The College Baseball World Series pits the best NCAA baseball teams against each other. Teams face off in a grueling playoff format consisting of Regional and Super Regional tournaments before they even qualify for the CWS. Over the past 10 seasons, the winning teams have been quite diverse, but there are two teams that have each managed to win the championship twice over that timespan.
Looking back at the past CWS winners doesn’t exactly guarantee success in determining successful betting outcomes in future seasons, but there are a few trends worth picking out. For example, you can identify which programs have a winning culture and know how to get to college baseball’s biggest stage. Other lessons include not counting out the underdog, as some teams manage to slip through the cracks and defy all College Baseball odds to win the national championship.
Over the last 10 NCAA College World Series tournaments, the champions have been the following:
- 2010 - South Carolina
- 2011 - South Carolina
- 2012 - Arizona
- 2013 - UCLA
- 2014 - Vanderbilt
- 2015 - Virginia
- 2016 - Coastal Carolina
- 2017 - Florida
- 2018 - Oregon State
- 2019 - Vanderbilt
As you can see, South Carolina won back-to-back titles in 2010, which is a relative rarity. Then seven different schools won the CWS until Vanderbilt took the 2019 title. From this list, for the 2021 CWS, only Vanderbilt and Virginia made the Omaha 8. (Note: The 2020 CWS was canceled due to the coronavirus.)
This list shows that college baseball isn’t as predictable as other sporting categories. The way the tournament format is, there are more chances for favored teams to lose. The NCAA baseball postseason is reminiscent of College Basketball’s March Madness in that anything can happen. It creates a better experience for fans, but a frustrating one for bettors. On the other hand, it sets up some potentially lucrative wagers with underdog odds and payouts.
Tough Field Limit Chances Of More Titles
The list of past winners shows a diverse field of winners, but if you look at their opponents in the finals, you’ll notice what could have been some repeat champions. Of course, any school would love to claim the title of multiple titles over 10 seasons, but that wasn’t the case with this last batch of matchups.
- 2010 - South Carolina v. UCLA, South Carolina wins
- 2011 - South Carolina v. Florida, South Carolina wins
- 2012 - Arizona v. South Carolina, Arizona wins
- 2013 - UCLA v. Mississippi State, UCLA wins
- 2014 - Vanderbilt v. Virginia, Vanderbilt wins
- 2015 - Virginia v. Vanderbilt, Virginia wins
- 2016 - Coastal Carolina v. Arizona, Coastal Carolina wins
- 2017 - Florida v. LSU, Florida wins
- 2018 - Oregon State v. Arkansas, Oregon State wins
- 2019 - Vanderbilt v. Michigan, Vanderbilt wins
South Carolina’s Recipe To Success
South Carolina almost pulled off a three-peat as College Baseball national champions. They won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011. They made it all the way back to the College World Series in 2012 but lost to Arizona in 2 games. South Carolina was not just a good team in those seasons, but mainly for the better part of the decade in the early 2000s. USC posted a 468-201 record from 2000-2009. 179 of those victories were in the SEC. From 2000-2004, they were the winningest Division I program in the country. The Gamecocks had 5 Super Regional Championships, 3 CWS berths, 3 50+ win seasons, a combined 99-50 SEC record, 3 SEC Championships and 3 division titles.
In 2010, South Carolina made it to the College World Series. They lost their opening match to Oklahoma but then won 4 straight to make it to the Finals against UCLA. They won Game 1 7-1 and Game 2 2-1 to go on and win the National Championship. Centerfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. won the CWS Most Outstanding Player Award. They finished the season with a 54-16 overall record. In 2011, they were the #1 seed after the regular season. They again had a shaky early start, but Gamecocks were able to output solid pitching, defense and hitting to run through the College Baseball Regionals and Super Regionals to get to another College World Series. They saw off Texas A&M and Virginia to get to another final against SEC rivals Florida. They beat the Gators 2-1 after 11 innings in Game 1. They beat the Gators 5-2 in Game 2 to win a second-straight title. The Gators were the favorite to win, but USC refused to back down.
Against all odds, the Gamecocks made it back to the CWS Finals in 2012. It was a more difficult task this time around since they had a weaker team than in year’s past, at least on paper. They were seeded lower and considered the underdogs. After defeating Kent State and Arkansas, South Carolina was swept by Arizona in the Finals. No other team has come close to their dominance in the past few years. The Gamecocks are not what they once were, but they’ve shown they know how to win even with their backs against the wall. They are one of the most successful teams in NCAA baseball history.
Room To Grow
As you can discern from the list, you can tell when certain teams were dominant. For example, South Carolina almost had 3 straight titles, then they fell completely out of contention. Vanderbilt and Virginia got to play each other 2 straight years. Vanderbilt later made it back and won (2019), but Virginia hasn't returned to date.
Part of the allure of NCAA baseball is that any team can win at any point. In some cases, the dominant teams live up to expectations. Other times, an underdog rises through the ranks and surprises the field. This was the case for the 2018 winner, Oregon State. They were a #3 seed and their opponent, Arkansas, a #5 seed. At the end of the day, it comes down to which teams want it more. For up and coming teams, this recent trend gives hope that anyone can make it through.