As Cougs, we're pretty much perenially waiting for the other shoe to drop. (Thanks for reinforcing that one, Tony!) As such, with the baseball team's regular season drawing to a close this weekend -- against the hated Huskies, no less -- our Cougar angst has flared up once again.
But are we really as on the bubble as we think? Howie Stalwick pronounced on Cougfan this week that taking two of three from OSU affirmed the Cougs' postseason presence, while coach Donnie Marbut wasn't quite willing to go that far in talking to the Times' Bud Withers for a story published this morning:
"When you're sitting in second in your league, you'd like to think you're in pretty good shape," said Marbut cautiously. "But nobody's in yet."
Spoken like a true Coug.
Dancing Football already noted that ESPN.com's Jeremy Mills has projected the Cougs as safely in the field as a No. 3 regional seed, and yesterday came a bit more good news -- Rivals.com's Kendall Rogers also has projected the Cougs as a No. 3 regional seed.
Of course, there's always room for the NCAA to screw something up. And I'm guessing these seeding projections aren't as much of a science as the basketball projections, given the wealth of information and history that's available with regards to the basketball tournament. But it's certainly a good sign that two guys who follow the tournament closely are more or less agreeing on the strength of our team's bid for the tournament, and neither has the Cougs listed as the last handful of teams in the field.
Additionally, if we consider that No. 3 seed as the equivalent of anywhere from an 8 to 11 seed in the basketball tournament, it's tough to imagine a scenario where the team would play itself out of the tournament over its final four games. Because of the number of games played in baseball, even if the Cougs lose their final four games of the year, that's really the equivalent of dropping your last two in basketball. Hard to imagine a scenario where that would drop out a basketball team, so the hope is that the same logic applies here.
That said, stranger things have happened when selection committees are involved -- especially with the lack of television exposure for Pac-10, which is woefully behind other major conferences, whose games can be found dotted all over satellite. We don't want to play with fire this weekend. Let's go take two of three from Washington, which, when you take out a road sweep at lowly Oregon, is only 2-7 in Pac-10 games away from Seattle. Contrast that with the Cougs' 18-6 this year at Bailey-Brayton Field, and we ought to be cementing that postseason status and celebrating on Monday.
HT to ximiankernel for bringing the Rivals link to our attention. Thanks!