Coolers rolling on concrete. Cheap aluminum and metal clanging against one another, unfolding into gravel crevices. More aluminum, cracking open with a hint of bubbles collecting at the summit of a small opening. Neil Diamond and David Guetta, serenading in the distance like sirens as you approach the rocky shore.
Five more weeks.
Baseball season is almost here. And that means preseason polls are here NOW!
Perfect Game have released their rankings that mean absolutely nothing and the Rebels are in the top 20. Top 15, even! The good guys are preseason No. 11 in the country, sandwiched between the Pac 12’s Stanford (42-16, NCAA regional in 2017) and a familiar foe to the South, LSU (52-20, College World Series runner-up).
Altogether, the Southeastern Conference fielded seven teams in the preseason top 25: Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana State, Texas A&M, Mississippi State. The Gators are preseason No. 1 coming off their CWS-winning season, the Razorbacks are way the hell up there at No. 6, and Kentucky ain’t too far behind at No. 8.
Surprisingly, Mississippi State just made it in at No. 25 after a fantastic campaign last season. With that said, the No. 11 ranking for the Rebs is a tad bit generous in my opinion. There is young talent galore, yes, but the offense is still lacking. As a team, Mike Bianco’s club hit .253 and only returns two players who hit over the .300 mark.
Ryan Rolison, a recent preseason First-Team All-American selection, leads the way on the mound and the bullpen is loaded with arms like Will Stokes and Dallas Woolfolk, but if Ole Miss is going to have reservations for a Super Regional or a Hilton out in Nebraska, they need to hit the baseball. And hit it a lot.