Every year I struggle to pick a team to cheer for during the CWS, because that is what we are supposed to do up here in Omaha. With the exception of 91(Creighton) and 01, 02 and 05 (Nebraska), we just don't have anybody local to cheer for. So we pick a team, buy the cheesy shirt and sit in the hot GA bleachers to cheer on some kids that are actually trying to win.
That being said, I have to admit something upfront. There is only one team that I have been a fan of for as long as I can remember. The Husker football team. There. It is out there, my prejudice is exposed for the world to see.
So I view the CWS entrants through my football-shaped red-hued glasses. Therefore; here are my rankings.
#1 TCU - The Horned Frogs. They are newbies, which is always thrilling, The crowd will be behind them. Not to mention, they knocked out the Evil Empire (Texas) to get here. Feel good story of the year. Easy pick for the top. Not sweating the FB team. Their mascot looks so cute and cuddly.
#2 ASU - The opposite of TCU- the Sun Devils are regular visitors to Omaha. Never-the-less, they are a likable bunch. Ex-coach Pat Murphy generated a lot of good will, with him gone, not sure who the "go-to"quote maker will be. Also, their FB team has done nothing to bother me lately. Like win. They may melt in the humidity.
#3 South Carolina - They used to make it up to Omaha all the time, but haven't been here in a few years. They are a big favorite of the teenage boy fan group due to their mascot. For some reason, they like the Gamecock... They are harmless, and their FB team is struggling, even with the old ball coach. They rose above the others, simply because I like seeing Spurrier lose.
After this it gets a little murkier. The splits are much smaller in the remaining placings, with some being nearly imperceptible. I have two separate groupings, with one more disliked than the other.
#4-#5 - Oklahoma and UCLA - I know I should cheer for OU since they are in the same conference, and their shortstop is named Bushyhead, but since the ties have been severed, (and with a VERY sharp knife!) I don't feel the loyalty. However, I will place them above UCLA on the basis of their stripy old school socks. UCLA drops down due to the baby blue color scheme. The FB coaches alone could have placed this category. Got to respect Stoops, a class act, and we beat OU this year. (YEA!!) UCLA is coached by the guitar-playing, sweatervest-wearing "Skippy Neuheisel. Not a fan. At all. Oklahoma? You mean the University of Texas - Norman, I feel sorry for the spineless. And does UCLA plan on playing in flip flops and boardshorts?
#6-#8 - Clemson, FSU and Florida - OK, I don't like any of these guys. Clemson beat NU for their first (and only) National Championship way back in 81. I have yet to forgive them. They seem to think they are way better than they really are. Florida State beat NU for their first NC back in 93. At least they beat Miami in the Super Regional so we only have to deal with 2 FL teams. Which leads me to Florida. Why do I hate them, you ask? We kicked them up and down the field for our last NC back in 97, but I still don't like them. And you can't make me.
Enjoy the series, pick a team and cheer hard!!! (or at least drink a few.)