The SEC just released the conference baseball schedule, and as usual it shapes up to be a tough one for the Crimson Tide. When a dozen teams in your league are regularly ranked in the top 25, there are very few breathers in the ten SEC series.
Alabama always faces the six other members of the Western Division: No. 1 defending national champion Mississippi State, No. 5 Arkansas, No. 18 LSU, No. 13 Ole Miss, Auburn, and Texas A&M. To that, it adds four teams from the Eastern Division on a rotating basis in 2022. This year the Tide drew No. 20 Florida, No. 6 Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. Kentucky and Missouri aren't on this year’s slate, which is unfortunate, as the Wildcats and Tigers are expected to be the weakest teams in the East.
League play will start at home with a visit by perennial power No. 20 Florida, in a three-game series on March 18-20th. That is followed by a road trip to play the defending National Champion No. 1 Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville. This will be as tough an opening two series as anyone in the country will face. The Tide return home to play Texas A&M on April 1st. Alabama swept the Aggies in College Station last year in a three-game set, though A&M and Auburn both figure to be improved this season.
The Tide will then travel to Oxford to take on the always-tough No. 13 Rebels in Swayze on April 8-10. From there, ‘Bama stays on the road in No. 6 Knoxville to face the Tennessee Volunteers, fresh off their College World Series appearance. Alabama returns home to face Georgia on April 22-24, then back on the road to Columbia, SC to play the Gamecocks, who should also be improved following their down year. The tough LSU Tigers come to town the next week, May 6-8, followed by a trip to the Plains to play Auburn on May 13-15. The SEC regular season will wind up with the No. 5 Arkansas Razorbacks coming to Tuscaloosa on May 19-21 before the SEC Tournament begins in Hoover the next week.
This is the SEC, where it just means more. The baseball in the league is by far the best in the country. There are no breathers to be faced for anyone. The Tide’s out of conference schedule has not been released yet but there has been talk of an early season trip to Austin to play the No. 3 Texas Longhorns. Several in-state schools will be sprinkled in, and some northern teams always come down in the early season, since they can't play at home until much later in the year.
Coach Brad Bohannon and the Tide look to build on last year’s regional appearance in the coach’s fifth season. A new-look ‘Bama began its fall practice on Friday, September 17th with a plethora of new faces, particularly on the mound. We’ll have a followup on that later, as the Fall progresses.
‘Bama Baseball Fever, Catch It!