Big weekend, my friends. Big weekend. It is not just Virginia that we have to be worried about. Several other teams linger in Cal's bracket, potential enemies. There is a chance that Cal will take on University of South Carolina in the College World Series. There is a chance that Cal won't. There is even a chance that Cal could take on that other USC twice.
Now, this USC is not as powerful a team as last year's National Championship squad. But the Gamecocks of Columbia are still a team to be feared. The process here in the College World Series is a bit confusing. Cal will play UVA. Texas A+M will play USC. Winners face off. Losers face off. Then, the loser of the winner's game takes on the winner of the loser's game. The winner of that game, ostensibly 2-1, has to take on the 2-0 team. If the 2-1 team can beat the 2-0 team twice, then they go to the Finals.
Whew! You need an abacus and an elite team of math ninjas trained to understand how the hell to use abaci to figure out that thing. Bottom line is that Cal could face USC at any time in any situation. Even in line at the finest Chili's in all of Omaha. And it is important to know how Cal might fare if they run into the Cocks. That's why we talked to SBNation's USC site Garnett & Black Attack. They have all the info on the reigning national Champions! So, join us after the jump to learn more about this year's Cocks team. They even did a post analyzing the talent of all 8 teams. Do they have what it takes to win All The Tostitos?????? Hopefully, not if Cal has anything to say about it. GO BEARS!
We lost all three weekend starters from last year's team, but this year's offense was expected to be stronger. That has not necessarily been the case, as 2011 first round pick and 2010 CWS MVP Jackie Bradley, Jr. was lost to injury in the midst of the SEC season. Though he was struggling at the plate, he is probably the best defensive CF'er in college baseball when healthy, so it was a big loss. We also played most of the season without OF Adam Matthews, the team's second best athlete. There were other short-term injuries along the way, culminating in playing the final two games at Ole Miss without our top four OF'ers. Not coincidentally, that was our only series loss of the year.
While I think most Carolina fans expected the team to return to the CWS before the season with a healthy roster, the way this team has pulled together and continued to win as guys continue to drop has been amazing. UVa is this year's UCLA - the designated super team that everyone else is chasing and rooting against. We do not have nearly the same margin of error as the Cavaliers (or even the Gators or Commodores), so I think our games against elite teams will be just as nerve wracking.