Florida-S. Carolina rivalry about to heat up again

By ERIC OLSON | June 26, 2011 | 2:15 PM EDT

Florida's Mike Zunino speaks during a news conference at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb., Sunday, June 26, 2011, ahead of the NCAA College World Series best-of-three baseball finals which are scheduled to start on Monday. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Florida and South Carolina don't immediately come to mind when conversation shifts to Southeastern Conference rivalries — unless you're talking about baseball.

The Gators (53-17) and defending national champion Gamecocks (53-14) will play their biggest series to date when they meet in the College World Series finals beginning Monday.

Last year, the Gators traveled to Columbia, S.C., the final weekend of the regular season and won two of three to edge out the Gamecocks for the SEC title.

Three months ago, South Carolina went to Florida and won two of three, and the teams ended up in a three-way tie with Vanderbilt for best record in the league.

Florida will start Hudson Randall (11-3) against South Carolina's Forrest Koumas (6-1) in Game 1 of the best-of-three series.