How the College World Series works: Format, history, how to win
The 2017 College World Series is over and, for the first time ever, the Florida Gators are national champions.
Florida emerged victorious with a championship sweep over LSU in an all-SEC final series.
The series started out with Florida gaining the upper hand in Game 1 on Monday night. The Gators built a 3-0 lead in the fourth and hung on from there, eventually winning 4-3 behind 12 strikeouts by Brady Singer and a two-inning save from Michael Byrne.
The great starting pitching Kevin O'Sullivan's team had all postseason long then carried over to Tuesday, when Tyler Dyson held the Tigers in check over six innings of one-run ball. Byrne then worked into and out of trouble in the seventh with a one-run lead before Jackson Kowar inherited runners on the corners and nobody out in the eighth and somehow managed to escape unscathed. That gave the Gators the momentum to finally break the game open, scoring four runs in the eighth on the way to a 6-1 championship-clinching victory.
So, with play now complete for 2017, what do you need to know about the road to the national championship that got the Gators to that point?
The eight teams were split into two brackets. Oregon State, Cal State Fullerton, LSU and Florida State made up Bracket 1, while Texas A&M, Louisville, TCU and Florida composed Bracket 2. The four teams played in double-elimination format. This creates a Winners' Bracket -- consisting of both winners of the bracket's first games -- and an Elimination Bracket. Once a team loses its first game, every game becomes an elimination game for them, as a second loss sends them home from Omaha.
The two teams that advance from Bracket 1 and Bracket 2 face off in the CWS Finals. Their slates are wiped clean, previous wins and losses no longer matter. It's a new best-of-three series, and the first team to two wins is the 2017 national champion.
THE ROAD TO OMAHA
The format has changed quite a bit since the inaugural College World Series in 1947. The current format was implemented in 2003 and has remained intact since. Sixty-four teams are selected for the field, where they are divided into 16 four-team Regional brackets. Those four teams play in a double-eliminaton tournament.
Sixteen winners eventually advance through those Regional tournaments, creating the Super Regionals. The Super Regionals are eight, best-of-three series, pitting two regions against each other. Once the first team gets to two wins in each Super Regional, eight teams remain.
The Omaha Eight.
So, what's left for a championship? Here's the breakdown.
|College World Series format||Times/Dates|
|Game 1: Oregon St. vs. CSU Fullerton Oregon State, 6-5||3:00 PM 6/17/17|
|Game 2: LSU vs. Florida State LSU, 5-4||8:00 PM 6/17/17|
|Game 5: Elimination Bracket: CSU Fullerton vs. FSU FSU, 6-4||
2:00 PM 6/19/17
|Game 6: Winners' Bracket: Oregon State vs. LSU Oregon State, 13-1||7:00 PM 6/19/17|
|Game 9: FSU vs. LSU LSU, 7-4||7:00 PM 6/21/17|
|Game 11: Oregon State vs. LSU LSU, 3-1||3:00 PM 6/23/17|
|Game 13: Oregon State vs. LSU LSU, 6-1||3:00 PM 6/24/17|
|Game 3: Louisville vs. Texas A&M Louisville, 8-4||2:00 PM 6/18/17|
|Game 4: Florida vs. TCU Florida, 3-0||7:00 PM 6/18/17|
|Game 7: Elimination Bracket: Texas A&M vs. TCU . TCU, 4-1||2:00 PM 6/20/17|
|Game 8: Winners' Bracket: Louisville vs. Florida Florida, 5-1||
7:00 PM 6/20/17
|Game 10: TCU vs. Louisville TCU, 4-3||8:00 PM 6/22/17|
|Game 12: Florida vs. TCU TCU, 9-2||8:00 PM 6/23/17|
|Game 14: Florida vs. TCU Florida, 3-0||8:00 PM 6/24/17|
|Game 1: Florida vs. LSU Florida, 4-3||7:00 PM 6/26/17|
|Game 2: Florida vs. LSU Florida, 6-1||8:00 PM 6/27/17|
Why would the two teams need an *if necessary game?
There are actually three possible outcomes for the second Saturday in Omaha.
- No games: Both brackets see two undefeated teams make it all the way through the Winners' Bracket unscathed.
- One game: Either Bracket 1 or Bracket 2 sees a team from the Elimination Bracket rise victorious. This will create a scenario in which both teams have one loss, needing a final game to decide double-elimination.
- Two games: Both Bracket 1 and Bracket 2 see the Elimination Bracket teams win on Friday, forcing two win-or-go-home matchups Saturday.
What happens if it rains?
Every game matters in Omaha. If it rains or in the event there is any weather considered unplayable before a game is played, it could be delayed or postponed to the next day. Tickets are still good for the game, whenever it is deemed suitable to play. In the case of weather causing unplayable conditions during a game in progress, it could be delayed for hours or even posptponed to the next day. There are no weather-shortened games in the CWS. Save that ticket, though. It's still good for re-entry for the specific game, whenever play is resumed.
The NCAA makes it easy to follow along, providing weather updates on the CWS News page.
Is re-entry allowed at TD Ameritrade Park Omaha?
If you have reserved or general admission, you are permitted to reenter the park for the specific game you are attending. Reserved admission can re-enter through any gate, but general admission works differently. General admission ticket holders can only enter between Gates 3 and 4, and must go to the end of the line. Re-entry is not guaranteed for general admission. Note: Ticketing is separate for each game of a doubleheader.
The College World Series began in 1947 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. California was the first national champion, defeating Yale in its first of two consecutive national runner-up seasons. After a quick stop in Wichita, Kansas in 1949, the World Series moved to Omaha, where it has remained for the past 67 years.
RELATED: 2017 CWS By the Numbers
CWS timeline of key moments
1947: The first CWS was not a double-elimination tournament. The eight teams were still split into two four-team brackets, however, there was no tomorrow for the losing teams.
MORE: CWS Facts and Figures
1950: The CWS finds its home at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. Texas is the first victor of the Omaha Era. Longhorns' hurler Jim Ehrler tosses the first CWS no-hitter and Texas becomes the first repeat champions, defending its 1949 title.
1960: Jim Wixson throws the second no-hitter in CWS history for Oklahoma State. It was also the most recent no-hitter.
1987: Oklahoma State reaches the CWS for the seventh consecutive season. The Cowboys began and ended the seven-year run with national runner-up finishes in the first and seventh year of the run. They were not able to take home a title in any of the seven years.
1998: Southern California wins its record 12th national title. The program also holds the record for most consecutive titles, winning five in a row between 1970 and 1974.
2010: South Carolina becomes the last CWS winner at Rosenblatt Stadium. The event would move across town, and Rosenblatt Stadium would be torn down to serve as a parking lot for the Henry Doorly Zoo. Omaha didn't get rid of it all, however. The Infield at the Zoo still remains in the new parking lot in honor of the CWS former home.
2011: TD Ameritrade Park Omaha becomes the new home of the CWS. South Carolina becomes the first repeat champion since Oregon State in 2006-07.
2012: The eight millionth fan watches Arizona end South Carolina's bid for a third straight championship.
2014: TCU’s Brandon Finnegan becomes the first pitcher to throw an inning in both the College World Series and Major League Baseball World Series in the same season, spending just three months in the minors before going the Kansas City Royals big-league club.
2015: Virginia and Vanderbilt square off in the finals for a second consecutive season, marking the first time since 2006-07 that the same teams met in two-straight CWS Finals. Oregon State defeated North Carolina both times, while Virginia and Vanderbilt split, each winning one national championship.
2016: Coastal Carolina shocks the world, becoming the first team since Minnesota in 1956 to win its first CWS appearance.
2017: The CWS sees its 1,000th game played, and in Game No. 1,011, Florida finished its sweep of LSU to win its first-ever national championship in its 11th apperance in Omaha.
Schools with 20 or more appearances:
|Arizona State, Florida State||22|
Most national championships:
|Arizona, Miami, Cal State Fullerton||4|
|South Carolina, Stanford, Michigan, Minnesota, Cal, Oregon State||2|
Most titles by conference:
|* The PCC-CIBA schools, precursors to the Pac-12, won six titles, while independents have won 5|