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Baseball Power Rankings (Week 8)

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On March 8, TCU edged Vanderbilt 4-2 in a very enthralling game played at venerable Dodger Stadium on a sun-splashed Sunday. Since then, the two high-power programs have been running neck-and-neck on the rankings merry-go-round. Does that mean we'll be seeing these two after the second weekend in Omaha? Either way, if March taught us anything it's that the Horned Frogs and Commodores are probably going to stick around the top the rest of the season.

For now, it looks like UCLA, Arizona State, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M are trying to make a move as well. Stay tuned, because as you know college baseball is a game of streaks, both good and especially bad.

1. Vanderbilt (27-6)

Trending: Last ranked: 2

Of note: As they seem to be rounding into shape, don't expect the Commodores to fall outside of the top five again this year. Although it is still weird to see their team ERA way down at No. 32 nationally at 3.02, and they've walked more batters (169) than their opponents have issued (166).


2. TCU (24-6)

Trending: Last ranked: 2

Of note: Not a bad weekend for the Horned Frogs as they won 2-of-3 at Texas Tech, one of the tougher places to play in the country. Their No. 1-ranked team ERA of 1.97 and No. 6 fielding percentage of .980 ensure they are in every game.


3. UCLA (23-6)

Trending: Last ranked: 3

Of note: The Bruins lead the Pac-12 with a 10-2 mark. But things are about to get much more serious as they'll play at USC this coming weekend, followed by a home weekend against Cal. Of course, they are also immune to tough opponents by having played the 12th-toughest slate in the country. Typical Bruins.


4. Arizona State (21-8)

Trending: Last ranked: 5

Of note: Since they opened Pac-12 play with a 1-0 loss to Oregon State, the Devils have gone 11-2 including seven one-run or extra-inning wins. This weekend, they came up clutch at Utah with a pair of wins that went to extra frames, 5-3 in 12 innings and 6-5 in 10 innings.


5. Oklahoma State (22-9)

Trending: Last ranked: 7

Of note: I'm starting to wonder if sweeping Texas is an impressive feat anymore. But either way, the Cowboys looked good with a stout bullpen and a capable offense all weekend. Once the injuries heal, this team could become even more of a monster.


6. Texas A&M (30-2)

Trending: Last ranked: 10

Of note: The first team in the nation to reach the 30-win plateau. It's hard to find a better foursome of intimidating bats than Nick Banks (.431 avg, 3 HRs, 22 RBI), Mitchell Nau (.365-3-29), Logan Taylor (.360-6-27) and Ronnie Gideon (.355-6-26). In all, seven Ags hit .300-plus and they have blasted 36 home runs as a team.


7. Illinois (24-6-1)

Trending: Last ranked: 11

Of note: What, you're going to scoff at a Big Ten team now? Careful there, Hondo. The Illini could be the best of a surprisingly strong conference in 2015. What's their secret? it's got to be their knack of burying opponents early, as the Illini have outscored the opposition 83-25 in the first four innings of games.


8. LSU (27-5)

Trending: Last ranked: 8

Of note: Nice weekend sweep at Alabama, don't you think? This was LSU's first sweep in Tide country since 2001. Shortstop Alex Bregman is living up to his All-American billing, going 9-for-17 with three doubles, two triples and a home run in the four wins last week.


9. Miami (Fla.) (24-9)

Trending: Last ranked: 14

Of note: After a 10-6 start that included series losses to Florida and Louisville, the Hurricanes have been scorching since then, going 14-3. The running game has been particularly impressive as the fleet-afoot Canes have stolen 48 bases this season and only been thrown out eight times.


10. UC Santa Barbara (23-7)

Trending: Last ranked: 16

Of note: The Gauchos have won 10 of their last 11 games and will have a huge Big West series at Cal State Northridge this weekend. Their pitching staff ranks third in the nation with a 2.15 ERA, led by Friday ace Dillon Tate, who is 4-3 with a 1.34 ERA, after spending last season as the ace closer.


11. USC (25-6)

Trending: Last ranked: 19

Of note: Talk about abusing opposing pitchers. In their surprising three-game sweep at Arizona this past weekend the Trojan batting order smacked around the three starting Wildcat pitchers with 21 hits and 16 runs in their 10 combined innings. Now, rival UCLA comes calling this weekend. That should be fun.


12. Louisville (25-7)

Trending: Last ranked: NR

Of note: Wow. How about that sweep at Virginia? Three straight and none of them were close as UL outscored the Cavs 23-5. As this series showed, the Cardinals have one of the best bullpens in the country, led by Drew Harrington (3-1, 0.33 ERA, 4 saves) and triple-digit flinger Zach Burdi (1-0, 0.00, 3)


13. UCF (23-10)

Trending: Last ranked: 4

Of note: Do we give these guys a break or not? Maybe we can chalk it up to a case of spring fever or something, but somehow the Knights lost twice at last-place Cincinnati this past weekend. Coming into the series, the Bearcats had won just six games all season and were winless in American Athletic play.


14. Florida (24-9)

Trending: Last ranked: 6

Of note: The offense has gone south for the Gators of late, hitting just .198 in four games last week, including a loss to Florida State and losing 2-of-3 at Missouri. Things don't get much easier, either, as they'll face South Carolina, FSU and Mississippi State in their next 10 games.


15. Houston (21-11)

Trending: Last ranked: 9

Of note: Since the last Power Ranking two weeks ago, the Cougars have gone just 3-4, with all four losses coming to American opponents. It also didn't help that in those four losses the defense committed 12 errors along the way. Yikes.


16. Rice (22-12)

Trending: Last ranked: 18

Of note: The Owls picked up a huge weekend series win over Middle Tennessee State, taking two of three games. The biggest emerging news was seeing Jordan Stephens, who is coming off of Tommy John surgery last spring, throwing a solid six innings and giving up just two hits with eight strikeouts in Sunday's 10-0 win.


17. Missouri State (20-8)

Trending: Last ranked: NR

Of note: Perhaps no team has been more overlooked this season, either by the attention bestowed on fellow conference mate Dallas Baptist or in-state big brother Missouri. But this past week, the Bears shut out Arkansas on the road and then took down DBU twice and moved into the top 10 of the RPI.


18. Dallas Baptist (24-5)

Trending: Last ranked: 13

Of note: That was a really tough series loss at Mo. State, as the Patriots lost twice by one run each before winning Game 3 in extra innings. But you can't argue the quality of play as they lead the Missouri Valley in hitting (.297), pitching (2.77 ERA, 241 K's) and defense (.975 fielding percentage).


19. Florida State (25-8)

Trending: Last ranked: NR

Of note: Nice week for the Seminoles, downing Florida and taking two of three games on the road at NC State. The key to the Seminoles has been patience. They lead the nation -- by a wide margin -- with 227 walks, which leads to their ridiculous .419 on-base percentage.


20. Florida Atlantic (26-6)

Trending: Last ranked: NR

Of note: The Owls outscored Marshall 25-8 in three straight wins this past weekend. Brendon Sanger hit .522 along with six walks for a .667 on-base percentage. Sanger also leads Conference USA with 27 walks on the season. This will be a big week ahead for the Owls, facing local rivals Miami and FIU.


Dropped out: Texas, California, South Carolina, Georgia Tech

Five on deck: Maryland (22-7), California (21-9), Coastal Carolina (23-8), College of Charleston (21-7), Nebraska (23-10)

Eric Sorenson is creator and curator of CollegeBaseballToday.com and a regular contributor to D1Baseball.com.