Nothing like stacking the deck for the Big 12. Out of the eight teams headed to Oklahoma City for the 2011 NCAA Softball World Series, four are from the Big 12 with Missouri, Baylor, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all staking their claim on a final spot. That leaves only four open positions left, which were claimed by the SEC (Florida, Alabama) and Pac-10 (California, Arizona State) to split.
Still that doesn't mean the Big 12 will walk away with the World Series title, since the top ranked teams are actually not from the Big 12. Missouri is the top ranked team from the Big 12 at No. 5, but they face No. 4 Florida in the first round. Outside of that, No. 1 Arizona State faces No. 9 Oklahoma and that doesn't even include No. 2 Alabama, who faces California in the first round.
Double elimination is the name of the game in the bracket round until the final championship series, which becomes a best of three showdown. The Big 12 will automatically eliminate one opponent from the outset with No. 11 Baylor taking on Oklahoma State in Thursday afternoon's opener. Despite heavy competition, however, the Big 12 should still feel good about its chances to take the 2011 World Series.