The Consensus Top 25 Teams in College Baseball

With a bevy of polls out there, here’s the consensus college baseball Top 25.

If there’s one thing you quickly become aware of when following college baseball, it’s the fact that there is a never-ending supply of Top 25 polls. Unlike its college basketball or football counterparts, baseball has six legitimate polls — just review the constantly updating Wikipedia page — instead of the one Associated Press Top 25.

This creates all types of confusion, as we dived into last season, but it’s not something that’s going away any time soon. An interesting exercise is to take the composite of each poll — giving 25 points to the first ranked, 24 to the second, and so on — and get a general sense of how the national landscape is shaping up.

College Baseball Hub has its own composite of eight(!) polls, but we’ll narrow our focus to the “core” five: D1 Baseball, Baseball America, ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, and Perfect Game.

As was the case in 2022, there’s a consensus No. 1: Wake Forest. Last year, that title belonged to LSU, the eventual national champions. Here’s the full Top 25, led by the Demon Deacons.

Rank Team USA BA PG NCBWA D1 Points
1 Wake Forest 1 1 1 1 1 125
2 LSU 2 2 3 2 4 117
3 Florida 3 4 4 3 2 114
4 Arkansas 4 3 2 4 3 114
5 TCU 5 6 5 6 5 103
6 Vanderbilt 6 7 6 7 6 98
7 Oregon State 7 5 9 8 7 94
8 Tennessee 8 8 11 5 9 89
9 Texas A&M 10 11 7 10 8 84
10 Virginia 11 10 10 11 14 74
11 Texas 13 13 8 9 16 71
12 Clemson 9 9 21 12 10 69
13 East Carolina 12 14 17 13 11 63
14 North Carolina 15 17 14 16 15 53
15 Duke 14 16 23 14 12 51
16 South Carolina 21 12 13 15 25 44
17 NC State 16 22 19 18 13 42
18 Stanford 23 15 12 17 37
19 Iowa 20 20 16 21 20 33
20 Coastal Carolina 19 19 25 19 18 30
21 Texas Tech 22 18 20 21 23
22 UC Santa Barbara 18 24 24 17 21
23 Alabama 17 23 19 19
24 UCLA 24 18 22 22 18
25 Auburn 23 15 25 15

Now, a consensus Top 25 is nice, but it’s interesting to see where these ranking outlets disagree. Which teams are some polls higher on than others? And vice versa?

RedditCFB puts out a weekly look at AP ballots during the football season, sorted by how similar each voter is to the overall poll — a lower score is more conventional, a higher score is a bigger outlier. It essentially measures the average number of ranks that one poll differs from the consensus.

That might seem like overkill for a five-poll sample size, but it’s a fun exercise. Here are the five polls, sorted by the average difference score (click to expand):

Perfect Game comes in as the most different from the consensus, which you’ll see below. For those fans looking to pick your poll based on who believes in your team more…consider this:

Perfect Game

Higher on: Auburn (+10), UCLA (+6), Kansas State (+6)
Lower on: Clemson (-9), Duke (-8), Coastal Carolina (-5)

Baseball America

Higher on: Oklahoma State (+5), South Carolina (+4)
Lower on: NC State (-5)

D1 Baseball

Higher on: UC Santa Barbara (+5), Alabama (+4), NC State (+4)
Lower on: South Carolina (-9), Texas (-5),

NCBWA

Higher on: Tennessee (+3)
Lower on: N/A (none farther than two spots below consensus)

USA Today

Higher on: Alabama (+6), Clemson (+3)
Lower on: Stanford (-5), South Carolina (-5)

Based on those numbers, it should come as no surprise that South Carolina was the team that divided opinion the most. The Gamecocks were as high as No. 12 in Baseball America’s rankings and as low as No. 25 in D1 Baseball’s. They settled at 16th in the aggregate rankings.

It’s useful to look at both outlets reasoning — BA sees the Gamecocks as having an explosive lineup and big upside on the mound, even with quite a few new faces. D1 Baseball, meanwhile, agrees on the lineup — but harbors their doubts on the mound.

Featured Image: Credit to Wake Forest, LSU, and Florida Athletics