In a brief respite from another scorching August workout...
So begins an Associated Press piece today on the Buckeyes' preseason preparations for the '06 season. I'd say the AP writer might need to rethink his or her choice of words? "Scorching"? The high temperature in Columbus on Tuesday was a whoppin' 83 degrees. A day like that in Austin on August 15 would elicit cries of an early onset of winter rather than descriptions of "scorching"...
The actual high in Austin on Tuesday? One-ohhhhh-three! If the Horns would have practiced in the dead middle of the night yesterday (when the low of 76 was reached), they would have experienced something similar (just a bit darker) to what the Buckeyes dealt with during a middle of the day practice in Columbus!
"Scorching?" I think not.
But before heat hysteria reaches "In the Shoe! At Night!" proportions, I just don't see the heat playing a huge factor in the Texas-Ohio State game. The game will be played in the conditions on Sept. 9, when the average high temp in Austin is 92 degrees, not on some mid-August day. Sure, it will be hot (even with the sun slipping behind the West Side upper deck of DKR and the field cast in shadows), and a bit more than what Ohio State is practicing in during the preseason, but for athletes as well-conditioned as what we should see on both sides of the ball, in an early season game, heat shouldn't be the determining factor. Just as In the Shoe! At Night! wasn't last year.
Could dead legs be a factor late? It's possible, but that affliction could attack either team. The Buckeyes because it's hotter than they're used to competing in, or the Horns because they've competed in the heat for over a month, draining their energy.
For prognosticators, a more reliable focus than home crowd or heat should be the positional match-ups and respective personnel advantages on the field. But that's a tough one in this match-up of relative equals, a game that I still rate as a toss-up.
So, what's the temperature again in Austin and Columbus today?