College World Series: The Long Road to Omaha

This past Saturday the 2014 College World Series (CWS) got underway in Omaha, Nebraska.  For almost sixty five years now the champion of the college baseball world has been determined in Omaha. A tradition that started back in 1950, the College World Series has been one of the most historic sporting events during the year. Hall of fame players from Mike Schmidt to Dave Winfield have participated in the College World Series over the past six decades.

This year another eight solid college baseball teams have battled their way to Omaha.  Even though only one will be crowned champion, let’s reflect on the already very impressive road that these eight baseball teams have traveled on to make it to where they are now.

  1. Make Your Conference Tournament: The first step towards qualifying for the CWS is making your conference tournament. Every division one baseball conference handles their respected conference tournament differently. For each individual conference there are different qualifications for making the tournament. There will also be a different amount of teams that qualify for each conference tournament, because each conference has a different number of teams with in it. If you do not qualify for your conference tournament it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be given an at large bid into the regionals and shot at the college world series.
  1. Win Conference Tournament or Receive at large bid: Once you have made your conference tournament, a team must win that tournament out right to get an automatic qualifying spot in the regionals. If your team competes well in the conference tournament, has had an outstanding season, and has beat the top teams in your region; then your team could receive an at large bid to the regionals.
  1. Win Regional Bracket: If your team wins their conference tournament or has received an at large bid then you will be placed in your respected regional bracket. At this point there are sixty four teams left competing for those eight spots in the college world series. Sixteen locations will be chosen to host the regionals. There will be four teams at each of the 16 locations, given a ranking 1 to 4; the top seeded team will get to be the host team. Throughout all 16 locations the four teams in each spot will play through a double elimination bracket. Out of those four teams, only one will advance to the super regional. Narrowing down the field to 16 teams.
  1. Advance to Super Regional: Once there are 16 teams left in the field of play, out of those teams left the top 8 teams will host a series at their home field. When the pairings are finally decided, teams play a best of three series to determine who goes to the college world series. Teams split the two games altering being the home team, if there is a third game needed a coin flip determines what team gets to be home.
  1. College World Series: 8 total teams advance to the college world series in Omaha. Here teams play a double loss elimination tournament, with a winners and losers bracket. When there are only two remaining teams standing, these finalist play in a best of three series to determine the champion.
For all 8 teams that have made it to this year’s College World Series, hats off to them. This year’s final 8 include:
  1. Texas Tech
  2. Texas
  3. Vanderbilt
  4. Louisville
  5. TCU
  6. UC Irvine
  7. Ole Miss
  8. Virginia
All of these teams have had a long and tough road to get to Omaha; yeah of course they want it all. But as baseball fans we should take a step back and appreciate how hard it is to get the College World Series, let alone win it all. For all the players and coaches at Omaha this week, congrats, all of the blood sweat and tears this season have turned out to be worthwhile.

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