OK Beaver fans. I just finished reading a Sporting News article by Tom Dienhart in which he named his rising and falling stock teams for every conference. His Pac-10 falling stock was our Oregon State Beavers.
I can’t say that I whole-heartedly disagree with him, especially as I hunt for another team in the conference that I would name instead of them (maybe UCLA? Arizona?), but the analysis that the Beavers “are circling the drain quickly” is a little premature.
This situation is what any objective fan has been aware of for months. We knew that we were traveling for a Thursday night game at an underrated Cincinatti team. Guess who’s cracked the top 25? Then we had a sleeper game at home for everyone to get their hopes up. The team delivered. We looked flawless in the Idaho State game. But should we have expected anything less? There was no pressure on our young quarterbacks and the Bengal secondary was a low-caliber secondary- to be expected when you play a FCS series team.
Then we went on the road to play a much improved Sun Devil team who we haven’t beat in Tempe in almost forty years. This has been the predictable situation on the schedule since it was announced. The test for the Beavers is yet to come- starting this weekend when we host another candidate for Pac-10 Falling Stock teams in the UCLA Bruins- who have done their fare share of filling our bulletin board this week.
We need to remember that our quarterbacks are sophomores and that it will take a little bit for them to get settled and for our offense to start firing on all cylinders. You can bet that when we don’t turn the ball over, our already strong defense will protect the points we put on the board.
Beaver Nation needs to take a deep breath, collect themselves, and remember last year. We are a team that comes slow out of the gates. We knew our road schedule was going to be a tough one this year. The Beavers need to win their home games, starting this weekend, and beat at least Washington State and Oregon on the road.
I know our neighbors to the South have looked good thus far but, unlike our beloved coach Riley, Mr. Bellotti’s record in the latter half of the season is less than impressive, and if injuries begin to take a toll on that team or Dixon resorts to being who he was in the second half of last season, we could have a 6-3 Pac-10 record with losses at ASU, at USC, and at Cal. That means we go to a bowl, and finish the season with 9 wins when we played at ASU, at USC, at Cal, at UO, at WSU, and at Cincinatti.
So Beaver Nation, and esteemed Sporting News writers- let’s not be so quick to flush the Beavers season. We’re just getting started.