Louisiana is a football state. There is no denying that fact. However, college baseball runs a close second when the weather gets warm and the spring flowers start blooming.

Now that there is only one real college football game of interest left in the state it's time to start looking away from the gridiron and  toward the diamond. If you believe the folks at Collegiate Baseball then there is a lot to look at this season in the Bayou State.

Three of our major college baseball programs have been ranked in the national top 20 by Collegiate Baseball. The Ragin Cajuns of the University of  Louisiana are ranked 6th. They are followed by the LSU Tigers who are ranked 7th. The Tulane Green Wave baseball team is ranked 19th. So that's a pretty good start for our state schools even before the first pitch is thrown.

I wasn't sure where we would be in the preseason polls.I didn't know if people would place more emphasis on if we had more pitchers returning or if we lost so many everyday players.

Those are the words of LSU Head Coach Paul Mainieri. He spoke to the Louisiana Radio Network about the recently released rankings. The Tigers are coming of a season that found them once again in Omaha for the College World Series.

UL Head  Coach Tony Robichaux had this to say about his teams preseason accolades on RaginCajuns.com.

It's always a good thing when your university can be recognized for something good. The thing about rankings is that they don't win games for you. We have to make sure that we don't get caught up in everything and continue to work hard to back up our ranking. The most important ranking to us is the one at the end of the year.

Needless to say fans of all three of these programs and anybody that just loves college baseball will have a lot to cheer about in the coming weeks.

The Tigers will begin their preseason workouts on January 29th. They will open the season against Cincinnati on February 19th at Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge.

The Ragin Cajuns will open their season that same day in Lafayette at Tigue Moore Field against Sam Houston State.The Cajuns made it the the regional round of the NCAA tournament last year.

Many fans of the Cajuns and Tigers have March 22 circled on the calendar already. That is the date that the two teams face each other in the Wally  Pontiff Classic at Zephyr Field in New Orleans.

Tulane begins their season on Februrary 19th as well. They will entertain the University of Illinois at Turchin Stadium in New Orleans. The Green Wave also earned an opportunity to participate in the NCAA baseball tournament last year.