This weeks regional projections across the country are interesting. For the first time we have two publications with the exact same regional forecast for the Bucks. Coincidence? Picture shaping up? Lazy work by Baseball America's Aaron Fitt? Who knows. Anyhow, it is also interesting on the front of just who the Bucks might be playing and where so in the two similiar projections.
Without further wait..
Houston Regional: Host Rice
#1 Rice (4)
#2 Ohio State
Now ladies & gentlemen it gets interesting...
Both SEBaseball.com and Baseball America have the projected regional for the Buckeyes as...
Fullerton Regional: Host Cal State Fullerton
#1 Cal State Fullerton
#2 Ohio State
#3 San Deigo State
#4 San Jose State
The only difference, and its a small difference is CS-F is a #7 National Seed according to SEBaseball, while its a #6 NS according to Baseball America.
Unless you're Michael Stephens, the California native who is already pumped about a projected Regional, you're probably not too thrilled on two, well three accounts.
One after being in a position to host, .500 play over the last 10 days have killed that hope. Instead of the Buckeyes sleeping in their own beds, and playing in front of great crowds they're shipped out west. Its not just any team out west its the Titans of CS-F, a traditionally national power.
Second you see that team in bold there? Yeah they're not a normal 3-seed. For anyone who follows baseball, even on the most casual level, you've probably heard of Stephen Strasburg. Strasburg by most accounts is the best pitching prospect ever out of college. Ever. With a fastball that reaches 103, yes one hundred and freaking three miles per hour, his arm is a coveted item, that rumors have it, his soon to be agent Scott Boras is demanding a $30 milion signing bonus and a place on the 40-man roster. No team wants San Diego State, a team coached by Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn in game 1 with Strasburg on the mound. Yes anyhing can happen in baseball, and I'd never doubt the Buckeyes, since these are only projections and they're fun to play with, its equally not as fun to see the Bucks in this type of projection for the sake of advancing. One good thing is that whatever Regional Strasburg is in, especially if it has a power like CS-F and a "beauty" team like Ohio State, it'll be on TV, for those that can't get up and fly t the left coast.
A Wimmers-Strasburg duel of two All Americans would be a sight to see though. Both have a no-hitter to their credit, both are in the top 5 in strikeouts in the country, both have the stuff to beat any team in America.
Do yourself a favor and look at Strasburg's stats for the year. Unreal.
Also Fitt does give commentary to his projections, which he should since it's just his second of the year and shows some level of commitment....
Aaron Fitt: The hosting picture after the top eight teams is still very much up in the air. Florida and Florida State are the strongest bets, but the final two weeks will decide which teams earn the other six hosting spots. For now, give Mississippi and Alabama the edge over stumbling Georgia and Arkansas in the SEC, and give Clemson the nod over Virginia in the ACC based on more quality wins, particularly out of conference. If Texas A&M wins a series at Oklahoma this weekend, the Aggies could steal a host spot away from the Sooners. The third Big 12 host is Kansas State, which has series wins over Texas and Texas A&M, making up for a borderline RPI (27th). TCU has a very strong resume and RPI (seventh), but the Horned Frogs will be plagued by their poor record against the Big 12 (1-6). One of the two Big Ten teams that submitted bids to host (Ohio State and Minnesota) has a chance to do so, thanks to performance as well as geographic considerations. The Gophers have the more impressive resume thanks to a good performance against a tough nonconference slate, but Ohio State has better facilities. The Metrodome is unavailable for the Golden Gophers, so they would have to bring in auxiliary bleachers at 1,100-seat Seibert Field, where they last hosted a regional in 2000. But we'll give the nod in the Midwest to Louisville, which destroyed the Buckeyes twice in midweek action last week to improve its record against the Big Ten to 6-1. The Cardinals also blew past OSU in the RPI thanks to yesterday's win against Western Kentucky, which vaulted them up to 28th.