DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the tenth year with its 2008 preseason predictions and weekly surveys. Weekly polls will continue from Feb. 25 to June 30, following the NCAA World Series in Omaha, Neb.
The poll voters come from 27 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.
Arizona State has received the No. 1 preseason nod for the first time in NCBWA history after coach Pat Murphys crew closed 49-15 in 2007. The Sun Devils are the preseason choice to take the Pacific-10 Conference and return one of the top hitting teams in the land along with an experienced pitching staff. Previous NCBWA preseason No. 1 choices have been LSU (1998, 2001), Southern California (1999), Miami (Fla.) (2000), Stanford (2002), Texas (2003, 06), Cal State Fullerton (2005), and Rice (2004, 07). Oregon State is the two-time defending NCAA Division I champ and is No. 11 in the pre-2008 NCBWA survey.
This week's poll has representation by 10 different conferences among the 293 baseball-playing schools in the 2008 NCAA Division I ranks.
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.