The One Where We Mention Men's Tennis

By Luke Zimmermann on February 25, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Handshake DealCongratulations... This handshake constitutes
a Verbal Commitment to Texas.
So if they can just sign 6 more, they'll only trail Texas by... 6 recruits As many may have heard, the Texas Longhorns have now turned February into their recruit's annual clearing house for absurdly early commits. With March less than a week away, the Horns have already wrapped up 14 verbals for the 2011 class. Supposedly the secret to their success (aside from the cowhide leather robe Mack Brown sleeps in that gives him his powers) is their annual Junior Day, during which they showcase their campus, their facilities, and everything the gorgeous city of Austin has to offer. In fact the Horns are upping the ante this year, with a SECOND Junior Day in as many months this coming Saturday. The Buckeyes had their own Junior Day weekend at the end of January, during which a handful of commits (said to include OL/DL Michael Bennett, CB Doran Grant, and ATH Shane Wynn amongst others), who visited the campus and also took in the whipping the Basketball Bucks administered to the Golden Gophers. Those recruits came and went, however, without so much as a single new commit. So where in lies the difference? Likely the stylistic approach of the two staffs. The Horns' presentation is formatted in such a way that juniors are said to feel not only a great desire to be part of something bigger than themselves, but also the pressure to make a decision before leaving town the weekend. TresselCo.'s pitch could hardly be considered time sensitive, as The Vest and his associates are notorious for giving commits the program is really interested in as much time as necessary to make their decisions. Whether Ohio State's laissez faire system or the aggressive sales pitch Muschamp and Brown have had great success with the last two seasons (though to be fair did have a handful of their '10 early commits defect before everything was said and done) is the better one, we'll leave to debate below.

No rest for the weary The Artist Formerly Known as Wonk compares the 4 top lines of Joe Lunardi's bracketology and sees just how the teams are distributing their minutes. Unsurprisingly, the Bucks are the 2nd worst at going to their bench/best at playing their starters to the point of exhaustion. The Buckeyes have their top 5 playing 80% of the overall minutes for the season, second only to Georgetown. So is this sustainable? Coach Matta certainly believes so though even without recent historical numbers easily accessible, I'd be willing to wager teams that can't go a minimum of 7 deep likely don't have high correlations with deep tournament runs. Last week a majority of you felt in our poll that the Sweet Sixteen wasn't out of the question. However, should The Villain find the ability to maintain his absurd regular season form twice a weekend for a pair of weekends in mid-March, none of us could be faulted for daring to dream of something even sweeter.

Speak of the twitters You will not defeat Santonio Holmes... in bowling:

He 'Jus finish [his] last game'

Alright, so the Super Bowl XLIII MVP and stalwart for his own NCAA celebration legislation isn't exactly peacing on his day job anytime soon to try his hand at the PBA. However, speaking on behalf of my personal weak bowling game, I'm a whole heck of a lot closer scorewise to the friend he toasted than the man, the myth, the legendary forefather of athletic Buckeyes unafraid to impress all the ladies on the interwebs himself. First we get Duron Carter looking for any reason to skip Math 113 some competition on Madden '10, now this. Is there anything that can't be express adequately in 140 characters? (P.S.: For those fortunate enough to have Bucknuts premium memberships, your life will be considerably better for having Ramzy's primer on the social networking service)

Too cold for Buckeyes? In a truly bizarre happening, the 3rd ranked Ohio State men's tennis team no-showed for a scheduled match Wednesday with 12th ranked Baylor. While obviously not a sport we ordinarily pay too much lip service to around these parts, the matter of fact that the team would elect not to show up on campus because temperatures were less than 50-degrees is a truly bizarre one. Temperatures in Central Texas Wednesday bounced back from the 30's/snow (that's right, snow in Waco) of Tuesday, and were instead mostly in the mid-to-high 40's for the better part of Wednesday. It seems impossible to imagine the team having not practiced in comparable conditions in Columbus prior, though evidently ITA rules could potentially exonerate the Buckeyes and make ducking the Bears an acceptable move. Referee Chuck Scott explains:

“The ITA rule for college tennis, which is defined as an outdoor sport in the ITA rule section, is that the temperature needs to be projected by to be 50 degrees or above for two of the four hours during which the match will be played. If the temperature will not reach that level the match maybe moved indoors. If no qualified indoor backup facility is available, the match will be played outdoors unless the conditions are deemed to be hazardous. That is the ruling.”
It's completely within Baylor's right at this point to pursue a "default", which essentially means they felt as though the conditions were sufficient for playing and not "hazardous" as the Bucks' head man Ty Tucker clearly felt. In the event of Baylor's motion being upheld, the Bears would be awarded a win, and the 10-1 to the point Buckeyes would be hit with just their second loss.

And because patriotism never gets stale Four days later this still gives us goosebumps:

Former Buckeye Ryan Kesler's absolute hustle play personifies everything right about the slight upset of the Canucks. Kesler and the USMNT's semi-final matchup with the Fins (who were the gold medal opponents for the Americans in the Lake Placid games) is Friday at 3 p.m. ET and will be the first nationally broadcast Olympic event aired live coast-to-coast this Olympics (slow clap, NBC).