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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Baseball Power Rankings (Week 6)

By Eric Sorenson
Special to ESPN.com

Brandon Downes
Virginia suffered a bad loss to Miami on Friday night, but recovered to win the weekend.

If there were two things we learned from this past weekend in college baseball, they're that playing on the road is tough and everybody has major dents in the armor.

Vanderbilt, Florida State and South Carolina were at the top of the Power Rankings last week, then all three lost twice on the road -- and in hideous, blowout fashion at that. Oregon State was ranked fourth and lost two of three versus Arizona State at home.

Yes, just when we thought all of these teams were on a pedestal above the rest, they turn up flatline froggy a couple of times.

Take heed, baseball nation: There is no "nation's best" out there. Everyone is vulnerable. Everyone will lose an argument about being best in the country. That's just the nature of our game now.

Oh, and you'll all be happy to know that we've come to the end of Winless Watch as New York Tech, Mississippi Valley State and Siena all pulled out wins last week; Siena actually swept Niagara in a three-game series.

Now on to the newly retooled and reorganized Power Rankings.

1. Virginia (19-4)

Trending:

Last week: 5

Of note: The Cavaliers joined the ugly-loss department with Saturday's 7-1 drubbing at the hands of Miami. But they rebounded with 8-3 and 5-3 wins to take the series as part of a 4-1 week.


2. Cal Poly (20-4)

Trending:

Last week: 6

Of note: Looks like the Year of the Mustang out west, especially with a 3-1 series win over a good Cal team. Monday's finale saw Poly overcome an 8-2 deficit with a 13-run second inning on the way to a 16-8 win.


3. Oregon (17-5)

Trending:

Last week: 7

Of note: In their last five games, the Ducks have given up just 20 hits and committed only two errors. But as you know, the road is cruel, and that's where their next 10 games will be played.


4. Florida State (19-4)

Trending:

Last week: 2

Of note: This weekend was a repeat of the 2013 Clemson series that saw FSU lose Game 1 then roar back with two straight W's. Jameis Winston picked up his fourth save in the 4-3 win in Game 3.


5. Vanderbilt (20-5)

Trending:

Last week: 1

Of note: Hard to explain what happened to ace Tyler Beede on Friday. He gave up six hits and 11 runs in 2.2 innings as VU dropped a dubious 17-2 decision at Mississippi State. Ouch.


6. Rice (19-6)

Trending:

Last week: 9

Of note: Impressive sweep of FAU. Friday ace Zech Lemond got a career-high 12 strikeouts in 8.1 innings. Also, juco transfer John Clay Reeves is leading the Owls with a .426 average.


7. South Carolina (19-3)

Trending:

Last week: 3

Of note: The Gamecocks got roughhoused at Kentucky, losing two of three, including Friday's ugly 13-5 loss. Redemption could be near with College of Charleston, Coastal Carolina and Tennessee up next.


8. Oregon State (19-5)

Trending:

Last week: 4

Of note: Hard to believe, but put a red flag on that Beavers bullpen. In their two losses this weekend, six of the 10 runs Arizona State scored came in the final two innings of the two games.


9. Louisiana (22-2)

Trending:

Last week: 10

Of note: The third-largest, three-game attendance weekend in school history (10,691) saw the Cajuns sweep Georgia State. ULL also has a nation's-best 12-game win streak.


10. LSU (20-4-1)

Trending:

Last week: 11

Of note: Talk about high quality. In their 2-0-1 weekend versus Georgia, the Tigers gave up three runs, 15 hits and did not commit an error in the field for all 31 innings of play.


11. UCLA (14-8)

Trending:

Last week: 8

Of note: It was a white-knuckler weekend against Washington State, as Sunday's rubber match went 10 innings and saw the Bruins overcome the Cougars with Ty Moore's two-run single.


12. Ole Miss (21-4)

Trending:

Last week: 12

Of note: The Rebels have been doing all the things that win championships, such as being ranked No. 8 nationally in pitching with a 2.03 team ERA and 31st in defense at .976.


13. Houston (19-4)

Trending:

Last week: 15

Of note: The Cougars have yet to have a bad weekend, including this past weekend's three-win showdown with Charleston. Jared West had 11 strikeouts and allowed just four hits in Sunday's 7-1 win.


14. Cal State Fullerton (13-8)

Trending:

Last week: 16

Of note: Be it a good thing or a bad thing, the Titans have been in a bushel full of one-run and extra-inning games, going 6-6 in those games. A rigorous trip to Wichita State is up next.


15. UC Santa Barbara (17-3)

Trending:

Last week: 17

Of note: Although they are pitching-heavy, the Gauchos hit .345 in the four-game sweep versus Wagner. Tyler Kuresa had a three-home run, five-RBI game in Friday's 8-4 win.


16. Texas (19-6)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: Let's see, UT is fourth nationally with a 1.91 team ERA and second in sacrifice bunts with 40 so far. Yep, that's Augie Garrido ball. Tough assignment ahead, though, as the Horns head to Texas Tech.


17. Texas Tech (19-7)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: Don't let these guys talk you into playing a third game. In five series finales this year, the Red Raiders are 5-0, outscoring opponents in those games by a combined 44-8.


18. Washington (16-5-1)

Trending:

Last week: NR

Of note: The Dawgs have won 13 of 14, including this past weekend's sweep of Arizona in brand-new Husky Ballpark. Brian Wolfe was named Pac-12 Player of the Week, going 9-for-15 in four games.


19. Seton Hall (15-4)

Trending:

Last week: 19

Of note: Friday ace Josh Prevost was named Big East Pitcher of the Week for the fourth time this season. The 6-foot-8 strapper leads the conference in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts and opponent batting average.


20. Louisville (17-6)

Trending:

Last week: 20

Of note: A shaky week for the Cards, including bad losses to Indiana midweek and an 11-2 getaway game Sunday versus Rutgers. Still, Louisville is second nationally with 57 steals.


Five on deck: New Mexico (16-8-1), UNLV (16-7), Kentucky (17-7), Virginia Commonwealth (20-3), Oklahoma (18-7)