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College baseball composite rankings: Experts aren't sure what to expect from Ole Miss

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The Rebs' talented but inexperienced roster means they're as high as No. 8 and as low as unranked in the major preseason polls.

Josh McCoy/Ole Miss Athletics

The 2017 Ole Miss baseball team is a bit of enigma heading into this weekend’s season opener against ECU. On one hand, the Rebels have had to replace a significant number of key veteran contributors with youngsters. On the other hand, that group of youngsters is comprised of a crew of sophomore pitchers that got a ton of experience last year and a freshmen class that was ranked by D1Baseball.com as the best in the country.

Predicting how quickly young players will develop is mostly a crap shoot, which explains why Ole Miss’ preseason rankings are all over the place. While Perfect Game has the Rebels as No. 8 in the country, both D1 Baseball and Baseball America left Mike Bianco’s bunch unranked (the USA Today Coaches Poll has the Rebs at No. 24).

Given the inexperience at key positions (true sophomore James McArthur is a candidate for the Friday night ace spot and the opening-day starters at catcher and shortstop will both be true freshmen), I’d expect this team to show plenty of inconsistency in the early going. If the coaches can develop the young talent as the season wears on, however, Ole Miss has the chance to be an extremely dangerous team come tournament time.

Below are the rankings from four of the top polls in the country, which I’ve averaged into a composite ranking. We’ll be generating this composite ranking each week for the rest of the season.

Composite ranking Polls
Rank Team Average Rank D1 Baseball Baseball America Coaches Poll Perfect Game
1 TCU 1 1 TCU TCU TCU TCU
2 Florida 2.75 2 Florida Florida St. Florida LSU
3 Florida St. 3.25 3 Florida St. Florida LSU Florida St.
4 LSU 3.5 4 South Carolina LSU South Carolina Florida
5 South Carolina 4.5 5 LSU South Carolina Florida St. South Carolina
6 Oregon St. 7.75 6 NC State ECU Vanderbilt Louisville
7 Louisville 8.25 7 Vanderbilt Louisville Oregon St. Oregon St.
8 Vanderbilt 8.75 8 Oregon St. Cal St. Fullerton Louisville Ole Miss
9 ECU 9 9 North Carolina Oregon St. Coastal Carolina Vanderbilt
10 Cal St. Fulleron 12.5 10 ECU Clemson ECU ECU
11 North Carolina 12.75 11 Coastal Carolina Vanderbilt Cal St. Fullerton Oklahoma St.
12 NC State 13.5 12 Louisville Washington Clemson North Carolina
13 UL Lafayette 13.75 13 UL Lafayette UL Lafayette North Carolina UL Lafayette
14 Clemson 14 14 Texas Tech NC State NC State NC State
15 Coastal Carolina 14.75 15 Clemson Coastal Carolina Arizona Cal St. Fullerton
16 Stanford 19.5 16 Cal St. Fullerton Virginia UL Lafayette Stanford
17 Arizona 20.25 17 Virginia North Carolina Miami Texas
17 Oklahoma St. 20.25 18 Stanford Oklahoma St. Virginia Washington
17 Virgina 20.25 19 Arizona UCSB Texas Tech Clemson
20 Texas Tech 22 20 Texas A&M Long Beach St. Texas A&M Houston
21 Washington 22.5 21 Miami Georgia Tech Stanford Rice
22 Ole Miss 23 22 Maryland Arizona Oklahoma St. Cal Poly
23 UCSB 24.25 23 Rice Stanford UCSB Maryland
24 Miami 24.5 24 UNC Wilmington Maryland Ole Miss Coastal Carolina
25 Rice 24.75 25 UCSB Texas Tech Rice Arizona