Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Is Big 12 baseball in a slump?
By Jake Trotter
OKLAHOMA CITY -- When the Big 12 was formed some 15 years ago, the baseball was so strong that it was easier to make an NCAA regional than it was the Big 12 tournament.
Oklahoma State and Texas were national powers. Oklahoma had recently won a national championship (1994). Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Missouri and Baylor were stout, too.
Times, however, have changed.
For the first time since 1997, only four Big 12 teams will participate in NCAA regionals. And had Missouri not secured an automatic berth by winning the Big 12 tournament, that number could have easily been three.
Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor is one of the eight national seeds. Texas A&M also earned the right to host a regional. And Oklahoma, which lost to Missouri in the conference tournament title game, also advanced to the postseason thanks to its late-season surge.
But the rest of the league will watch the regionals from home, including the Cowboys and Longhorns, who both went two-and-out in the Big 12 tournament to seal their exclusion.