Arkansas opens top 10 in baseball coaches poll for 6th time in 7 seasons

Arkansas baseball coach Dave Van Horn watches practice Friday, Feb. 2, 2024, in Fayetteville. (Andy Shupe/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas will open the 2024 baseball season where it has found itself a lot in recent years, in the top 10 of the USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll. 

The Razorbacks are ranked fourth in the preseason poll that was released Tuesday. Ranked ahead of Arkansas is consensus preseason No. 1 Wake Forest, reigning national champion LSU at No. 2 and last year’s national runner-up Florida at No. 3. 

Arkansas will be ranked second, third or fourth in all five major polls to open the season. The coaches poll is the poll of record for this publication. 

It is the sixth time in seven seasons the Razorbacks have opened with a top-10 ranking in the coaches poll. That streak began in 2018 and has continued each year since 2020. The outlier was 2019 when the Razorbacks were ranked 12th to begin the year. 

Arkansas has been included in 93 consecutive coaches polls dating to 2017. The Razorbacks have been ranked in the top 10 of 46 of the last 48 polls. 

The SEC was represented well in the poll with eight teams. Behind LSU, Florida and Arkansas were Vanderbilt (6), Tennessee (8), Texas A&M (10), Alabama (17) and South Carolina (21). 

Texas, which will join the SEC next season, begins ranked 13th. 

Arkansas is scheduled to play 18 games against seven teams ranked in the poll. In addition to three-game conference series at home against LSU and Florida, and conference road series at Texas A&M, Alabama and South Carolina, the Razorbacks are scheduled to play No. 7 Oregon State on Feb. 23 in Arlington, Texas, and are scheduled to host No. 22 Texas Tech for a pair of games April 16-17. 

Arkansas is also scheduled to play 11 games against five teams receiving votes in the preseason poll — Oklahoma State, Auburn, Ole Miss, Oral Roberts and Kentucky.

The SEC’s eight teams in the top 25 lead all conferences. The ACC has the next-highest total with six teams. 

USA Today Baseball Coaches Poll, 2024 Preseason

1. Wake Forest

2. LSU

3. Florida

4. Arkansas

5. TCU

6. Vanderbilt

7. Oregon State

8. Tennessee

9. Clemson

10. Texas A&M

11. Virginia

12. East Carolina

13. Texas 

14. Duke

15. North Carolina

16. North Carolina State

17. Alabama

18. UC Santa Barbara

19. Coastal Carolina

20. Iowa

21. South Carolina

22. Texas Tech

23. Stanford

24. UCLA

25. Northeastern