Mizzou baseball predicted to finish in the middle of the Big 12 for 2012

By Kevin Donnellan

The Missouri Tigers baseball team was picked to finish fifth in the Big 12, according to the preseason coaches’ poll announced Tuesday. But recent trends show that a higher finishing position could be in the cards.

It has been four years since the Tigers failed to at least match their preseason poll ranking. Last year they were picked to finish 10th, but finished eighth while in 2009 a preseason predication of fifth preceded a third place finish.

Two seasons ago saw the Tigers match their preseason poll ranking of eight in the regular season. 2008 was the last occasion Missouri failed to at least match their predicted ranking when finishing fourth after being picked to take the second spot.

The Tigers’ season begins this weekend in Alabama against Auburn. Missouri’s first home games begin on Friday, Mar. 2, with the visit of Ball State.

The first Big 12 games of the season begin on March 23, as Oklahoma State comes to town. Oklahoma State was picked sixth in the preseason poll despite a fourth place finish last year.

A rematch of last year’s championship game against Texas A&M will provide the Tigers’ second Big 12 outing. Texas A&M were the overwhelming first place choice in the preseason poll, with all eight of their opponents picking them for the top spot. The remaining first place vote, from Texas A&M coach Rob Childress, went to Texas, which was picked second overall. (Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.)

While Texas teams took the top two spots in the poll, Kansas teams took the bottom positions. Kansas State was ranked eighth and Kansas is rated ninth.

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