Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy.
Hogs, Rebels ranked in top 3
Arkansas center fielder Christian Franklin heads to first Thursday, April 1, 2021, after hitting during the fourth inning of play against Auburn at Baum-Walker Stadium in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Ahead of their weekend showdown, Arkansas is No. 2 and Ole Miss is No. 3 in this week’s USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll.
The Razorbacks and Rebels are scheduled to play three times at Swayze Field, in Oxford, Miss., beginning Friday at 6 p.m.
The No. 2 vs. No. 3 matchup will be the Razorbacks' most high profile ever in the coaches poll. Arkansas, ranked No. 2 at the time, previously defeated then-No. 4 Mississippi State last month.
The Razorbacks (22-4) trail only Vanderbilt (23-3) in the poll for the third consecutive week. Vanderbilt received 31 first-place votes this week. Arkansas received one first-place vote.
Ole Miss (21-6) did not fall in the poll despite losing two of three weekend games at Florida.
The SEC has the five highest-ranked teams in the poll this week. Tennessee is ranked fourth and Mississippi State is ranked fifth.
Other ranked SEC teams this week include No. 11 Florida and No. 12 South Carolina.
The three Big 12 teams that Arkansas defeated at the season-opening College Baseball Showdown — Texas, TCU and Texas Tech — are ranked Nos. 6, 7 and 8 this week, respectively. Louisiana Tech, which lost two of three to the Razorbacks last month at home, is ranked No. 19.
Baseball America rated Arkansas No. 1 for the fifth consecutive week Monday, but the Razorbacks are behind Vanderbilt in the other major polls.
Arkansas is ranked in the 52nd consecutive coaches poll dating to 2017.
1 Vanderbilt (23-3)
2 Arkansas (22-4)
3 Ole Miss (21-6)
4 Tennessee (24-5)
5 Mississippi State (20-7)
6 Texas (20-8)
7 TCU (20-7)
8 Texas Tech (20-6)
9 East Carolina (22-5)
10 Louisville (18-8)
11 Florida (18-9)
12 South Carolina (19-7)
13 Oklahoma State (18-7)
14 Notre Dame (12-5)
15 Miami (16-8)
16 Georgia Tech (14-9)
17 UCLA (16-9)
18 Oregon State (18-6)
19 Louisiana Tech (19-7)
20 Oregon (16-6)
21 Florida State (15-9)
22 Arizona (18-8)
T23 Stanford (16-5)
T23 Michigan (13-5)
25 Virginia Tech (15-9)
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