When the Oregon State Beavers defeated the Arkansas Razorbacks in the 2018 College World Series championship series, it was yet another season that ended with an SEC team in the hunt right down to the final at bat. 

Looking back over the past ten seasons, it’s fair to make the assumption that the SEC is the power conference of College World Series lore. Looking at a small sample size, since 2009, five SEC schools have won the national championship — LSU in 2009, South Carolina twice in 2010 and 2011, Vanderbilt in 2014, and Florida in 2017 — while six more have finished as the national runners-up. In fact, there have been two all-SEC showdowns in the College World Series finals over that span, with South Carolina taking down Florida in 2011 and Florida defeating LSU two years ago.

CWS HISTORY: Coaches with most wins | Most titles | Most appearances

While the SEC has dominated recent CWS history, that’s not always how it’s been in Omaha. With many a national champion hailing from the West Coast, let’s look back at the 72 years of College World Series history and take a look at the conferences most represented in Omaha.

(*using current conference membership only via the official NCAA CWS record books)  

101 — Pac-12

Oregon State wins the College World Series

This probably isn’t too much of a surprise if you follow the history of college baseball closely. Four of the current members of the Pac-12 — Southern California, Arizona State, Arizona, and Stanford — are in the top six in wins in College World Series history.

Those four schools have combined for 23 championships alone, while Oregon State, California, and UCLA have all won at least one as well. The Beavers added six more wins to the conference’s legacy last season, and the 267 combined victories are second to none by a large margin. No other conference has more than 180 wins or 20 national titles, putting the Pac-12 in a league of its own.

ALL-TIME NINES, WILD WEST: Arizona StateCal State Fullerton | Long Beach State | ArizonaStanford | USC | UCLA

99 — SEC

NCAA Photos
Florida won the 2017 College World Series.

The SEC has taken over Omaha the past few decades. Wrap your head around this. Since 1990, the SEC has sent three or more teams to the College World Series nine times. A conference has sent four teams to the CWS just four times in its history, and the SEC has accounted for three of them, most recently in 2015 when the Razorbacks, Gators, Tigers, and Commodores headed to Omaha. Current members have accounted for 12 titles (the SEC can claim 11 total using actual conference membership at the time of the championship), with LSU’s six leading the way. With the Razorbacks runner-up finish in 2018, it gave the SEC 18 in total, the most in CWS history.

ALL-TIME NINES, SEC: LSU | South Carolina | Vanderbilt | Mississippi State | Florida

94 — ACC

NCAA Photos
Virginia was the last ACC team to win the College World Series.

The ACC was the other conference to be represented in the College World Series by four teams. It pulled it off in 2006 when Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami, and North Carolina made it to Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. Miami and Florida State are both in the top 5 in history in appearances at the College World Series with 25 and 22 respectively — with a Miami vs. Florida State showdown in the 1999 College World Series finals — while current members of the ACC have accounted for six titles. Perhaps not shockingly, the ACC’s 147 wins are also third-most.

ALL-TIME NINES, ACC: Miami | Florida State | Georgia Tech | Clemson | North Carolina | Virginia

78 — Big 12

Texas is the name to know here, as its 35 appearances in Omaha (the Longhorns also had another in Wichita, Kansas before the CWS moved to Rosenblatt Stadium) are the most in College World Series history. Though Texas has won six titles, only two have come as members of the official Big 12, the only two championships the current conference can boast with members active at the time of victory. Oklahoma State joins Texas as one of just six schools to make 20 or more appearances in the College World Series, so the Big 12’s high total shouldn’t be too surprising.

MORE ALL-TIME NINES: Michigan StateOklahoma State | Texas | Rice

28 — Big Ten

It’s quite the drop to the conference that has made the fifth-most appearances in CWS history. Out of those 28 appearances, however, the Big Ten has won six national titles with Minnesota (three) and Michigan (two) leading the way, which is tied for the third-most all-time using actual conference membership per season. Nine Big Ten teams have combined for 54 wins all-time in Omaha. 

26 — Big West

The Big West has sent five teams to the College World Series, racking up 47 wins during their time in Omaha. Legendary head coach Augie Garrido made Cal State Fullerton, winners of four national championships, the cream of the crop here, but this conference is loaded with national title winners, in a manner of speaking. UC Irvine, UC Riverside, and CSUN all won two titles apiece in NCAA Division II baseball before jumping to DI.

16 — American Athletic Conference

While the AAC is still young as a conference, four of its current programs have reached the college baseball mecca. Wichita State is the only active member to ever reach the top of the baseball world, winning its lone national championship in the 1989 CWS finals over Texas. The Shockers won their title as members of the MVC, so the AAC is still searching for its first official College World Series national championship in college baseball.

Best of the rest:

Both the Big East and Western Athletic Conference have made it to Omaha 11 times. While the Big East has racked up 10 wins and the WAC 5, neither has claimed a national championship amongst its current members. The Missouri Valley has sent four teams for a total of nine appearances in its CWS history. The America East, Ivy, Conference USA, and Patriot have all made eight appearances, but are all still searching for their first national championship.

Gone, but not forgotten:

Nine schools that no longer have baseball programs combined to make 12 appearances in Omaha while six schools that are no longer DI made eight.

It is important to mention that some of the 72 college baseball national championship seasons belong to conferences that no longer exist. The California Intercollegiate Baseball Association — the original home of college baseball powers like USC, California, and Stanford — led the way, winning six titles while it was active, with both the Big Eight — the original home to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State — and Southwest — where Texas became a College World Series regular — grabbing four apiece. The Southern California Baseball Association was a baseball-only conference where Cal State Fullerton won its 1979 and 1984 titles. Five independent schools won titles in Omaha.

Here’s a complete list of college baseball national champions:

2018 Oregon State (55-12-1) Pat Casey 5-0 Arkansas Omaha, Neb.
2017 Florida (52-19) Kevin O’Sullivan 6-1 LSU Omaha, Neb.
2016 Coastal Carolina (55-18) Gary Gilmore 4-3 Arizona Omaha, Neb.
2015 Virginia (44-24) Brian O’Connor 4-2 Vanderbilt Omaha, Neb.
2014 Vanderbilt (51-21) Tim Corbin 3-2 Virginia Omaha, Neb.
2013 * UCLA (49-17) John Savage 8-0 Mississippi State Omaha, Neb.
2012 * Arizona (48-17) Andy Lopez 4-1 South Carolina Omaha, Neb.
2011 * South Carolina (55-14) Ray Tanner 5-2 Florida Omaha, Neb.
2010 South Carolina (54-16) Ray Tanner 2-1 (11 inn.) UCLA Omaha, Neb.
2009 LSU (56-17) Paul Mainieri 11-4 Texas Omaha, Neb.
2008 Fresno State (47-31) Mike Batesole 6-1 Georgia Omaha, Neb.
2007 * Oregon State (49-18) Pat Casey 9-3 North Carolina Omaha, Neb.
2006 Oregon State (50-16) Pat Casey 3-2 North Carolina Omaha, Neb.
2005 * Texas (56-16) Augie Garrido 6-2 Florida Omaha, Neb.
2004 Cal St. Fullerton (47-22) George Horton 3-2 Texas Omaha, Neb.
2003 Rice (58-12) Wayne Graham 14-2 Stanford Omaha, Neb.
2002 * Texas (57-15) Augie Garrido 12-6 South Carolina Omaha, Neb.
2001 * Miami (Fla.) (53-12) Jim Morris 12-1 Stanford Omaha, Neb.
2000 * LSU (52-17) Skip Bertman 6-5 Stanford Omaha, Neb.
1999 * Miami (Fla.) (50-13) Jim Morris 6-5 Florida State Omaha, Neb.
1998 Southern California (49-17) Mike Gillespie 21-14 Arizona State Omaha, Neb.
1997 * LSU (57-13) Skip Bertman 13-6 Alabama Omaha, Neb.
1996 * LSU (52-15) Skip Bertman 9-8 Miami (Fla.) Omaha, Neb.
1995 * Cal St. Fullerton (57-9) Augie Garrido 11-5 Southern California Omaha, Neb.
1994 * Oklahoma (50-17) Larry Cochell 13-5 Georgia Tech Omaha, Neb.
1993 LSU (53-17-1) Skip Bertman 8-0 Wichita State Omaha, Neb.
1992 * Pepperdine (48-11-1) Andy Lopez 3-2 Cal St. Fullerton Omaha, Neb.
1991 * LSU (55-18) Skip Bertman 6-3 Wichita State Omaha, Neb.
1990 Georgia (52-19) Steve Webber 2-1 Oklahoma State Omaha, Neb.
1989 Wichita State (68-16) Gene Stephenson 5-3 Texas Omaha, Neb.
1988 Stanford (46-23) Mark Marquess 9-4 Arizona State Omaha, Neb.
1987 Stanford (53-17) Mark Marquess 9-5 Oklahoma State Omaha, Neb.
1986 Arizona (49-19) Jerry Kindall 10-2 Florida State Omaha, Neb.
1985 Miami (Fla.) (64-16) Ron Fraser 10-6 Texas Omaha, Neb.
1984 Cal St. Fullerton (66-20) Augie Garrido 3-1 Texas Omaha, Neb.
1983 * Texas (66-14) Cliff Gustafson 4-3 Alabama Omaha, Neb.
1982 * Miami (Fla.) (55-17-1) Ron Fraser 9-3 Wichita State Omaha, Neb.
1981 Arizona State (55-13) Jim Brock 7-4 Oklahoma State Omaha, Neb.
1980 Arizona (45-21-1) Jerry Kindall 5-3 Hawaii Omaha, Neb.
1979 Cal St. Fullerton (60-14-1) Augie Garrido 2-1 Arkansas Omaha, Neb.
1978 * Southern California (54-9) Rod Dedeaux 10-3 Arizona State Omaha, Neb.
1977 Arizona State (57-12) Jim Brock 2-1 South Carolina Omaha, Neb.
1976 Arizona (56-17) Jerry Kindall 7-1 Eastern Michigan Omaha, Neb.
1975 Texas (59-6) Cliff Gustafson 5-1 South Carolina Omaha, Neb.
1974 Southern California (50-20) Rod Dedeaux 7-3 Miami (Fla.) Omaha, Neb.
1973 * Southern California (51-11) Rod Dedeaux 4-3 Arizona State Omaha, Neb.
1972 Southern California (47-13-1) Rod Dedeaux 1-0 Arizona State Omaha, Neb.
1971 Southern California (46-11) Rod Dedeaux 5-2 Southern Illinois Omaha, Neb.
1970 Southern California (45-13) Rod Dedeaux 2-1 (15 inn.) Florida State Omaha, Neb.
1969 Arizona State (56-11) Bobby Winkles 10-1 Tulsa Omaha, Neb.
1968 * Southern California (43-12-1) Rod Dedeaux 4-3 Southern Illinois Omaha, Neb.
1967 Arizona State (53-12) Bobby Winkles 11-0 Houston Omaha, Neb.
1966 Ohio State (27-6-1) Marty Karow 8-2 Oklahoma State Omaha, Neb.
1965 Arizona State (54-8) Bobby Winkles 2-0 Ohio State Omaha, Neb.
1964 Minnesota (31-12) Dick Siebert 5-1 Missouri Omaha, Neb.
1963 Southern California (35-10) Rod Dedeaux 5-2 Arizona Omaha, Neb.
1962 Michigan (34-15) Don Lund 5-4 (15 inn.) Santa Clara Omaha, Neb.
1961 * Southern California (36-7) Rod Dedeaux 1-0 Oklahoma State Omaha, Neb.
1960 Minnesota (34-7-1) Dick Siebert 2-1 (10 inn.) Southern California Omaha, Neb.
1959 Oklahoma State (27-5) Toby Greene 5-0 Arizona Omaha, Neb.
1958 Southern California (29-3) Rod Dedeaux 8-7 (12 inn.) Missouri Omaha, Neb.
1957 * California (35-10) George Wolfman 1-0 Penn State Omaha, Neb.
1956 Minnesota (37-9) Dick Siebert 12-1 Arizona Omaha, Neb.
1955 Wake Forest (29-7) Taylor Sanford 7-6 Western Michigan Omaha, Neb.
1954 Missouri (22-4) John “Hi” Simmons 4-1 Rollins Omaha, Neb.
1953 Michigan (21-9) Ray Fisher 7-5 Texas Omaha, Neb.
1952 Holy Cross (21-3) Jack Barry 8-4 Missouri Omaha, Neb.
1951 * Oklahoma (19-9) Jack Baer 3-2 Tennessee Omaha, Neb.
1950 Texas (27-6) Bibb Falk 3-0 Washington State Omaha, Neb.
1949 * Texas (23-7) Bibb Falk 10-3 Wake Forest Wichita, Kan.
1948 Southern California (26-4) Sam Barry 9-2 Yale Kalamazoo, Mich.
1947 * California (31-10) Clint Evans 8-7 Yale Kalamazoo, Mich.

*Indicates undefeated teams in College World Series play.

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