Matt Jones is the editor of the Hawgs Sports Network. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Heisman Trophy. He has a bachelor's and master's degree in journalism from the University of Arkansas.
Razorbacks match highest ranking ahead of showdown with Gamecocks
Arkansas coach Dave Van Horn is shown during a game against Tennessee on Sunday, April 16, 2023, in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas vaulted three places to No. 3 in the USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll on Monday following a series sweep at Mississippi State.
The Razorbacks (36-12, 17-7 SEC) went 3-1 last week, including an 8-6 loss in 11 innings to Lipscomb at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
Arkansas rebounded to outscore Mississippi State 31-10 over three games at Dudy Noble Field in Starkville, Miss., to tie Vanderbilt for the lead in the SEC.
The third-place ranking ties the the highest this year for the Razorbacks, who were also ranked third in late March.
Arkansas’ big weekend, coupled with series losses by higher-ranked teams — LSU at Auburn, Florida at Texas A&M, South Carolina at Kentucky and Vanderbilt at Alabama — resulted in a shakeup atop the poll.
LSU, ranked first since the preseason, relinquished the No. 1 ranking to Wake Forest. Vanderbilt actually moved up a place to No. 4, while Florida fell from third to fifth, and South Carolina fell from fourth to seventh.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to host South Carolina three times beginning Friday at 6:30 p.m. It will be the highest-ranked matchup at Baum-Walker Stadium since then-No. 1 Arkansas swept No. 8 Florida in May 2021.
Other SEC teams ranked this week include No. 16 Kentucky and No. 20 Tennessee. The Wildcats moved up five places after sweeping South Carolina, and the Volunteers fell four after they lost a series at Georgia.
The SEC leads all conferences with seven ranked teams. The ACC (6), Big 12 (3), Pac-12 (2) and Conference USA (2) also have multiple teams ranked this week.
Six conferences — the Big Ten, Big East, American, Sun Belt, Big South and Missouri Valley — have one team ranked.
The Razorbacks have a 5-2 record and six games remaining against teams ranked in this week's poll.
Arkansas has been ranked in 88 consecutive polls since 2017, and has been ranked in the top 10 in 43 of the last 44. The coaches poll is the poll of record for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
In other national polls released Monday, the Razorbacks were ranked third by D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game, and fourth by Baseball America. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association will update its poll later Monday.
USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll, May 8
1. Wake Forest (39-7)
2. LSU (37-10)
3. Arkansas (36-12)
4. Vanderbilt (34-13)
5. Florida (37-12)
6. Stanford (31-13)
7. South Carolina (36-11)
8. Duke (32-13)
9. Coastal Carolina (30-16)
10. Connecticut (35-11)
T11. West Virginia (36-12)
T11. Campbell (36-10)
13. Miami (31-16)
14. Virginia (37-11)
15. East Carolina (34-14)
16. Kentucky (33-13)
17. Boston College (30-16)
T18. Oregon State (33-14)
T18. Dallas Baptist (36-12)
20. Tennessee (32-16)
21. Clemson (31-17)
22. Oklahoma State (33-14)
23. Maryland (33-16)
24. Texas-San Antonio (36-12)
T25. Texas Tech (32-16)
T25. Indiana State (32-13)
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