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What Does The Weekend Series Mean for the Diamond Rebs? PLUS OPEN THREAD!


Shamelessly lifted from Rebel Black Bear's Facebook. Be there if you're in town.


The Ole Miss Rebels are currently sitting at a, get this, three way tie for second place in the SEC West. They're one game off of the lead, which is also held by a tie. That means that five of the six SEC Western Division teams are within a game of each other, placing a good bit of weight on nearly every SEC Western series this weekend regarding positioning for the upcoming SEC Baseball Tournament. Take a look.

Western Division
Arkansas 12 12 0.500 -- 32 15 0.681 5-5 L-1 at South Carolina (5/13)
Alabama 12 12 0.500 -- 30 20 0.600 5-5 W-2 at Auburn (5/13)
Mississippi State 11 13 0.458 1 30 18 0.625 7-3 W-6 at Mississippi (5/12)
Mississippi 11 13 0.458 1 27 21 0.563 4-6 W-2 Mississippi State (5/12)
Auburn 11 13 0.458 1 26 23 0.531 4-6 W-1 Alabama (5/13)
LSU (lulz) 8 16 0.333 4 30 19 0.612 6-4 L-2 Tennessee (5/13)

If the SEC Baseball Tournament began tonight, Ole Miss would be the 9th team in the conference (Auburn holds the tiebreaker over the Rebs, putting them at 8th), meaning that we'd be on the outside looking in. That's not a good thing, and it's something that hasn't happened since I was in high school.

But a lot can happen over the next several days. The best case scenario for the Rebels is a series win over Mississippi State, a South Carolina series win over Arkansas, and an Alabama series win over Auburn. That last bit may sound odd (feel free to debate it in the comments), but we cannot, after this weekend, take the outright lead in the SEC West unless we sweep Mississippi while Auburn takes two out of three from Alabama. Being as that's such an unlikely scenario at this point, I'd say that pushing Auburn further down the totem pole while wiggling into a definite second or third place position before a weekend series against Arkansas is the most realistic outcome we can hope for.

Okay, so calling it "best case" wasn't the case, because there is a better alternative, but calling it the "case a pragmatic optimist could reasonably hope for" doesn't roll off of the fingertips quite as well. Anyway, there's a lot that needs to happen for the Rebels to be in a comfortable spot in a few weeks, but none of those things are unreasonable.

So then where does that put us? Let's say that the scenario I laid forth does in fact take place (and let's give LSU two wins over Tennessee because, shit, they need it). That'd have an SEC West with Bama on top (14-13), Arkansas and Ole Miss tied at second (13-14), Auburn and State tied right below that and LSU at the bottom. That sets Ole Miss up very, very nicely for the season ending series in Fayetteville, while Bama's gotta hope that they can catch the same breaks we caught against the damn strong South Carolina Gamecocks. Playing Arkansas at Baum to end the season is never an easy task, but wins there aren't impossible.

Perhaps I didn't articulate it well enough (it has been a long day, y'all), but this series is important. So chill some brew, light a grill, click on ESPNU and watch it. Hopefully Mike Bianco and the Rebels can give us something else to cheer about and put us in a nice position to earn a spot in the SEC Baseball Tournament.

Hotty Toddy. Open thread starts NOW.