by Carl James • @jovian34 • May 3
It’s May, folks, and the college baseball season is only getting more interesting. Hoosiers mostly need to be focused on winning a marquee series in Champaign this weekend, but there are other series out there worth a look, and I will give my top 5.
Michigan Wolverines (31-11, 11-3 B1G) at Maryland Terrapins (23-22, 8-7 B1G)
Preferred Hoosier outcome: Maryland Sweep
Carl’s Predicted Outcome: 2-1 Michigan
Friday’s tend to be very difficult for IU. Maryland’s Hunter Parsons had made Friday virtually impossible for all of the Terrapin’s B1G foes. Can he also take down the B1G leader? And then can the Terps perhaps even steal another to win the series?
Nebraska Cornhuskers (23-16, 12-6 B1G) at Northwestern Wildcats (18-22, 6-9 B1G)
Preferred Hoosier outcome: Northwestern sweep
Carl’s Predicted Outcome: Nebraska sweep
The Cornhuskers are in a great position to advance to the lead of the league while Michigan and Indiana face tougher competition. Northwestern has struggled of late. Will this be the weekend the Wildcats turn things around and give Nebraska at least one more loss?
#25 UC Irvine (28-11, 10-5 Big West) at Iowa (27-16, 11-7 B1G)
Preferred Hoosier outcome: Iowa sweep
Carl’s Predicted Outcome: 2-1 Iowa
The Iowa Hawkeyes have climbed to #60 in the RPI since getting swept by Indiana in the opening weekend of league play. It would benefit the Hoosiers if Iowa could climb into the RPI top-50 and add three wins to the top-50 metric on the Hoosier resume. As this non-conference series doesn’t impact the standings, the Hoosiers are 100% behind the Hawkeyes this weekend.
#24 Missouri (31-15-1, 10-10-1 SEC) at Tennessee (31-14, 9-12 SEC)
Preferred Hoosier outcome: It’s complicated
Carl’s Predicted Outcome: 2-1 Tennessee
In most years this series would be meaningless and ignored in the SEC. Now it has multiple implications for the national picture and specifically for the Indiana Hoosiers. Tennessee is #9 in the RPI. If (and this is a big IF), Indiana finishes with an RPI rank in the low 20’s and wins the B1G regular season title, they will need for a couple of top-16 RPI teams to have a sting on their resume in order to be “bumped” from hosting. Tennessee could be one of those teams. Their 9-12 SEC mark puts them at risk. The Volunteers really want a sweep and play very well at home, but Missouri is also playing for its post-season life. Oh and the Hoosiers played a series at Tennessee in February so there is some RPI impact for the Hoosiers as well.
Evansville (21-19, 8-4 Missouri Valley) at Southern Illinois (19-22, 1-11 Missouri Valley)
Preferred Hoosier outcome: Evansville sweep
Carl’s Predicted Outcome: Evansville sweep
Indiana currently is 6-4 vs the RPI top-50, but 4-0 of that is against RPI #49 Evansville. The odds of this holding up to Selection Monday are slim. If it were to hold up, Evansville likely would need to win out. A sweep against Southern Illinois is a must.