Don’t look now, but the SEC championship race – and positioning for NCAA bids and seeding – is as convoluted as ever.
South Carolina’s status, however, is definitely better than it would have been if it had lost Sunday’s game and series to Alabama. The Gamecocks pulled it out, and Chad Holbrook likes that just fine.
A loss would have left USC just one game over .500 in league play, but now there’s some breathing room. With three weekends to play in the regular season, Florida is 15-6, Alabama is 13-8, Ole Miss is 13-8, LSU is 12-8, USC is 12-9, Vanderbilt is 11-10, and Mississippi State is 11-10.
Most of those teams are hoping for a strong stretch run to work their way into a top eight national seed, but the Gamecocks are in good shape there, too. Heading into last week’s games, SEC teams were well-represented in the NCAA’s official RPI, which weighs heavily into determining those seeds – No. 1 Florida, No. 5 USC, No. 9 Ole Miss, No. 11 Kentucky, No. 13 LSU, No. 16 Vanderbilt, and No. 17 Alabama.
Holbrook knows a series victory over the Crimson Tide can only help, especially since it marked his team’s second straight series win.
“It was a big win for us. And I don’t like to lose series at home,” Holbrook said. “If we had lost today, that would have been two (series losses at home). We would have had to make that up somewhere on the road. Well, going to Georgia is not easy and going to Vandy sure as heck is not easy.”