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Horns Fall in Season Finale: Postseason Outlook

Texas baseball ended its regular season with a 3-0 loss to Texas A&M. Corey Knebel ended his season the way it began, giving up an uncharacteristic number of runs, and the Texas offense was meek all game (even by Texas' standards). All things considered, it's hard to complain about the season's conclusion considering the series victory had already been clinched.

The A&M series and regular season are now over and Texas looks forward to a relatively meaningless Big 12 tournament and a very meaningful NCAA tournament. It's pretty safe to say that if Texas fails to make an Omaha run it'll be because the offense fails them. Anybody that's paid any attention to this club can see that an early exit is almost certainly to have the flavor of a 2-1 season ending loss. That having been said, there is no reason to believe based on the regular season results that this Texas team cannot win a national championship. Consider the following four regular season records:





One of those teams lost in the super regional round, one made a national championship appearance, one won a title, and one is the 2011 Horns. The Horns finished 46-8 in 2010 but lost to TCU, 38-12-1 in 2009's national championship series loss, 43-12 in 2005's title year and are 40-13 today. Texas in 2005 and 2009 was not significantly qualitatively better in the regular season than in 2011.  This year's Texas team has series wins over Texas A&M and Oklahoma (#11 and #13 in last week's Baseball America poll), a nice series win over Stanford and only one series loss (a road loss to Oklahoma State). The only thing missing from this squad's resume is a series win over a top flight team, but it's difficult to hold that against Texas as Oklahoma was supposed to be that team. Hopefully the Horns can get that matchup against a top squad in Omaha.

Regardless, Texas enters the postseason all but assured of hosting a regional and in very, very good shape to host a super regional. The Horns were unfortunate a year ago to get a rising TCU club that very probably should have hosted a super, whereas in 2005 and 2009 Texas got to play teams (Ole Miss and TCU) that weren't quite ready to make it to Omaha. As the basketball team learned, a lot of what determines how far this team will go comes down to luck and seeding.

This club has the nation's best starting pitcher and the best set of arms in the entire country. It is more likely than not that they will be playing at either the Disch or (if fortunate enough) in Omaha the rest of the way. If that's the case, the 2011 Horns seem to have as good a chance as any to dogpile in a few weeks.

Time will tell.

The Big 12 tourney begins Wednesday at 9 AM (matchups will be determined later today).