After sweeping Missouri last weekend in every concievable fashion (pitching & defense: 5-2, clutch 9th inning rally: 6-4, 5 home run gorilla ball display: 20-11), the Horns finish the year with an incredible 24-3 record in conference, which sets the league win record on the 27 game schedule. They're also on a 28-1 tear since dropping a game to Oral Roberts in late March.
Consequently, the final conference standings look a bit like Alydar taking on rented mules:
Texas 24-3 .889 46-8 .852
Oklahoma 15-10 .600 42-14 .750
Kansas State 14-12 .538 35-18 .660
Texas A&M 14-12-1 .537 36-19-1 .652
Texas Tech 13-14 .481 27-27 .500
Baylor 12-13 .480 31-21 .596
Kansas 11-15-1 .426 31-24-1 .562
Missouri 10-16 .385 27-25 .519
Nebraska 10-17 .370 27-27 .500
Oklahoma State 8-19 .296 29-26 .527
It's worth noting that this team has already set the Longhorn single-season home run record. Belting 71 homers in 54 games is impressive enough, but when one considers that the majority of our games are played in an unfriendly power park and that our power is diffused throughout the lineup rather than concentrated in one or two guys that can be pitched around, this bodes well for the friendly confines of Omaha.
The slate is also set for the Big 12 basebal tournament and though it probably means absolutely nothing to us in the big picture, Augie Garrido is a guy that will try to win a stickball tournament if the opportunity presents itself.
There is a scene in the documentary Inning By Inning: Portrait of A Coach, where Garrido laces into an underachieving team that loses a relatively meaningless series in California with a profanity laced tirade wherein he makes the point that when a team beats Texas, that's something the opposing players will brag about for the rest of their lives, that they now, in some way, own you. Forever. If you're not prepared to take on that burden, the target on your chest, you have no place at Texas. So get the fuck out. Aside from the fact that I felt like running through a wall at the talk's conclusion, I recall thinking that I'm not sure there's a coach on campus who better gets what it means to coach here - or at least understood it on the first day on the job.
As for the tournament, it's a round robin where we open with Missouri Wednesday, it's Tech Thursday, the Aggies Saturday. Best pool play record plays for the conference tournament title on Sunday. Because of the nature of the pool play, and the Longhorn's status as the 600 pound gorilla, I wouldn't be surprised to see the teams in our pool slate their best starter for us, knowing that knocking off Texas is the best way to guarantee their own advancement.
This team has a feeling of destiny about it and in baseball, that's an incredibly dangerous thing, because the sport's shoals are covered with the shipwrecks and detritus of The Best Team That Year. Cruel sport. Let's hope we can keep making it cruel for the teams playing us.