Monday, May 18, 2009

Three Outs

Three stories/articles from around the country regarding or relating to the Buckeyes.

#1 Baseball America's Three Strikes
Aaron Fitt


SAFE BETS: The 13 teams listed in the national seeds discussion

STOCK RISING: South Carolina, Texas Christian, Louisville, Ohio State, East Carolina

STOCK FALLING: Alabama, Kansas State

OUT OF THE MIX: Texas A&M, Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia, Miami, Minnesota

• South Carolina finished the season hot, winning its final three series, including sweeps of Vanderbilt and Georgia. The strong finish boosted the Gamecocks to 22nd in the RPI. At 37-19 overall and 17-13 in the SEC, South Carolina likely has the hosting resume to match its huge financial bid and sparkling new ballpark. With LSU, Ole Miss and Florida locks to host and the SEC unlikely to get five hosts, Alabama is the odd team out, barring a very deep run in the conference tournament. The Crimson Tide picked the wrong time to drop a series to Auburn.

• One team from the Midwest seems nearly certain to host, either as a No. 1 seed or a No. 2. Ohio State finished strong, sweeping Iowa to win the Big Ten by a half-game over Minnesota, and the Buckeyes have good facilities. But give the edge to Louisville, which is 6-1 against teams from the Big Ten this year (including two wins against the Buckeyes in the last two weeks) and swept South Florida this weekend to win the Big East regular-season title. The Cardinals also garnered rave reviews after hosting a Super Regional against Oklahoma State in 2007; facilities, geography and credentials all work in their favor.

• Subpar facilities combined with Ohio State’s surge to the Big Ten title and Louisville’s strong finish render Minnesota’s hosting chances remote.

• Kansas State lost its final two weekend series and likely squandered its chance to host. Texas A&M watched its chances evaporate in the last two weeks, going 1-5 against Texas and Oklahoma. TCU stands to benefit as perhaps the hottest team in that geographic footprint. The Horned Frogs cruised to a regular-season title in the much-improved Mountain West Conference, and they rank 10th in the RPI, giving them the inside track over fellow conference champion East Carolina (19th in the RPI) for the last hosting spot. In fact, East Carolina’s road to hosting would likely have to come at South Carolina’s expense. The Pirates need a good week in the CUSA tournament coupled with a poor showing by the Gamecocks. Winning the CUSA regular-season title is a nice accomplishment, but in a very down year for the conference, it won’t outweigh South Carolina’s strong finish in the loaded SEC.

#2 Warren Nolan's Nitty Gritty Report

How the Buckeye's resume stacks up compared to other teams.

#3 Ohio State's Alex Wimmers sits down with the Big Ten Network

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