FAYETTEVILLE – No doubt most Razorbacks baseball boosters viewing Monday’s virtual Swatters Club meeting more outwardly celebrated Arkansas’ No. 1 ranking than did very businesslike Coach Dave Van Horn.
The 7-0 Razorbacks, No. 8 in Preseason, and No. 2 after the season’s first week sweeping Texas Tech, Texas and TCU at the State Farm College Baseball Showdown, ranked No. 1 in Monday’s D1 Baseball and Baseball America polls after sweeping a 4-game series from Southeast Missouri State last Thursday through Sunday at Baum Stadium while previous No. 1 Ole Miss was losing 2 of 3 to the University of Central Florida.
SEC members Ole Miss, and Florida, the consensus Preseason No. 1, so quickly losing their No. 1 status likely played a part in Van Horn downplaying No. 1 this early.
“If you’re ranked No. 1 there’s nowhere to go except backwards,” Van Horn said during his portion of the Swatters Club Zoom. “Ole Miss found that out and Florida found that out. You know hopefully we can stay up there for awhile. But I’m sure it’s going to move around. I just want us to continue to get better. Being able to handle being ranked that high is each individual’s own issue and they need to figure it out it does not matter right now.”
Well, he amended, it is a plus to be recognized.
“It’s great and I appreciate it,” Van Horn said. “It’s good for the program, it’s good for something to talk about, but at this time of year it’s kind of a pat on the back. We’re doing pretty well and let’s see if you can stay there and how long you can stay there. But, again, we appreciate it.”
Van Horn said he’s already had his poll discussion for the year.
“I mentioned something to them when we were ranked fourth and moved up in the poll,” Van Horn said. “But I won’t say a word to them about being ranked No. 1 in a couple of polls.”
The Razorbacks play as No. 1 for the first time this weekend hosting Murray State at 3 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday at Baum-Walker Stadium.
Saturday’s game was moved to an earlier 1 p.m. start to lessen the conflict with the Razorbacks’ men’s basketball team scheduled to play its final regular season game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Walton Arena against Texas A&M.