Should be bigger than it is Leave a Comment / Baseball / By ilyes The announcement of the NFL’s preseason schedule — dates, times, oh my! — is even more pointless. Fake games are fake games, no matter when they occur or where they are played. What deserves your increased attention? What should be heavily featured within ESPN’s morning TV rotation, instead of OTA coverage, more OTA breaking news and even more fluffy NFL hype three months away from the start of the regular season? The most underrated sport in America: College baseball. Add in the fact that No. 5 Texas A&M is hosting an upcoming Super Regional and No. 9 Texas is facing East Carolina in another, and early June on the sports calendar should be dominated by two items: The NBA Finals and some of the most exciting, well-played baseball that you can watch all year. Texas is also in the Women’s College World Series finals, after rallying for a thrilling 6-5 victory over Oklahoma State on Monday. College softball also deserves more national eyeballs. There are 100 reasons why college baseball isn’t bigger. But none of them feel like a satisfactory explanation when the Regionals roll around, the College World Series looms and college baseball’s version of March Madness returns. Passion. Power. Pitching. Crazy beginnings and crazier endings, with buzzing fans in the stands intently following it all. College baseball plays well and looks sharp on social media. The sport is also more action packed than the pro game. And fun — college baseball is way more fun than sleepy MLB. So why, during an era when international soccer and Formula One racing are increasing must-sees in America, doesn’t college baseball drive the national conversation for at least a few weeks during the summer? MLB, wonderfully, is an international game. Which means that the best young talent in the sport is entering the highest level of baseball from all over the globe — not just the Super Regionals. Thanks to the strongest and most systematic pipeline in pro sports, you’re also not bouncing directly from Omaha, Neb., to one of 30 MLB teams. It takes years for the best talent to crack The Show. The rest constantly bounce all over the country, playing in barely filled ballparks, just for the honor of reaching Class AAA. For college basketball, the NBA lights and instant fame are only one big leap away. The same for all-consuming college football, which has a direct link to the almighty NFL. You religiously follow a player and team in college. You follow the same player as soon as he enters the NFL, always linking him with his college team. But I mostly blame the media wheel. When’s the last time that you saw anyone on ESPN (or the other lesser national channels) intricately breaking down or screaming about a college baseball matchup? Never. Talk radio mostly follows the TV scripts. Low-hanging fruit is the easiest to reach. And the easiest thing for anyone to “expertly” yell about is the NFL’s daily drama show. Or whether the Los Angeles Lakers should keep Russell Westbrook, now that Darvin Ham is LeBron James’ latest head coach. What I’m annually reminded of while watching the peak of the college baseball season: Baseball can still be the best sport in the world. And the college game often represents baseball at its modern best.