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Happy Valentine's Day, Stitch Heads! Baseball Previews Galore!

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Happy Valentine's Day! Corn Nation wants badly to be your college baseball valentine and to further that cause, here's a host of college baseball previews for your enjoyment.

The late start date feels weird, doesn't it, like something's missing? Maybe the anticipation is a good thing. Or maybe not. Division IA baseball is still eight days away! Seems like a million miles doesn't it?!

Nebraska Coach Mike Anderson and presents his pre-season press conference. Obviously one of the biggest concerns coming into this season is the pitching staff, about which Anderson says:

"I’m encouraged by Dan Jennings. I’m encouraged by Thad Weber. They’re pretty motivated. A lot of people don’t know who they are right now. Halfway through the year, they might be leading our team. That’s kind of what the process is. I remember mentioning guys like Joba Chamberlain a few years back, hoping that a guy takes off. Guys like Aaron Marsden and a little guy named Shane Komine that we didn’t know much about – that’s what this whole thing is about. We’re taking kids through this journey and getting them a chance to succeed and develop. I think he can develop into a Friday night guy. We’ve been so successful with him sitting in the second spot, the Saturday spot, it’s tough to say ‘go get it on that Friday’ if it’s working well on Saturday. We’ll be smart about where we put him."

The bottom line is that Nebraska has five pitchers out of 17 that have seen action last season. Going into Stanford, we'll see Johnny Dorn, Dan Jennings and Thad Weber, but it's a four-game series. Who else is going to step up?

The good news is that Stanford will be starting their season at the same time. No more of this going South or West and playing someone who's already got 10 games under their belt.

Rivals presents their pre-season All-American team. Notable from Nebraska's 2008 opponents are:

1st Team

  • 2B Blake Stouffer, Texas A&M
  • OF Kyle Russell, Texas
  • RP Pat Venditte, Creighton

2nd Team

  • SS Beamer Weems, Baylor
  • SP Aaron Crow, Missouri

Baseball America had released their pre-season All-Americans last week. Again, from Nebraska's opponents:

1st Team

  • OF Jordan Danks, Texas
  • OF Kyle Russell, Texas
  • P Aaron Crow, Missouri

2nd Team

  • 3B Conor Gillaspie, Wichita State

3rd Team

  • 2B Blake Stouffer, Texas A&M
  • UT Jordy Mercer, Oklahoma State

CSTV presents their pre-season NCAA tourney regional projections, because we need something to talk about.

Neither Nebraska nor Creighton are among those projected to make the tourney. Nebraska's opponents projected to the NCAA include:

  • Baylor (Rice Regional host)
  • Texas A&M (Regional Host)
  • Texas (Regional Host)
  • Wichita State (Regional Host)
  • UC Riverside (San Diego regional)
  • Oklahoma State (North Carolina regional)
  • Oklahoma (Miami regional)
  • Louisiana-Lafayette (Ole Miss regional)

Only four teams from the Big 12?? Seems low to me, especially since the Big 12 should be a strong conference this season. The Big 12 finished a close second to the SEC in conference RPI last season.  

CSTV has started rolling out their season previews, written by Eric Sorenson. In Sorenson's Big 12 preview he has this to say about Mike Anderson's scheduling prowess:

Any other year you'd have to say that coach Anderson is a masochist by starting off with Stanford and UC Riverside in their first eight. But those teams are on a slight decline. Still, you can't hassle the scheduling effort.

A 53-year old college baseball player? Talk about your 'Field of Dreams'.  

If that isn't enough, get this bit:

He's not even the oldest player in NCAA competition this school year. Mike Flynt, a linebacker in 2007 at Division III Sul Ross State (Texas), has him by six years.

59 years old and you're playing linebacker? I don't care what Division it is, that's bloody amazing. You realize the guy is old enough that he'll legally be required to start withdrawing from his IRA by next season? Viagra? Cialis? Who needs 'em? Probably not these guys!