Tough road to Omaha

When it comes to College World Series appearances, the Big Ten has been in a dry spell for the better part of 34 years. Since Michigan made the last of its seven appearances in 1984, Indiana in 2013 is the only Big Ten team to advance to the eight-team College World Series in Omaha. The Gophers, who are host to the Minneapolis Regional beginning Friday, will try to take the first step toward their first CWS berth since 1977 by winning against a field that also includes UCLA, Gonzaga and Canisius. If the Gophers make it out of that group, they would need to win a best-of-three super regional to advance to the CWS. A look at the Big Ten teams who have made it to the CWS (*-won national championship):

Michigan: Seven appearances (1953*, ’62*, ’78, ’80, ’81,’ 83, ’84)

Gophers: Five appearances (1956*, ’60*, ’64*, ’73, ’77)

Ohio State: Four appearances (1951, ’65, ’66*, ’67)

Indiana: One appearance (2013)

Iowa: One appearance (1972)

Michigan State: One appearance (1954)

Wisconsin: One appearance (1950; Badgers dropped baseball after 1991 season)

Note: Penn State (five), Nebraska (three) and Rutgers (one) also have appeared in the CWS, but before they were Big Ten members.

Randy Johnson