Daniel Kramer

Don't Cover Me

For much of its existence,

Sports Illustrated

magazine has dealt with its famed "

cover jinx

" -- players or teams featured on the cover one week often end up falling flat on their face the next.

Does the Houston Press have the same evil mojo going? Ask Rice's baseball team.

Tabbed as the number-one team in the country in just about every pre-season poll, the Owls were the subject of a February 8 cover that joined in the hype.

Since then, Rice has opened the season 2-3, their worst start in seven years. They've lost to Texas State, for crying out loud.

You could blame a surprisingly shaky bullpen, some oddly light hitting or even an uncharacteristic slew of mental errors. Or you could blame us. After all, we had the Texans on the cover the year they eventually went 2-14. We had the Astros on there just before their feeble effort in the 2005 World Series.

One good thing: the actual cover boy was Joe Savery, and he has been terrific on the mound coming off surgery. (On the other hand, he's been struggling at the plate.)

Rice still has plenty of time to recover from its bad beginning. But maybe we should put together a cover featuring the rest of college baseball's Top 25. — Richard Connelly

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