What happens when the ant takes on the ox? Squish! Game, set and match. This is the same concept behind most competitive match-ups, especially at the collegiate level, and why the "Cinderella story" captivates all sports fans. We want the little guy with the big toes to at least have a chance to make the glass slipper fit. Sadly, more often than not, reality and strength-of-conference keep the little guy in check - Playing for heart and love of the game, instead. (Que the Rudy Theme Song, here!)
The NCAA playing fields and talent levels are not the same from conference to conference, and that's the way it is. Top talent will be recruited and coveted by the big schools and major conferences, and the top talent will follow suit. For example; The best running-back in the land, family members that he doesn't even know surrounding him, sits near the stands during a break from the All-American high school game, ready to make his decision. Rarely will you ever hear him say, " I have decided to go to Stony Brook and be a Sea Wolf!" The record would scratch, crickets would chirp, and grandma would say, "Where in the hell is Stony Brook and what is a Sea Wolf?" She has a point - Dog's, regardless of their athletic stature or fear they strike into girls with red hoods, can't be that effective in the strong seas of the NCAA. This is true, most of the time, but not entirely.
The game of collegiate baseball is on a separate level from other "core sports" in the NCAA handbook, and has proven competition is not different from conference to conference, small or large. It is true, a non-contact sport provides an easier path to the win column than a sport where height, weight and forty-times are pre-requisites, but, that is what makes the road to Omaha so appealing.
If LSU played Stony Brook in football, massive miracles aside, it would be catastrophic. What grass Les Miles didn't eat would be planted permanently on the backsides and face-masks of all Sea Wolves and their kin. Thank you for coming to Baton Rouge guys, here is the money we promised you - hope it helps build that woman's poker team. Go prop-9!
Now, put this match-up in the confines of the baseball diamond and see what happens, or is happening. Only the reality of the current rain can put a delay on this parade. LSU vs, Stony Brook has been the most intriguing series of the Super Regionals and has the baseball world buzzing, or howling, for the upset. The first two games are what makes college baseball so great; late inning heroics, timely hitting and defense, pitching from both teams, the emotions of the young men not hidden by a mask. The ant is stronger than you think, Mr. Ox. Stony Brook ranks in the top-25 in team batting average, and has a strong pitching staff that can keep hitters, like Ryhmes, off tilt.
Game-3 can go either way, and the Sea Wolves have proven, defiantly, that they are not a chew toy for the Tigers to play with on their way the World Series. Win or lose, NCAA Baseball does not exclude parody in the competition, like its' cousins. Any team can win it all, with one "ting" of the bat.
So, the next the top college prospect in the land, family members he doesn't even know surrounding him, makes his decision on ESPN, and he shouts, " I have decided to go to Stony Brook!" Grandma can say, " Ah, school up their in New York, good baseball school, go Sea Wolves!"