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Weekend Baseball Rooting Guide

Baseball season is about to shift into high gear. The nationally-ranked Diamond Dogs have a huge week ahead of them. After losing to Georgia Tech in Atlanta earlier in the season, the Red and Black will host the Yellow Jackets on Wednesday before traveling to Nashville for a crucial three-game S.E.C. series with the second-place Commodores.

Here are the current conference standings:

Eastern Division:
  1. Georgia (17-6-1)
  2. Vanderbilt (14-9)
  3. Florida (13-11)
  4. South Carolina (13-11)
  5. Kentucky (11-13)
  6. Tennessee (11-13)

Western Division:
  1. Louisiana State (12-11-1)
  2. Alabama (12-12)
  3. Ole Miss (12-12)
  4. Arkansas (10-13)
  5. Auburn (10-14)
  6. Mississippi State (7-17)

While we're pulling for the Classic City Canines against the Music City Sailors, though, for whom else should Bulldog Nation be cheering? Here are the Georgia faithful's recommended baseball leanings for this edition of your weekend baseball rooting guide:

Kentucky at Tennessee: This series, like the details of Dr. Evil's life, is quite inconsequential. The Volunteers and the Wildcats are tied for last place in the East and both teams are six and a half games out of first place with six games to go. It is mathematically impossible for either team to overtake the Bulldogs in the standings. You are free to root as you wish, or to declare this the S.E.C. series of disinterest.

Auburn at Ole Miss: Likewise, this three-game set has no bearing on anything of importance for the Red and Black. However, I root against Auburn on general principle.

I hate Auburn.

South Carolina at Arkansas: The Gamecocks are not yet out of the Eastern Division race, so the choice is clear. Since the Razorbacks pose no threat to Georgia, we want the Hogs to sweep the Palmetto State Poultry.

Mississippi State at Louisiana State: With all due respect to the beleaguered Ron Polk, it is in Georgia's interests for the Fighting Tigers to win all three games against the Western Division Bulldogs. L.S.U. has a half-game lead over the Crimson Tide in their half of the conference, so we want the Bayou Bengals to run away with the division in order to remove Alabama's hopes of clinching the West against Georgia on the season's final weekend.

Sorry, Ron.

Florida at Alabama: Ingrained contempt for the Gators notwithstanding, this one is a little tricky. On the one hand, we want the Saurians removed from the equation as a factor in the Eastern Division race. On the other hand, it would be useful to the Diamond Dogs to have the Red Elephants demoralized and as far out of contention as possible heading into their campaign-concluding showdown with the Classic City Canines.

Accordingly, as much as it turns my stomach to root for Florida for any reason, we want the Orange and Blue to win exactly as many games in Tuscaloosa as the Red and Black win in Nashville. That does the maximum allowable damage to Alabama without enabling the Gators to gain any ground on Georgia. Since U.F. trails the Bulldogs by four and a half games, equivalent performances by Georgia and Florida this weekend would end any possibility of the Gators catching the Diamond Dogs on the last weekend of the spring.

Go 'Dawgs!