Jan. 27, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Bo Carter
214-418-6132
Gators picked as favorite to win it all
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FLORIDA TOPS 2012 PRESEASON NCBWA POLL

DALLAS (NCBWA) The Florida Gators are pre-competition No. 1 nationally for the first time in school history in the 2012 National Collegiate Baseball Writers 15th annual Division I preseason poll.

Coach Kevin O'Sullivan's crew was runner-up to fellow Southeastern Conference powerhouse South Carolina in the 2011 NCAA World Series and has a very solid nucleus returning. All-America catcher and 2011 SEC Player of the Year Mike Zunino (.371 average-19 homers-67 RBI) is one of the top returnees along with dual threat Brian Johnson (8-3 pitching record, .307-5-29) and All-America DH Preston Tucker for the Gators.

Two-time defending NCAA champ South Carolina is No. 2 in the opening survey while 2011 NCAA Division I World Series participants North Carolina (No. 3 this year), Texas A&M (No. 5), Texas (No. 7), Vanderbilt (No. 11), Virginia (No. 23), and California (No, 26) return after being ranked among the Top Eight in the final NCBWA poll last June. Last year's preseason No. 1 TCU is No. 13 in the 2012 lidlifter.

The NCBWA continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the 15th year with its 2012 preseason predictions and weekly surveys. Weekly polls will resume from Feb. 21-June 28 with the finale following the 66th annual 2012 NCAA World Series in Omaha, Neb., at two-year-old TD Ameritrade Park.

The poll voters come from 40 college baseball writers and related media persons from throughout the nation. After a preseason Top 35 listing, the remainder of the polls will feature a national Top 30 beginning with the Feb. 21 NCBWA survey.

LSU held down the No. 1 slot in the 1998, 2001 and '09 polls. Other NCBWA preseason No. 1 placers have been Southern California (1999), Miami (Fla.) (2000), Stanford (2002), Texas (2003, '06, '10), Rice (2004, '07), Cal State Fullerton (2005), Arizona State (2008), North Carolina (2009), and TCU (2011). South Carolina never had won a DI baseball crown before capturing the trophy in both 2010 and '11.

Last season, five different teams were rated No, 1 TCU, UCLA, Florida, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and the champion Gamecocks.

This preseason poll has representation by 10 different conferences and independent Dallas Baptist among the 291 baseball-playing schools in the 2012 NCAA Division I ranks. The polls of 2011 had teams from 16 different DI conferences rated at least one week.

Rk. School Conference Record Pvs.
1. Florida Southeastern 53-19 2
2. South Carolina Southeastern 55-14 1
3. North Carolina Atlantic Coast 51-16 5
4. Stanford Pac-12 35-22 13
5. Texas A&M Big 12 47-22 8
6. Arkansas Southeastern 40-22 20
7. Texas Big 12 49-19 7
8. Rice Conference USA 42-21 18
9. Georgia Tech Atlantic Coast 42-21 23
10. Florida State Atlantic Coast 46-19 10
11. Vanderbilt Southeastern 54-12 4
12. LSU Southeastern 36-20 -
13. TCU Mountain West 43-19 16
14. Oklahoma Big 12 41-19 24
15. Arizona State Pac-12 43-18 9
16. Miami Atlantic Coast 38-23 26
17. Clemson Atlantic Coast 43-20 15
18. Arizona Pac-12 39-21 25
19. Cal State Fullerton Big West 41-17 17
20. UCLA Pac-12 35-24 22
21. Georgia Southeastern 33-32 -
22. Oregon State Pac-12 41-19 12
23. Virginia Atlantic Coast 56-12 3
24. UC Irvine Big West 43-18 11
25. Louisville Big East 32-29 -
26. California Pac-12 38-23 6
27. St. John's Big East 36-22 -
28. UCF Conference USA 39-23 -
29. Southern Miss Conference USA 39-19 30
30. Ole Miss Southeastern 30-25 -
31. Stetson Atlantic Sun 43-20 -
32. Baylor Big 12 31-28 -
33. Dallas Baptist Independent 42-20 21
34. Mississippi State Southeastern 38-25 19
35. Coastal Carolina Big South 42-20 -
Others receiving votes (listed alphabetically): Alabama (35-28), Auburn (29-29), Belmont (38-26), Bethune-Cookman (36-25), Cal State Bakersfield (33-22), Charlotte (43-16), College of Charleston (39-22), Connecticut (45-20-1), Creighton (45-16), East Carolina (41-21), FIU (40-20-1), Fresno State (40-16), Georgia Southern (36-26), Georgia State (37-21), Gonzaga (32-19-1), Illinois (30-27), Jacksonville (37-24), James Madison (42-19), Kansas State (36-25), Kent State (45-17), Kentucky (25-30), Long Beach State (29-27), Maine (33-24), Michigan State (36-21), Missouri State (33-23), N.C. State (35-27), Nebraska (30-25), Oklahoma State (35-25), Old Dominion (30-26), Oral Roberts (39-22), Oregon (33-26-1), Sam Houston State (35-24), San Diego State (22-36), Seton Hall (34-25), USC (25-31), Stony Brook (42-12), Tennessee (25-29), Texas State (41-23), Texas Tech (33-25), Troy (43-19), Tulane (31-26), UNC Wilmington (31-28), West Virginia (28-27), Wichita State (39-26).
By conference: Southeastern 8, Pac-12 6, Atlantic Coast 6, Big 12 4, Conference USA 3, Big East 2, Big West 2, Atlantic Sun 1, Big South 1, Independents 1, Mountain West 1
Records are from the 2011 season; Previous rank is from final 2011 poll

Founded in 1962, the NCBWA is dedicated to the advancement of college baseball. Membership is open to writers, broadcasters and publicists of the sport. Members receive a membership card, directory, newsletter updates and official votes in the Dick Howser Trophy, Regional Players of the Year and NCBWA All-America voting. The NCBWA also sponsors the Pro-Line Athletic Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.

2012 NCBWA Polls (No. 1 Team):
Preseason (Florida)
Feb. 20 (Florida)
Feb. 27 (Florida)
March 5 (Florida)
March 12 (Florida)
March 19 (Florida)
March 26 (Florida)
April 2 (Florida)
April 9 (Florida State)
April 16 (Florida)
April 23 (Florida State)
April 30 (Florida State)
May 7 (Florida State)
May 14 (South Carolina)
May 21 (Florida State)
May 28 (Florida)
June 5 (Florida)
June 12 (Florida)
June 26 (Arizona)