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Batting Around: Week 9

The Feathered Warrior is out to lunch this week, so I'm filling in for Batting Around. Any ideas expressed herein are my own and are probably wrong. I'd also encourage baseball lovers to check out TSK's Around the Bases.

1. Kentucky Wildcats

The national surprise of the season kept chugging along this weekend, winning 2 of 3 against a solid Arkansas team. Who said they only play basketball in Lexington? Oh, right, that was the Big Blue Nation. In all seriousness, A Sea of Blue has actually had come baseball coverage lately, so head over for coverage of new blue overlords.

2. LSU Tigers

Swept Alabama over the weekend and looks to be the clear favorite to win the West. Playing extremely well after a slow start.

3. Florida Gators

After a couple of recent series losses, this team has fallen off a bit from its lofty preseason expectations and is now clearly playing with Kentucky in the East. However, the Gators picked up a series win in Knoxville this weekend, which is a step back in the right direction.

4. South Carolina Gamecocks

No longer in the cellar after steadily climbing out after going 1-5 in opening series against Kentucky and Florida, the Gamecocks are starting to look like their old selves again. It still remains to be seen how they fare against elite competition, though.

5. Arkansas Razorbacks

Struggling lately, the Hogs have fallen considerably behind LSU in what was once a very promising season. There's still a lot to play for, but they need to get it together quick, particularly with some challenging series coming up.

6. Georgia Bulldogs

Inconsistent, but can be quite good when it's on. The series win against Ole Miss was an important step for this team, which needs to ratchet it up a notch over the next few weeks.

7. Mississippi Rebels

Like Georgia, this is a sometimes good but inconsistent team. Georgia got the better of them this past weekend, so they go below the Dawgs.

8. Tennessee Volunteers

Not a good team, but the Vols strike me as decent. They've now lost two straight series to league titans South Carolina and Florida, but they didn't get swept in either and have seemed fairly competitive. Not too much shame in that.

9. Mississippi St. Bulldogs

This past weekend was a big one for MSU, which entered at 5-7 in conference. After being swept by USC, the Bulldogs are now at risk of seeing their season fall apart. The good news is that there are winnable upcoming series over the next few weeks. MSU better do well in those, because it ends the season with Florida and Kentucky.

10. Vanderbilt Commodores

The Commodores have begun to show some signs of life of late, but they're going to need to play extremely well down the stretch because of how they opened the season.

11. Auburn Tigers

After a hot start, the Plainsmen are beginning to unravel, with the latest snafu a series loss to struggling Vanderbilt after the previous weekend's embarrassing series loss to hapless Alabama. With a tough upcoming slate of games, things could go further south in a hurry for Auburn.

12. Alabama Crimson Tide

There's not really any doubt about this one. The Tide lost all three games by a combined score of 22-5 over the weekend against LSU.