This year's CWS Finals includes an afternoon game

The College World Series schedule has been contracted just a bit starting this year. A lot of people already know that, but some may just be catching on.

In recent years, the first games would be on a Saturday, and the finals would begin nine days later and run Monday through Wednesday (if game 3 was needed.)

This year games begin on Friday, and the finals are scheduled for the following weekend (Saturday-Monday). Weather can affect the schedule, though, as it did in 2018 when our first game in the finals was rained out on Monday and wasn’t played until Tuesday.

One thing I didn’t notice about this year’s finals until this morning is that Game 2 (scheduled for Sunday, June 26) is an afternoon game (2 p.m.) I would assume that’s to avoid the conflict with the Sunday Night MLB Game, which ESPN also shows.

Just an interesting note. I don’t remember a finals game being played in the afternoon since it became a championship series in 2003. (Before that, the final was one game between the CWS bracket winners, and it was an afternoon game on CBS.)

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You sure? I thought it was a true double elimination to the end before 2003. So, if both were there with 3-0 records, the first to win 2 games won. If one team had lost one game and the other was 3-0, the team that lost one game could still win the world series with 2 straight victories.

I’m looking at the 2002 CWS bracket. Texas won its bracket by beating Rice and Stanford twice. South Carolina came out of the losers bracket to beat Clemson twice to win that bracket. Then Texass beat the Poultry in a one-game championship.

More to the point, in 2001 Stanford and Miami both went 3-0 in their brackets, and Miami won the title game. There was no second game.

Yes. This is from a Wikipedia article on the College World Series format, and it matches what I remember from those days. (Swine has obviously confirmed it as well.)

  • 1988–1998 – The format was changed beginning with the 1988 College World Series, when the tournament was divided into 2 four-team double-elimination brackets, with the survivors of each bracket playing in a single championship game. The single-game championship was designed for network television, with the final game on CBS on a Saturday afternoon.

There was no single-game championship back in 1979 when the Hogs made their first CWS appearance and played in the final. At that time, double-elimination existed all the way through the end. The Hogs were the last team without a loss, but they ended up losing to Cal State-Fullerton in the final game. (Augie Garrido was the Fullerton coach at the time and would go on later to coach at Texas.)

I remember watching that as a kid. KATV got the rights to show it locally. It was just before ESPN came along (I believe), and I’m not sure what if any national TV rights existed in those days.

I guess I must be thinking further back. I remembered that Cal St Fullerton had to beat us twice to win the World series. Was that before 1988?

Oops, I guess we were posting at the same time. Yeah, 1979 was well before 1988! Time goes by too fast at my age. I can’t believe it’s been 43 years!

Yes. As mentioned in my earlier post, that was in 1979.

Just to add a little more context, the change in 1999 involved expanding the field from 48 to 64 teams. They still had the one-game championship through 2002, but they instituted the four-game regional format we are more accustomed to. Before that, regionals involved six teams and were not named after host cities like they are now. They were more generic names like South III regional (or something like that). I’d have to go back and look at the media guide to see what the actual names of some of the regionals were that we played in back then.

That was 1979. There were not separate brackets then; everyone was in an eight-team lump, and it was a mess. We won our first three games. Instead of waiting for the survivor in the final, they required us to play Fullerton which had lost its opener to Moo U but had then won twice in the loser’s bracket. We lost. If we had won, we would have played Pepperdine in the championship game and they would have had to beat us twice. Instead, Fullerton stayed alive, beat Pepperdine in the loser’s bracket final, then beat us again in the title game. (We had beaten Pepperdine in the first game.) Fullerton had to play six games in seven days to win; a recycled pitcher beat us in the final game after Pepperdine had blasted him the night before.

But if you think that was a mess, regional tournaments at that time were even worse. Regionals were six teams. In the second game, one of the winners had to play one of the losers. We were in the Tallahassee regional in '79. Delaware won its first game then had to play Florida State, which had lost its first game. The Blue Hens eliminated the Noles, lost to us in the next game and lost to us again in the final.

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