU earned the sweep on Sunday, winning 11-6.

6. Oregon State

Jun 12, 2022; Corvallis, OR, USA; Oregon State Beavers infielder Travis Bazzana (37) is congratulated by third base coach Ryan Gipson as he circles the bases after his home run in the 4th inning during Game 2 of a NCAA Super Regional game at Coleman Field. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Ranking: No. 7 (+1)
Weekend Record: 3-0 (Finishes weekend vs. Minnesota on Monday)

The Beavers’ season started off in the College Baseball Classic, and their offense wasted no time. On opening day against New Mexico, Oregon State clubbed seven home runs on their way to a 15-6 victory. Saturday was a tighter game against Minnesota, holding on to a 6-4 win. Oregon State blew Cal State Bakersfield out on Sunday, dominating with a 15-2 win. The Beavers wrap up opening weekend against Minnesota on Monday.

7. Vanderbilt

© Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA TODAY NETWORK

Previous Ranking: No. 6 (-1)
Weekend Record: 2-1

It was a very tight opening weekend for Vanderbilt against FAU. After scoring six runs in the first two innings of the year, the Commodores then found themselves trailing 11-9 entering the bottom of the ninth on Friday. They were able to find three runs to win in walk-off fashion, but then fell 5-4 on Saturday in Game 2. Vanderbilt ultimately came away with the series victory after winning 11-1 on Sunday.

8. Texas A&M

Jun 19, 2022; Omaha, NE, USA; Texas A&M Aggies head coach Jim Schlossnagle watches late game action against the Texas Longhorns at Charles Schwab Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

Previous Ranking: No. 8
Weekend Record: 3-0

The Aggies had a successful start to the campaign, handling McNeese on opening weekend. Texas A&M hit five home runs, with two from Jace LaViolette, on Friday, cruising to a 15-0 win. The offense stayed hot on Saturday, with a 12-2 victory to clinch the series. Sunday’s finale continued Texas A&M’s success, with the Aggies winning 10-0 to earn the sweep.

9. Clemson

© MCKENZIE LANGE/ Staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Previous Ranking: No. 10 (+1)
Weekend Record: 3-0

Clemson’s offense came out hot against Xavier on opening weekend. The Tigers hit two grand slams on Friday on their way to a 14-3 victory. Clemson clinched the series on Saturday behind eight runs in the middle three innings to win 8-3. On Sunday, the Tigers finished the sweep by defeating Xavier 11-7.

10. Tennessee

© Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY NETWORK

Previous Ranking: No. 9 (-1)
Weekend Record: 1-1 (Finishes weekend against Baylor on Sunday evening)

Tennessee earned an impressive win over No. 24 Texas Tech on Friday to begin the Shriners Children’s College Showdown. The Vols were unable to get the offense going on Saturday against Oklahoma, though, falling 5-1. With a late start on Sunday evening, Tennessee gets underway in their weekend finale at 7:30 p.m. ET against Baylor.

Predicting the rest of D1Baseball’s top 25 rankings

11. East Carolina
12. Duke
13. Virginia (+1)
14. North Carolina (+1)
15. Alabama (+4)
16. NC State (-3)
17. Texas (-1)
18. UCLA (+4)
19. South Carolina (+6)
20. Texas Tech (+1)
21. Iowa (-1)
22. Auburn (NR)
23. Coastal Carolina (-5)
24. Kansas State
25. Indiana (NR)

We are predicting two new teams to join this week’s D1Baseball top 25 – Auburn and Indiana. Auburn swept Eastern Kentucky over the weekend, while Indiana picked up wins over Coastal Carolina and George Mason and also fell against Duke.

UC Santa Barbara and Northeastern both fell out of this week’s rankings after losing their respective weekends. UCSB dropped two games at Texas, while Northeastern lost twice at Arizona.