For several years, Vanderbilt has had the reputation of being "the best team never to make the College World Series." Those ghosts are gone now, after Vanderbilt swept Oregon State to reach Omaha for the first time.
And now that they're there, the Commodores are primed to win.
Vanderbilt was ranked No. 1 for long parts of the season, but, of course, the length of the season and the top-to-bottom quality of the SEC makes running the table impossible.
Vanderbilt had 12 players drafted, so the level of talent is unquestionable.
Finally, the Commodores are hot — 5-0 in the NCAA tournament without breaking a sweat, outscoring opponents 46-7. Vanderbilt's time has come.
Los Angeles Times
First, a shout-out to the California Golden Bears, who have kept the College World Series from being the National Championship of the Confederacy. But the Bears will be gone quickly.
In the end, South Carolina will bring home another title.
The Gamecocks went through all the trials a defending champion faces and came out stronger for it. They went 19-6 in the SEC after a difficult 2-1 loss to Florida on March 26. They have the pitching depth and experience.
Michael Roth is the poster boy for the Gamecocks' growth. He was simply "a bullpen guy" in 2010, then won his only two starts in the College World Series. This season, Roth has a 13-2 record as South Carolina's Friday night starter.