With Creighton out of the NCAA Tournament, bounced in extra innings by Georgia Sunday, it’s time for the Omaha rite of summer: Choosing a CWS school to randomly back for a week. There are a lot of familiar faces among the teams to advance from the first round. Florida, UC Irvine, North Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State, Virginia, Oregon State, Stanford and Arizona State are all still alive. No. 8 seed Rice was the only national seed not to make it out of the first round while last year’s darlings, TCU, and near perennial fixture Miami won’t be making the trip to Omaha this year either. But rooting for the usual powerhouses isn’t much fun. If we’re all supposed to be Nebraska or Creighton fans, it’s never made much sense to me to become a Florida State fan for a week. If you’re looking for a little variety, the Fort Worth and Houston Regionals are the place to look. These four teams — 2-seed Baylor, No. 3’s Dallas Baptist and California, and 4-seed Oral Roberts — were playing elimination games as of deadline Monday. One of them will make it to Omaha and, with the possible exception of Baylor, who has made the CWS three times, there are some good stories here. Oral Roberts is looking to make only its second trip to Omaha and the first since 1978. University officials at Cal announced last fall that they were cutting major funds from the baseball budget, putting the 118-year-old program in danger of being cut before private donors stepped in with $10 million of their own money. But the real sentimental favorite here is Dallas Baptist. Six years ago DBU was an NAIA powerhouse. Now they’re playing in their second NCAA Tournament. The Patriots basically used to be what Bellevue University is now. Who can’t get behind that? —Big 10 officials have ignored my pleas and made Indianapolis the long-term home for the football conference championship game through 2015. Nothing against Indy, as I’m sure the stadium is fantastic, but is anyone really excited to go there in December? Chicago, on the other hand, is good any time of year. Good public transportation, good architecture, good pizza, good hot dogs. Sure the game would have to be outdoors but this is the Big 10. We’re now supposed to be winter-hardy and if all of Europe can play soccer through the snowy months, one manly game of football can’t be that hard to pull off.

Subscribe to The Reader Newsletter

Our awesome email newsletter briefing tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on in Omaha. Delivered to your inbox every day at 11:00am.

Become a Supporting Member

Subscribe to thereader.com and become a supporting member to keep locally owned news alive. We need to pay writers, so you can read even more. We won’t waste your time, our news will focus, as it always has, on the stories other media miss and a cultural community — from arts to foods to local independent business — that defines us. Please support your locally-owned news media by becoming a member today.

Leave a comment