South Carolina won the College World Series last night, and the accomplishment gives them their first national title in any men’s sport. It has to be a big day in Gamecock land, and congratulations are due. Any observer of SEC baseball knows that this was no fluke – South Carolina has been a solid program for many years now and are often a legitimate contender in the SEC under one of the conference’s top coaches, Ray Tanner. That they’d go on a little tear and win it all at Omaha is not surprising, and it has to make it all the more enjoyable that they got to eliminate Clemson along the way. The story of Bayler Teal and his relationship with the team adds a much deeper meaning to the championship, and it makes it seem to us that there couldn’t have been any other outcome.
But South Carolina’s title serves to underscore an unpleasant point around these parts. Georgia is joined now only by Vanderbilt as the only SEC East programs without a national title in any of the “big 3” men’s sports since SEC expansion in 1992. Seven of the 12 SEC members have managed the feat, and Auburn would really like to remind you of their 2004 football season. A club whose other members include Vandy and the Mississippi schools is not the company Georgia wants to be keeping.
As Kyle noted the other day, track season wrapping up means the end of competition for Bulldog student-athletes for the 2009-2010 academic year. No one from Michael Adams to Damon Evans is pretending that it was a great year for Bulldog athletics, and even another second-place finish for the SEC All-Sports trophy does little to mask the disappointment.
The final standings for the NACDA Director’s Cup will be released on July 1st. Georgia is currently in 17th place with only baseball left to figure in to the final tally. It’s possible that both LSU and Texas could pass Georgia based on their participation in the baseball postseason. If that occurs, Georgia would drop below their 18th place finish last year for the worst performance as a program in well over a decade. We’ve been over this ground before, but it’s not an impressive trend for the athletic department under Damon Evans. But, hey – we’re still rolling in cash, right?