The Florida Gators baseball team is in the envious position of sitting in first place in the SEC’s East Division heading into the final weekend of play in the regular season.
Last weekend, Florida dominated a series against (then) No. 5 Vanderbilt to leapfrog the Commodores in the standings.
But, what would have to happen for the Gators to win their sixteenth SEC regular season title?
Florida travels to Kentucky (35-15) to take on the nation’s top ranked team, according to the RPI, anyway. The Wildcats are an impressive 24-4 at home this year, proving to be one of the biggest home field advantages in college baseball. The Gators are currently one game back of Arkansas in the conference championship race and half a game ahead of LSU and one game over Vanderbilt.
Matchups that matter:
- Florida at Kentucky
- Arkansas at Vanderbilt
- LSU at Georgia
If the Gators sweep Kentucky…
This is, obviously, the best path for Florida to earn either an outright or shared regular season crown. If the Gators sweep the Wildcats, they would just need Vanderbilt to win one game against Arkansas to share the title. If the Commodores win the series, Florida would be the outright conference champions and the No. 1 seed at next week’s SEC Tournament in Hoover, Alabama.
If the Gators win two of three at Kentucky…
The path to a title gets significantly more difficult with a single loss in Lexington, but it’s not an impossibility. Florida could share the championship with either Arkansas or Vanderbilt, depending on the outcome of that series. Arkansas would outright win the league with a series win, but would share with Florida by securing just one win. If the Commodores sweep the Razorbacks, Florida and Vandy would share the title.
*LSU could also figure into the SEC race as they sit a half game back of Florida and 1.5 games behind Arkansas. A Tigers sweep and a Florida loss in addition to a Vandy series win (two of three) would give the Tigers the outright regular season title. LSU had one conference game cancelled this year and, as a result, there is no scenario they could share the title due to win percentage.
Florida and Kentucky open the final regular season series Thursday night at 6:30 PM from Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington.