The TCU Horned Frogs were recently voted No. 3 in Baseball America's 2011 Preseason Top 25 rankings. In 2010, the Horned Frogs finished 54-14 and No. 3 in the nation (they fell to the UCLA Bruins in the College World Series' semi-final round). Collegiate Baseball ranked them No. 1 in their preseason poll back in December.
The Horned Frogs return one of the nation's strongest rotations, led by sophomore lefty Matt Purke. Purke was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the first round of 2009's draft, but he eventually decided to head to TCU. In his freshman season, he went 16-0 with a 3.02 ERA in 116 innings pitched and 142 strikeouts. His 94-mph fastball and a good slider will make him a high draft pick this June (Baseball America already ranks him the No. 3 college player entering the season).
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Winkler and Steven Maxwell join him in the weekend rotation.
The Florida Gators and the UCLA Bruins came in first and second, respectively. The defending champion South Carolina Gamecocks came in at No. 7.
No other Mountain West team finished in the top 25. The Air Force Falcons (13-42 in 2010) begin their season on Feb. 18, 2011 against Missouri State in San Marcos, Texas. The Horned Frogs host Kansas on Feb. 18 to start their season. The two teams will place a three-game series April 1-3. Last season the Falcons went 2-4 against the Horned Frogs.