As the 2013 College World Series winds to a close – a champion could be declared as soon as Tuesday night – we took the opportunity to look back on how Big 12 schools have fared in their quest for college baseball’s ultimate prize. Unlike football, in which the Big 12 has had a good run at the national championship since the conference was formed in 1996 - at least insofar to getting to the BCS Championship game – the Big 12 has has played well as a conference in baseball, but not well enough to make it all the way through the NCAA postseason playoff guantlet.
The Big 12 has made 27 appearances in the NCAA Super Regionals, the best two-out-of-three series that determines the eight-team field for the College World Series in Omaha. In fact, two conference teams have made it that far in three of the past six years, including two this season (Kansas State and Oklahoma). Only one conference school, however, Oklahoma in 2010, has advanced to the CWS in the past eight years.
With the exception of Texas, only two other schools in the Big 12 have been to the CWS as many as two times in the 17-year history of the conference, and those two schools (Nebraska and Texas A&M) are no longer members of the Big 12. Texas has made seven CWS appearances during the Big 12 era, winning it all in 2002 and 2005 and finishing as the runner-up in 2004 and 2009. Overall, the Longhorns’ record in CWS competition is 18-10 as a member of the Big 12.
This season marks the second year in a row that the Big 12 has not sent a team to the CWS. On Two occasions in the past two seasons, a Big 12 team has come within one victory of advancing to the CWS: Kansas State this season, losing in the deciding third game to Oregon State, and Baylor in 2012, falling the Arkansas on the Bears’ home field in Waco in a heartbreaking 1-0 Super Regional final.
As they say, “There’s always next year.”