Welcome to OSI Heat Check! Each week, I’ll take a look at a few local teams, and give them a “temperature reading” based on the past week’s performance. For instance, a temperature reading of “1” would be ice cold (think Tiger Woods in 2015), and “10” would be scorching hot (Tiger Woods in 2000).
Well, the Huskers survived a weekend series on the road, capturing two of three from Rutgers, who could easily be one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. It should have been a sweep, but an error in the bottom of the 9th on Friday cost Nebraska the sweep.
It’s not that the Huskers are playing BAD baseball right now, they’re just not playing GREAT baseball at the moment. The pitching has been improved the past few weekends, but the offense has been coming and going.
Ultimately, Nebraska just doesn’t quite feel like a postseason team - yet. The Huskers have yet to put it all together, but will be dangerous if they do.
The Jays are on fire. You don’t have to dig too deep in the RPI to find Creighton - they were at #21 before a sweep of a mediocre (at best) Villanova team this past weekend.
It wasn’t necessarily pretty, as CU had to survive an overnight rain delay to play an inning and a half on Sunday, but 3 wins are 3 wins.
Barring a total collapse over the next 12 games, Creighton is going to the postseason. The only question will be how high can they climb? Would 40 wins put the Jays in the mix to host a regional? It seems like a crazy thought, but lets see how the next two weeks play out before that door is closed.
OMAHA STORM CHASERS
A week ago, it was the Chaser’s pitching that was on fire. Then the bats came alive. Then the rain hit Omaha, and the team hasn’t played a whole lot.
It’s been an up and down first month of the season for Omaha, but some of the big boppers are showing signs of coming alive. Jose Martinez had 7 hits in his past 3 games, and Cheslor Cuthbert is hitting .325 with 5 HR already this year.
Jonathan Dziedzic is really dealing on the mound right now (1.64 ERA / 1.18 WHIP / 22.0 IP), and Brooks Pounders is backing up his great baseball name with a solid start to the year (2.25 ERA / 1.20 WHIP / 20.0 IP)
This has a chance to be a really fun team to watch this summer if everyone is clicking at the same time.
NEBRASKA FOOTBALL DEPARTEE-S
It was a solid weekend at the NFL draft for former Huskers. There were no first or second round picks (which wasn’t a surprise), but seeing Maliek Collins and Vincent Valentine get drafted in the third round was a nice start.
While Collins being taken in the third round felt about right, I was blown away Valentine got selected that early (or at all…really). But, the Patriots love to draft guys based on potential, which Valentine clearly has, and aren’t afraid to use players in very specific roles to maximize their impact. It seems like a solid place for Valentine to try and find a role in the NFL.
Alex Lewis went in the fourth round to the Baltimore Ravens, were he should have a shot to compete for a backup tackle spot this year, and perhaps challenge to be a starter in a few years. I love the Andy Janovich story, and seeing him drafted by the Broncos as the top fullback just feels right. I’d guess he’ll have to battle for a roster spot, likely making an impact on special teams as he did at Nebraska.