21.Sep.2010 Beavers on ESPN Gameday

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During the off-season, I mentioned how I loved the TCU and Boise State games because they'll both have a BCS feel to them. Since the Beavers haven't been able to play their way into such games, I thought it was a great way to give a deserving fanbase that type of excitement.

However, the loss, or gamble, is obviously in weakening national perception. Everyone is going to be watching this game, which brings up some good questions and points of discussion:

1. Does national perception matter at all to a team from Corvallis with no realistic shot at a BCS game? Before you say "Rose Bowl", realize it's been 45 years, so the "realistic shot" comment is not off the mark.

2. How much does a blowout loss hurt recruiting?

3. If the Beavers are blown out, what will it do to national perception (i.e. what will voters and pundits say)?

4. Conversely, if they win, will recruiting and national perception get any bump at all? The answer to that question may determine if the risk is worth taking in the first place.

Personally, I love it, and I do not think they're going to get blown out of this game. Tomorrow, I'll break down the game and explain why I believe that, but for now let's hear what you guys think about this opportunity. Do you like your team being in the spotlight? Do you think this game is going to hurt the program long term? Do you believe they win and it creates a boon? Etc. There's a lot to discuss. We're likely on the precipice of a program defining moment.

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  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    1) I believe playing BSU on the national stage is good for the program, winning or losing does not matter. The publicity alone will raise the awareness of the OSU football program and University and is worth the risk.
    2) Top recruits want to play on national TV and get national coverage. If OSU wants to compete for those recruits then we HAVE to play on the national stage.

    Although I believe they are in for an uphill battle, I don’t believe the beavers will get blown out either. I believe they have a chance to compete and hope the coaching staff makes some key adjustments to gives the players the best chance to win.

  • MonkeyLuven MonkeyLuven says:
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    Very defining!

    A loss has the opportunity to go by the wayside. (I do not anticipate a blowout either). It may also be damning to national perceptions. Personally I believe that it will rot away the core of Beaver Nation with the sense that we’re declining in about ability to win the BIG games with any frequency. (What happens if Oregon has NC implications on the line during CW? And we lose again?!)

    But if we win this game, it’ll be like we’re cresting over that undeniable psychological hurdle. (Mentally, the ’09 CW loss was harder to overcome then the Vegas Bowl wind). We truly have everyone outside of Idaho rooting for us this weekend. On national television! “Take down the BCS Buster and make us feel comfortable with our bowl system” is what they’ll say! What will we do with all that goodwill? Rise up or disappoint?

    I worry most about a close game. Because those are the situations were one pretends that something good came from a loss like this. And I promise that it will be more psychologically debilitating at the end of the season. When the team questions whether or not they have what it takes to stop a hated rival with a NC on their minds.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    There is so little to win with this whole situation that it sort of pisses me off. The thing that will stick in people’s minds is that we are position to be ranked by the third week of college ball EVERY season.

    There’s a reason why the traditional powers stay where they are, and that is because they linger in the top 25 nearly every week and more importantly, even if they are knocked off they never dip below the 30’s…and thus they can return.

    Ideally, you spend a few years ranked 30th-15th…and then when you build up a reputation for winning, you try to hang out in the 15-5 range, and so on.

    Do you really think Virginia Tech, if they won every game from this point out, wouldn’t get back to the top 25? They would! The reason is PERCEPTION, and that is the key word. What we’re trying to do, and too desperately I might add, is get RECOGNITION…and when you consistently get recognition and then you fail, the perception is weak.

    A blowout loss hurts us. As has every single one of them has in the past. Honestly, I would like to schedule two teams from MWC and WAC, then a middle of the line team from another conference, like a Minnesota, Baylor, Wake Forest, etc- those are games that get you recognition and they are manageable.

    Or if I could make another analogy, it’s like losing weight (which we shouldn’t kid ourselves, the 28 years of losing is OUR weight).

    You don’t lose weight by working out 22 hours in one day, you lose it by doing manageable work outs. By playing Boise State at this stage and without proper limbering up (I’m looking at you, Banker) then we’re going to pull a muscle and be out of this thing for the rest of the year.

    But hey, what the hell do we negative fans know.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Here is my conspiracy theory…I think EPSN has some pull in keeping the Beavers ranked going into the match up with the Broncos. Beavs could have actually been blown out at TCU and probably should have lost to Louisville, yet they go into the match up ranked 24th. Hmmm? Behooves ESPN to have both teams ranked in the marquee game.

    I think any spotlight is good when a program like OSU can get it. We have to keep in mind this is college football, they could beat Boise St. and then end up losing to the Huskies and you end where you started. I do not know that any one game is defining anymore. I mean the Ducks get all kinds of exposure but their decade long performance on the football is fairly comparable to the Beavers. What was their defining moment?

    • angry angry says:
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      The Ducks have had several defining moments in the last three years alone. Dixon as a Heisman candidate (and national title contender) was big. Then they trounced Michigan in the Big House. Nobody cares or remembers that Michigan was bad that year–the win stuck in peoples’ minds. Last year=Rose Bowl, good showing versus Ohio State. This year, a high ranking, Heisman candidate, Rose Bowl favorite, trounced Tennessee on the road, etc.

      I think a large part of perception is style points. Beavs, when they do pull an upset or even win a game they’re supposed to, rarely look dominating. The Ducks look dominating in most wins.

      Ducks are also good at marketing. They came out of the Blount thing looking good. “Chip Kelly is fair, blah blah blah”…

      Despite what the records may say, the Ducks and Beavers haven’t had similar decades. That’s like saying a Porsche and Volvo are “basically the same” because both get 22 miles per gallon or both can go 90mph.

      • OneEyedKing says:
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        I think OSU has, in fact, had defining moments. Beating USC twice in Corvallis, on national TV, was amazing, and lead Sportscenter for several days. The batted pass and the interception and return to end both games are iconic and belong on every Beaver highlight reel.

        Playing Boise St. and Oregon for the Rose Bowl (again) this year will be an opportunity for two more iconic moments, games that define programs.

        I’d also argue that there is no loss that can define a program, only victories. Florida losing to Alabama last year is not going to hinder their ability to recruit, or take away their national titles. If OSU loses to either of those teams, we were the underdogs and it was expected. But if we win…

  • Beavis 24 says:
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    I spent a lot of time watching and re-watching the TCU game, and I attended the Louisville game this last Saturday. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no reason to believe that we are not going to get murdered this Saturday. Our porous defense is likely to get picked apart by Kellen Moore, and although I absolutely love our playmakers, our offense isn’t going to score 50+ points, which is about what we will need to even compete in this game. Unless….the guys we have on defense suddenly develop into players that we haven’t seen yet. Why would anyone possibly think that Brandon Hardin, who absolutely should be playing safety, will suddenly develop into a lockdown corner? Or that James Dockery is any faster this year than last year when Jeffrey Maehl of the Ducks caught a pass with 15 feet of space and still outran Dockery to the end zone holding the ball and looking back at Dockery the whole time? Or that Gabe Miller will all of a sudden morph into Slade Norris….or that Pankey will even become good, let alone great….Don’t get me wrong, as I have been a Beaver fan for about 50 years, and my freshman year at OSU was the 1st of the dreaded 28 in a row. I will be glued to my set come Saturday, and I can always hope, but I am not seeing a Beaver win or even a close game absent Boise State stepping on their dicks more than a few times.

  • OStateJake says:
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    First of all, I’m hoping that you guys are right about this game not shaping up to be a blowout. A friend and I are taking a little road trip to see this game before classes start again and I want it to be worth it, although I admit a close loss would probably be more emotionally taxing, aka the “what could have been”.

    On a different note, I’m interested to hear your opinions on what the game plan will be on defense. Watching the Louisville game through my binos, it seemed to me like there was a lot of substitutions going on, especially at LB. I attributed this to be the coaches still trying to try different guys out for what works best, but if the Beavs keep this one close, will we be seeing mostly Pankey, Roberson, and Wilson & co? Saturday just seemed like there was just too much switching taking place for anyone to settle into a rhythm, what are your thoughts?

  • angry angry says:
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    Do you guys like the blue paint job? I do.

    Being a wildlife biologist, I thought I’d share this factoid I came across years ago:

    “Since zebras are herd animals, the stripes may help to confuse predators – a number of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large animal, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out any single zebra to attack.”

    Those blue jerseys on a blue field…it’s easy to imagine not seeing a guy. I like it; the players seem to hate it.

  • Mud&Sticks says:
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    Here’s another question I think you should have asked.

    Does a team that is ranked 105th in the nation in total defense and 107th in the nation in total offense deserve a top 25 ranking?

    I don’t think so.

    • angry angry says:
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      I think that rating is okay, considering they are 1-1 playing the most difficult OOC schedule. A lot of times those ratings are (1) previous year’s finish + (2) # of returning starters.

      You don’t have meaningful rankings until week six.

  • Mud&Sticks says:
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    As far as recruiting goes – I don’t know how much of it has to do with the perception of the team because of previous poor showings and how much of it has to do with Riley’s recruiting ability but imo they’ve both contributed to OSU having to start 4 walk-on offensive linemen.

  • OSUFBB says:
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    There is no pride in losing, period. No moral victories. Good recruits don’t tolerate loses. They expect more of themselves, and they want an environment that fosters success. Want 4-5 star recruits? LB’s that are fast? Depth in the roster? Losing is not an option.

    Do you think Bear Bryant rationalized losing? If a coach can rationalize a loss, then there are problems. Forget being positive. Does Nick Saban mince words about his team no matter what ranking they have?

    PS- BSU’s Head Coach scoffed at OSU’s painting of the practice field. He said BSU has OSU where they want them.


    • angry angry says:
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      Where does he scoff? I haven’t seen that.

      Roberto Nelson…was he a good recruit? Where did he sign? What about Stanford class two years ago, and Washington’s class this past season? Recruits definitely tolerate losing if they’re in line for playing time, and have a confident, aggressive man delivering the pitch.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    The opportunity this “stage” presents is great, but it what OSU does or doesn’t do with it that counts. In Riley’s case, I don’t think he’ll capitalize; meaning win the game, improve his team’s ranking, recognition, and perception.

    Riley’s best wins seem to come with little to no pressure. The wins against #3 and #1 USC, #2 Cal and the Sun Bowl win against Missouri all had the characteristics of victories with little on the line. In the first three examples, hadn’t OSU already lost 3 or more games and taken itself out of contention for any meaningful bowl games? And what are the consequences of a sun bowl loss?

    Perhaps the win at UA a couple of years ago was more positive example, because it kept OSU in Rose Bowl contention. OSU’s D held UA to 17 points after UA had put up 40+ in a losing effort to UO. Then OSU turned around and gave up 60+ to Oregon…

    OSU will be blown out because BSU has the better coaching staff and better play calling. OSU’s offense has clear potential, but does not produce consistently, including on 3rd down conversions.

    I think OSU’s players will be amped, the D will perform better than expected for a while, but defensive breakdowns, and OSU’s offensive inconsistency will get them in the end. One special teams gaffe is almost certain.

    OSU’s best hope is that a few defensive players follow Dockery’s example at the right times, and make few plays that go against their coaching. On the offensive side of the ball, I think OSU needs to involve Wheaton at a greater level than BSU expects. The fly sweep probably isn’t enough- BSU has run and seen that many times themselves. I’d like to see Katz showing BSU that James Rodgers isn’t the only deep threat.

    In the end, OSU will lose handily, and they’ll talk about what could have been and go back to “trying to find their identity.” God I hate that line out of Riley every year….

    I think a fair question is “Could OSU lose and come away looking good?” I think so, but only if they compete in all three phases of the game – offense, defense, special teams, and keep it competitive. BSU would have to walk away knowing they’d been in a fight and feeling fortunate, and OSU would walk away knowing they had progressed enough to play their most complete game of the young season – not a moral victory, but empirically better in all three phases. However, if OSU is non-competitive in 2 of the three phases and get blown out, all the tv coverage and attention will simply expose them for what they are; a mid-level team whose growth is stunted by a coaching staff who can’t learn how to win pressure games or win early. If OSU is blown out, the stage doesn’t affect the OSU program in a meaningful, positive way. In fact, I think it contributes to a loser mentality in the program; they become a team that doesn’t really believe they can win when it counts.

    I look forward to your game breakdown and why you think OSU won’t get blown out. And I look forward to (hopefully) watching the game.

  • beavers4life beavers4life says:
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    My honest humble opinion is, I think the Beavs are in a position where they aren’t exactly “pressured” to win this game, but they seem to fully expect to play their best game and try and pull all the stops against Bs-U on Saturday.

    The Beavers have been blown out in how many OOC games the past, oh…7 years and who against and where?

    Let’s date em’ shall we?

    2003- Sacramento State 40-7 W
    @Fresno State 14-16 L ESPN
    New Mexico St 29-16 W
    Boise State 26-24 W TBS

    2004- @LSU 21-22 OT L ESPN
    @ BSU 34-55 L ESPN
    New Mexico 17-7 W

    2005- Portland St 41-14 W
    Boise St 30-27 W FSN
    @ Louisville 27-63 L ESPN

    2006-Eastern Washington 56-17 W FSN NW
    @ Boise St 14-42 L ESPN
    Idaho 39-0 W

    2007-Utah 47-7 W FSN NW
    @ Cincinnati 3-34 L ESPN
    Idaho St. 61-10 FSN NW (Riley can score that high huh? Who knew?)

    2008-@ PSU 14-45 L ABC
    Hawai’i 45-7 FSN NW
    @ Utah 29-31 L Versus

    2009- Portland St. 34-7 W FSN NW
    @ UNLV 23-21
    Cincinnati 18-28 L FSN

    5 games were Blow outs! The last 2 years, PSU was the only blow out in the season and it was the first game of the season! We played TCU close…well the 2004 team played LSU close. then we got blown out by BSU? I think there was either a let down after that loss, or there was other factors that cost us the game against BSU. Either way, we have a healthy OSU team, our team in general want to win/beat the Bronco’s, and most importantly, Riley wants to beat the Bronco’s! That to me spells Heart and a winning attitude. This one will be either close with us winning or losing. I am predicting closeness. It’s a matter of who shows up to play….from the sound of it Peterson thinks he has us pegged and knows our offense…to me that spells arrogance! I hate arrogance! OSU is confident, BSU is arrogant. The arrogant team doesn’t necessary mean a loss, just means they most likely will underestimate the team their playing. I smell “upset”!!!

  • Quatre Quatre says:
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    You people are losing your minds. Beavs will get blown out, D will give up 8 tds and BSU will romp by 30+. 56-24 or around there.

  • angry angry says:
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    Gameday was a pretty lame experience. They talked about every other game, spent maybe 2 minutes total discussing the Beavs, and had 30 seconds with Riley. ESPN…meh.

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