It's easy to sit back in one's chair and scream, "Hardin should be able to cover Austin Pettis!" We base these beliefs off watching other games. We see the ease with which Oregon, Alabama, and even lesser teams like Arizona State play defense. But the fact remains, Hardin couldn't cover Pettis, nor could he tackle the Kellen Moore on a CB blitz, nor could he cover anyone against TCU. Okay, so that is the problem. What is the solution?
The same is true with the staff. We all see that Banker can't scheme for running QBs. Problem: obvious. What is the solution? How do we get rid of Mark Banker and get someone better? Or, how do we as fans make Mark Banker see the light? The guy is such a stubborn dinosaur that he'll play 11 Brandon Hardins before listening to fans' ideas. And let's once and for all debunk the notion that the Beavers shouldn't fire Banker because the successor could be worse. Talk about illogical and conveniently negative thinking–should a battered woman stay with her husband because the guy she dates next might hit her harder? Come on already.
And what about this recruiting problem? Recruiting is the heart of any program, so as a fan is it fair or even accurate to sit back and say, "4 star talent doesn't want to come to Corvallis" and remove all blame from the head coach? Is a fan (and media, who are huge culprits in this) who falls in love with the walk-on-success story doing their team justice? The problem here is obvious, but what is the solution?
What about the attitude of the team? Boise State and Oregon State get the same player, yet they don't get near the same results. That attitude trickles down from the head coach. Look at the numbers below. I compiled the ever-controversial "star" argument for OSU and Boise State's starters.
|Player||Star Rating||Player2||Star Rating2|
|Ryan Katz||3||Kellen Moore||3|
|Jacquizz Rodgers||3||Doug Martin||2|
|James Rodgers||2||Austin Pettis||3|
|Aaron Nichols||0||Titus Young||3|
|Joe Halahuni||3||Tyler Shoemaker||2|
|Brady Camp||2||Tommy Gallarda||2|
|Michael Phillipp||4||Faraji Wright||2|
|Mike Remmers||0||Brenel Myers||2|
|Grant Johnson||0||Nate Potter||2|
|Burke Ellis||0||Will Lawrence||2|
|Alex Linnenkohl||3||Thomas Byrd||2|
|Average Star Rating||1.82||Average Star Rating||2.27|
|Gabe Miller (DE)||4||Ryan Winterswyk (DE)||0|
|Stephen Paea (DT)||3||Billy Winn (DT)||3|
|Brennan Olander (DT)||0||Chase Baker (DT)||2|
|Taylor Henry (DE)||2||Shea McClellin (DE)||0|
|Keith Pankey (LB)||3||Byron Hout (LB)||3|
|Tony Wilson (LB)||2||Aaron Tevis (LB)||2|
|Dwight Roberson (LB)||3||Jamar Taylor (CB)||3|
|James Dockery (CB)||3||Winston Venable (NB/LB)||2|
|Brandon Hardin (CB)||2||Brandyn Thompson (CB)||2|
|Lance Mitchell||3||Jeron Johnson (S)||2|
|Suaesi Tuimaunei||2||George Iloka (S)||2|
|Average Star Rating||2.45||Average Star Rating||1.91|
That's a 2.14 to 2.09 overall roster average. What does this data say to you? To me it says we have the same talent as Boise State, and shouldn't get absolutely man-handled. It says the problem is attitude, will, and all the intangibles that come from mental fortitude. Riley understands these things exist as he talks about them, but he doesn't know how to implement the mindset. That is the problem. But what is the solution? How do I as a Beaver fan get a sports psychologist hired on this staff? Preferably one who can recruit. I jest.
As fans all we can do is truthfully write about and discuss the problems and try to put pressure and criticism where it is due. But fans cannot even agree to do that. While this blog is active, it's overall sentiment is a voice in the wilderness compared to mainstream Beaver fans' thought. The average fan is content with a fifth tier bowl game, moral victories, and heart-warming walk-on success stories. And that brings up my final question: why are the majority of fans content with mediocrity, determined to see the light in disappointing situations, and willing to glorify sub par effort, talent, etc? Probably because they have self-worth tied to the product coupled with being unable to get over some losing streak from 15 years ago. That's the problem, but how do we change that mindset when human nature tells us that pointing out flaws only makes people more resistant to change.
These are trying times. The Beavers failed in the spotlight yet again, and I'm left reading the same old optimist sentiment stating that this is the norm and things will change. When?