The School: East Alabama Male College. Also known as: Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, and Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Sooooo... Alabama A&M, I think?
Location: Auburn, Alabama. A place where athletic accomplishments are celebrated by covering trees in rolls of toilet paper. In other words, literally a town of idiot 16-year-olds. But this place has been dubbed “The Loveliest Village on the Plains,” which, okay, sure, the competition for that title is really stiff.
The Mascot: Officially, the Tigers. Unofficially, the War Eagles. Unofficially unofficially, former NBA player and Auburn alum Charles Barkley. No clue on whether Auburn will soon claim Pinman, Piece of String, and Donnie Tyndall’s Haircut as mascots.
Record: 38-26, 14-16 in the SEC. That’s right: a team that couldn’t manage a .500 record in the SEC is in the College World Series.
How’d they get here? Inexplicably got paired with another SEC team in the Atlanta Regional, which they won. Then they took two of three from North Carolina in the supers. Also this:
Best win: Honestly? It’s probably beating #3 National seed Georgia Tech twice to win the Atlanta Regional. Auburn fared poorly against the SEC’s best this season, Atlanta excluded.
Most embarrassing loss: A 4-3 loss to LSU in the SEC Tournament isn’t embarrassing on its face, but this is:
Most terrifying batter: Conor Davis with a .287/.348/.430 triple-slash line. “Terrifying” is relative here.
Best pitcher: Tanner Burns is the only pitcher who’s managed to stay in the weekend rotation all season so it’s him by default, though his 100/21 K/BB in 79 innings and 2.73 ERA are legitimately good.
Best name: Edouard Julien, because you really can’t go wrong with French names.
Worst name: That’s right, Tom Glavine named his son Peyton.
Best NCAA Tournament result: This is Auburn’s fifth trip to the College World Series and in each of the previous four, Auburn lost their first game — though they did rally to make the semifinals out of the loser’s bracket in 1967.
When would we have to face them? Possibly in the second game, should Auburn beat Mississippi State or we manage to lose to Louisville. Probably won’t if I had to take a guess, because this has the look of a team that will go two and out.
Should Vanderbilt be scared? Of a team that we went 4-0 against in the regular season and run-ruled in the SEC Tournament? No.