Thursday, April 09, 2009

This weekend in Pac 10 play, starting tonight, will feature the natural geographic rivalries (note that UCLA and Washington are partnered, because USC and Washington St. don't have softball teams). These are the games, as I've copied and pasted from the Pac 10 website:

Apr. 9, 2009
CALIFORNIA at STANFORD 7 p.m. PT
(For those of you with extended cable or satellite TV packages, this game will be shown on CBS College Sports)

Apr. 10, 2009
ARIZONA vs. ARIZONA STATE 7 p.m. PT
CALIFORNIA vs. STANFORD 4 p.m. PT
OREGON vs. OREGON STATE 4 p.m. PT
UCLA vs. WASHINGTON 1 p.m. PT

Apr. 11, 2009
ARIZONA vs. ARIZONA STATE 7 p.m. PT
CALIFORNIA vs. STANFORD 1 p.m. PT
OREGON vs. OREGON STATE 1 p.m. PT
UCLA vs. WASHINGTON 1 p.m. PT

Not to slight the other major conferences, but the Pac 10 clearly seems to have the most quality depth, with exciting match-ups every weekend.

In the SEC, Florida has established itself as the class of the league at 18-1 in conference. The next fewest losses belong to Alabama, with four. A positive sign for the SEC is that Georgia is now in the top 10 in both major national polls.

The top of the Big 10 standings in conference play look like this:

Northwestern 9-1
Ohio State 7-1
Illinois 5-2
Michigan 4-2

What would appear to be the most important remaining games are not for a while, with Ohio State going on the road to face two major rivals, Northwestern (May 2-3) and Michigan (May 6, doubleheader). Illinois has not yet played Ohio State, Michigan, or Northwestern, so the Illini will probably fall in the standings. Illinois plays at Ohio State this weekend, so now is the chance for the Illini to prove me wrong.

Finally, the Big 12's leaders are as follows:

Texas 7-2
Missouri 6-2
Oklahoma 7-3
Baylor 6-3

Missouri and Oklahoma, respectively, are Nos. 10 and 11 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll, and Nos. 11 and 13 in the USA Today/NFCA poll. No other conference teams are near the top 10 nationally.