DALLAS (NCBWA) The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association continues its tradition of NCAA Division I polls for the 25th year with its 2022 inaugural and weekly surveys, and Texas rates No. 1 in the preseason poll ahead of No. 2 Vanderbilt and No. 3 Mississippi State.
This is the fourth time the Longhorns have received the NCBWA's preseason nod for pre-campaign No. 1 (2003, '06 and '10) and now hold the organization's record with four acclamations prior to the start of the schedule.
Interestingly, MSU won its first NCAA team championship in any sport by downing Vandy 2-1 in games for the '21 baseball title in Omaha, Nebraska. The Commodores previously captured NCAA diamond championships in 2014 and 2019 after receiving preseason top choices by the NCBWA in 2015, 2019 and 2020.
The Bulldogs also were the 18th different team to finish No. 1 in the NCBWA survey since the writers' group first made selections in 1998.
Other previous No. 1 entries on the preseason NCBWA rankings have been LSU (1998, 01 and '09), Southern California (1999), Miami (Fla.) (2000), Stanford (2002), Rice (2004, 07), Cal State Fullerton (2005, 14), Arizona State (2008), North Carolina (2009), TCU (2011, ·17), Florida (2012, ·18, ·21), Arkansas (2013) and Vanderbilt (2015, 19, 20).
Returning teams besides MSU, Vandy and Texas from the 2021 NCAA College World Series again received high rankings in the pre-2022 Top 35 with Stanford at No. 5, Arizona at No. 10, NC State at No. 11, Tennessee at No. 16 and Virginia at No. 17. Arkansas was No. 1 in the 2021 NCBWA surveys for 12 weeks.
There are 12 conferences represented in the first 35-team survey with the Southeastern leading the way with eight squads among 301 schools competing in NCAA Division I. The Pac-12 Conference is next with five schools in the preseason poll. Last year there were 14 conferences with teams in the poll, and a record 19 conferences were represented in 2019 surveys.
A total of 83 schools (NCBWA poll record) received votes or are rated among the first Top 35 in 22, and 13 of the 14 SEC baseball teams (all except Missouri) were ranked or received notes.
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 Division I Players of the Week, the Stopper of the Year, and publication and writing contests.