Ole Miss Baseball: Grove Grinder, Stay off Mike Bianco’s back

Coach Mike Bianco and then No.1 Ole Miss baseball had a rough weekend as they faced off against the No.24 ranked UCF Knights.

Coach Mike Bianco and Ole Miss baseball (5-2) hosted No.24 UCF this past weekend at Swayze Field in Oxford. The Knights won the series and came within a Rebels’ 6-5 walk-off win of actually sweeping the No.1 team in the nation. The Knights picked up the 3-2 game one win and then secured the series win with a 7-2 victory in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader.

Before the dust had settled and UCF had even gotten on the bus to the airport there were disgruntled Ole Miss baseball fans on social media wanting to run Bianco down the road. First of all, coach Mike Bianco brought this team to the first No.1 ranking in program history. If you are one of these fans then you definitely need to read this as we explain the game of baseball.

It Is What It Is

The game of baseball is unlike any other sport there is. The game can swing on the same elements as any other sport but there are so many variables in the game. In football, a team can visualize an undefeated season. Even in basketball, an undefeated season is possible while improbable. In baseball, it is virtually unheard of. Anybody who knows the game of baseball never expected the Ole Miss Rebels to go undefeated this season.

Sure, this past weekend, the series against UCF was disappointing. However, in the game of baseball, it was not surprising to fans who know the game of baseball. The Knights were ranked No.24 in the nation for a reason. They have a solid young team and their pitching is very good. As the season goes forward they will rise in the national rankings.

Monday morning the new Baseball America rankings came out and the Rebels did fall four spots to No.5 in the nation. Ole Miss is another team who will get better as the season goes on and will rise in the rankings. There is an old baseball quote that says “It doesn’t matter how you start the season, it’s how you finish.” The Rebels will be okay going forward.

Stay Off Bianco

From a college baseball standpoint, there isn’t a better coach in the nation. No, we may not agree with his lineup or his gameplan at times but Mike Bianco is a great baseball coach. Bianco’s record speaks for itself. As a head coach, Mike Bianco has accumulated an 872-513-1 record which translates into a .630 winning percentage. Since head coach for the Rebels, Bianco has a 772-442-1 record which translates into a .636 winning percentage.

Since 2001, Mike Bianco has coached the Rebels to sixteen postseason appearances. Five of those sixteen appearances ended in the NCAA Super Regionals. One of those appearances was in the College World Series. Last season the Rebels finished an abbreviated season at 16-1 and earned Bianco National Coach of the Year honors by Collegiate Baseball.

When you look at the Rebels’ last 24 games, throughout the short 2020 season and now the 2021 Ole Miss baseball season, the Rebels are 21-3. Stay off of Mike Bianco’s back and let him do his job. If any Ole Miss baseball fan was a better baseball coach than a fan, then they would be the Ole Miss baseball coach. The last time anybody checked, Mike Bianco is the coach and will be until he decides differently.

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So there you have it. Some of you may not like what you just read and may not like the opinion I have. However, you really can’t deny the fact of the stats. If you know anything about baseball then you know everything mentioned above is correct. Coach Mike Bianco and the Rebels will be back in action Tuesday, March 2, when they host Memphis at Swayze Field. First pitch is set for 4:00 pm CT. Good luck to coach Bianco and the Rebels. As always, stay safe and Hotty Toddy!