With College of Charleston set to join the Colonial Athletic Association in 2013-14, Citadel baseball coach Fred Jordan said the Southern Conference will play with 10 teams in 2014, with all 10 teams making the SoCon Tournament.
The SoCon — which ranks No. 2 in the nation in RPI at warrennolan.com after the opening weekend — currently has 11 baseball-playing members. That number will drop to 10 next year as CofC joins the CAA (which currently ranks No. 20 in conference RPI).
“We’re still going to be a very strong league,” Jordan said. “Word on the street is that we will hold pat for right now with 10 teams. A 10-team league makes it easy to schedule — you’ve got nine weekends, everyone plays each other, and there are no off-weeks late in the season that make it harder to schedule.”
Jordan said the 2014 tournament — at Riley Park — will be a 10-team tournament patterned on last year’s 10-team SEC tournament. That bracket is here. It amounts to two five-team tournaments over a six-day span, with the winners meeting in a single-game championship game.
As for the Cougars, Jordan said he’s sorry to see them go. The rivals will continue to play, but obviously not in three-game weekend series or in the SoCon tourney matchups that packed Riley Park.
“It’s disappointing,” Jordan said of the departure of the Cougars, who tied for first place in the SoCon last year and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. “They are leaving the sixth or seventh-best league in the country for a one-bid league, so it’s tough. We will continue to play them in some manner. We might try to figure out a tournament with them involved.”