NORMAN, Okla. -- For the first time since April 19, 2004, the Oklahoma baseball team (16-4 overall) was ranked in each of the four major polls in collegiate baseball.
For the third consecutive week, OU was ranked in the top 30 by both Collegiate Baseball magazine and the National Collegiate Baseball Writer’s (NCBWA) polls.
The Sooners were as high as No. 23 in the Collegiate Baseball poll released on March 6 and moved up two spots this week. OU is also No. 21 in the NCBWA poll (up five spots) and is ranked No. 24 in both the USA Today/ESPN and Baseball America polls as announced today.
The Collegiate Baseball and USA Today/ESPN polls are voted on by Division I coaches, while the remaining polls are decided on by national media.
“The coaching staff is extremely proud of the fact that we are ranked in each of the four major polls,” said OU head coach Sunny Golloway. “This is not only a great accomplishment for the student-athletes and all the hard work they put forth on and off the field, but its also something that our fans and the University of Oklahoma can be proud of.
“Now that we have made our mark, we will continue to work hard each and every week of the season in order to make this a common trend. There are certain things that we are trying to accomplish in order to get this program back to its elite status. One of those things is becoming a permanent fixture in the top 25 polls and the other goals include winning a Big 12 Championship and getting this team back to the College World Series in Omaha.”
During the 2004 season, OU was recognized in all four polls in back-to-back weeks (March 1-15) after defeating then-No. 13 Cal State Fullerton and then-No. 3 Georgia Tech. The Sooners completely fell out of the polls from March 22-29 but made its way back into the national spotlight on April 19 after taking two out of three games at then-No. 13 Texas A&M.
The 2006 Sooners are riding a season-high, seven-game winning streak and are off to one of the best starts in the program’s last 30 years. Since 1976, only the 1981 and 1985 Sooners (19-1) held a better mark after the first 20 games of the season. Additionally, the 1984 and 1998 teams also started off their respective seasons at 16-4.
The Sooners are 2-2 against ranked teams this season and they will face eight more teams ranked in this week’s polls (Arizona State, Baylor, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State, Rice, Wichita State and Nebraska) later on this season, combining for 20 of their final 36 regular season games.
OU’s recent success has been rewarded after it made its first appearance during the 2006 regular season in the national rankings on Feb. 27. Before then, the Sooners were not ranked but were receiving votes in at least one of the polls released in each of the three weeks that followed the preseason rankings. The Sooners were tabbed No. 29 and No. 28 in the preseason polls as released by Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA, respectively, and were receiving votes in the remaining polls.
Next up for the Sooners is a four-game stretch away from home, starting with a game at UT-Arlington on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. Following the mid-week contest, OU will head to Tempe, Ariz., to battle No. 11 (Collegiate Baseball) Arizona State in a three-game series over the weekend. The Sun Devils are coming off a 3-0 weekend that saw them defeat Texas A&M (CC), Rice and TCU. ASU will also play in a mid-week game before facing OU. The Sun Devils travel to Austin, Texas on Tuesday to battle the No. 16 Longhorns.