11.Oct.2010 Hodgepodge: Rankings, Refs, Arizona Recap, etc.

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Regarding refs and petitions: for those who think it's stupid to write petitions, yet didn't like the calls, take a look in the mirror and ask what you're doing about it. For those who had no issues with the calls, you're the reason Oregon State had a "third tier" ranking until this most recent year. For those who confused our "bitching" of senseless and dangerous plays with judgment calls such as pass interference or holding…all I can say is the world needs ditch diggers. The petition is justified, even if nothing comes of it. There will likely be more of them in the future, too, so get used to it. We take action around here when there's injustice to our team or danger to our players.

Okay, off the soap box. Moving on…

Fans are complaining that the Beavers are ranked #24. Some are even calling it an anti-Boise State conspiracy.

I'm going to throw some numbers at you. Keep in mind there are 120 FBS teams when reading over them.

1. The Beavers have scored 140 points this year and given up 150.

2. The Beavers are 82nd in total offense and 94th in rushing offense.

3. The Beavers are 113th in total defense and 90th in scoring defense.

4. The Beavers are 102nd in defensive passing efficiency. Opposing QBs have a 145 rating versus OSU.

5. The Beavers are 118th in defensive third down conversion percentage. Opponents convert 55% of third downs. Just for a reference, TCU is #1 and allows 22%.

If you look at the stats, no other teams in the top 25 are ranked so poorly in key indicators (of great teams). So, factor in that the Beavs have played a tougher schedule than anyone else, and what you have is a fair rating. I'm not convinced the Beavers would beat the #22 team in the country (Florida). Are you? Only one other team in the top 25 has two losses, and none have given up more points than they've scored. In other words, after considering SOS, anywhere from #21 to #24 would be about right. The Beavers excellent return game has masked defensive problems. The pollsters were astute to note this and got it right.

Okay, on to the win over Arizona…

What can I say without beating a dead horse? The offense was genuinely fun to watch. The defense gave up 550 yards and missed a lot of tackles. Brandin Hardin likes to flex and do the "incomplete pass" motion when he's within five yards of a WR who drops an easy pass. Awkward.

Do you guys want to say anything else about it? I don't. Oh wait, yeah I do: Keith Pankey is a WAC linebacker.

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  • ean says:
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    The Florida example is kind of cherry picked (SEC is on a whole different level) but I see your points. Rankings really only matter for the title game and we are already out of that so really all that matters is Pac-10 standings and those are based on tangible things (like wins and losses) that don’t apply to things like polls (yes I am being facetious).

    • angry angry says:
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      Rankings matter for more than the title game.

      “If fewer than 10 teams are eligible for selection, then an at-large team will be any Football Bowl Subdivision team that is bowl-eligible, has won at least nine regular-season games, and is among the top 18 teams in the final BCS Standings, though any at-large team ranked in the top 14 will be guaranteed a bid over at-large teams ranked lower than 14th. If fewer than 10 teams are eligible after expanding the at-large pool to 18 teams, then the at-large pool will continue to be expanded by four additional positions in the BCS Standings until 10 or more teams are eligible. No team ranked lower than 14 has used this rule to earn an at-large bid, although several teams ranked lower than 14 have received a bid for winning their conference, as the rule was not in place in the early years of the BCS.”

    • JackBeav says:
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      Maybe you just haven’t watched Florida this year. They’re Arizona State with an easy schedule.

  • OneEyedKing says:
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    Quoting nationwide comparative stats is hugely misleading, to the point of being useless.

    Consider this: OSU has played the #1, 2, and 3 defenses in the nation.
    UO has played…one decent defense.
    So of course UO’s stats are going to look sick and ours anemic; look at the competition!
    If OSU played Portland State, New Mexico, and Washington State in its first 5 games, its stats would look top25.
    As for the ranking, I’d argue its pretty bogus. We’re the best 3-2 team in the nation, based on our opposition, margin of defeat, and talent at key positions. I’m not saying we should be top10, but 24th when our only losses are to #3 and 4, and we have a win against #9? Seriously?

    To conclude, comparative stats when teams play vastly different competition are useless, and #24 is closer to correct than #1, but still too low. OSU gets no respect from East Coast voters, especially when the coaches poll doesn’t even have us ranked.

    • angry angry says:
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      “If OSU played Portland State, New Mexico, and Washington State in its first 5 games, its stats would look top25.”

      Right, but they played #3, #5, and #9, and their stats look like they played #1, #1, and #1 and all on the road. Which means somewhere around #24 for the Beavs is about right.

      At some point you have to accept that top 25 teams do not play this kind of defense. The special teams has masked the problem and been the difference in victory and kept the score close in defeat. Yes, special teams are part of the game, so it’s not cheap or anything like that, but good to great teams must defend.

      The Beavers defense has showed signs in the past two games, so maybe they earn their way into the conversation.

      While I was disappointed to see the #24 ranking, it forced me to think and examine, and ultimately accept that it is pretty fair.

    • angry angry says:
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      Total yards by game:

      TCU: 453
      Louisville: 453
      Boise State: 469
      Arizona State: 364
      Arizona: 551

      Sorry, but I don’t see the highly ranked opponents skewing the numbers. TCU and Louisville got the same number of yards. Arizona put up 100 more than TCU. The only pattern is that the Beavers defense gives up yards to everyone. I can’t say with any confidence that they wouldn’t give up 400-500 yards to Portland State. Can you?

      • OneEyedKing says:
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        3 of your 4 original stats related to our offense’s lack of production, which was my own original point. You can’t swap our horrible defense’s numbers into the argument now as proof of anything, since it was never in dispute.

        • angry angry says:
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          So what were Arizona’s 550 yards attributed to, because it certainly wasn’t the offenses lack of production. Let me guess, they scored too fast!

          Apologist stance by you, and I find it hard to take seriously since nothing backs it up except blind hope and the skewing of data.

          • OneEyedKing says:
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            Again, you first talked about how bad our OFFENSE looked, and my reason was because we had played the 3 best defenses in the nation. Then you switched our bad defense’s stats into the argument, which is completely unfair.
            Nobody is debating how bad the defense is. But to claim that the offense is just horrible isn’t right; our stats have been skewed a lot by the quality of defenses we’ve played.

          • angry angry says:
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            Now I see what you’re saying, my bad.

            The offense isn’t horrible. Even in those early games they were pretty decent. I agree the offensive stats would have been a lot better had we played cupcakes, but I don’t agree the defensive stats would be better. I guess I shifted my argument to the defensive side of the ball because I think that’s what’s holding the team back from cracking the top 20, which is where fans seem to believe they should be. If I’m a voter, east coast or not, I’m not putting a team that gave up 550 yards to Arizona in the top 20. I think that thought process is fair.

            One more thing: it’s hard to sympathize with the “we don’t get east coast respect” sentiment when we lay eggs in every big game that the east coast is watching.

  • ean says:
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    Also I too have thrown in the towel on Pankey. If someone is going to be out there taking lumps let it be a young guy. Any word on this Akuna guy? He is supposed to be the real deal, does he look like it in practice? Is our D going to be even worse next year? Do we have a cover corner to replace Dock? Replacing Paea is probably the least of our concerns… and that is not a good thing. BTW, is that Tuivailala kid in school?

    • angry angry says:
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      Reynolds is fast…hopefully he can cover. My bet is he’s a starter next year with Poyer and Hardin fighting for the other spot.

      I remember in the pre-season I wrote that the team was better after Pankey’s injury. People were so offended, accusing me of saying I was glad he was hurt. I wasn’t. I was glad a better player would see the field. Pankey is painful to watch. It’s like watching that kid at every high school talent show botch Stairway to Heaven…

      • mckalk mckalk says:
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        Angry,
        What is Banker seeing in Pankey and Hardin that the rest of us are not? An achilles heel is a major injury, while his recovery time is admirable, he looks slow. Does being a hard worker earn a lot of points in Bankers book? Why not just give it to Doctor and move forward? As for Hardin, I see bad technique on pass plays, confusion on runs and it looks like from the UA game bad hands also. What is the upside? For his size, I do not see any intimidating hits either. Help me understand!

    • angry angry says:
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      Oh, and burning Akuna’s redshirt would be a Wheaton-esque error. Doctor would be the wise replacement.

      • ean says:
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        I was just asking about the future. I am glad they are letting him bulk up and what not.

    • Max says:
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      I think the LB corps will be better and deeper next year. Collins will have a full year of practice at the position and Doctor another year to get bigger. Both of those guys should probably be playing the bulk of the minutes at this point anyhow. Akuna and Bibbee will be in the rotation too.

      As for Dockery’s replacement, whoever it is, will take their lumps early on. Watkins at the other safety position looks like a solid player.

      The ends bill be better and deeper depending on how Kell and Crichton develop. Those two could be our 3rd down specialists next year, a la Slade and Victor Strong-Butler once upon a time.

      DT is still my biggest concern though. Finding someone to start alongside Castro will be our toughest task because Frahm is only really suited to be a rusher on 3rd down at this point. Tuivailala might have to play big minutes, I have no idea how good or what his potential is though. Have Fred Thompson and Thomas Molesi disappeared never to be seen again?

      • angry angry says:
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        Fred Thompson is supposed to be on campus in two months. I haven’t heard anything about Tuivailala’s progress. Right now, I’d bet the ends will be Glover and Crichton.

        Dilbeck, Watkins, LaGrone, Murphy…they’ll all have a shot at that safety position.

        Frahm will likely start at DT. Not a good situation there. Castro M. was man-handled quite a bit last game. We were all high on him a few weeks ago, but he looked bad this week. Still an unknown in my book.

        As it stands, next year we’ll see the same problems only at DT instead of LB. I’d be surprised if they don’t sign a Juco DT or two. There’s a ton of playing time up for grabs. Maybe the 4-star preps will take notice as well.

  • UofDuck says:
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    If you guys are 113th in total defense, then what are the Dux? 121st? It is only a matter of time before we go down and that stinks for the Pac 12 as a whole (not for Beavers I recognize). I guess I can only keep my fingers crossed that we score a bazillion and one each week and only let up a bazillion. Sad!

    • OneEyedKing says:
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      To be fair, your defense gives up yards but does so to gamble for TOs, which are a big deal. So it kind of balances out.
      Now, if you play an offense that absolutely never turns the ball over, you might be in trouble.

      • UofDuck says:
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        You mean like the Beavers – who have one turn over all year. I see where you are going with this mister. Don’t try to sneak up on a Duck, we’re cunning like a fox – okay we’re not really, but we would like to be.

        I just can’t see us lasting another 7 games with our current defense prowess and not gagging a game or two, or three…away.

  • OSUBFB says:
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    I agree with Angry. Anyone who thinks the Beav’s deserve a higher ranking right now is delirious. The defense is very suspect.

    The skill positions on offense are awesome. Not so much on the o-line. They are good but not great. Katz is the real deal.

    Regarding petitions, it’s great to see fans want to protect their teams’ players. I missed that originally and reacted harsh since it seems like it was “pissing into the wind” or “b*tching”. I am glad fans want to send a message to the Pac-10 commish along side the OSU coaching staff who submits questionable calls via video every week. I think the coaches’ voices will make more impact in the short term- but it’s good to see fans react so strongly. My bad.

    Regards,

    Ditch digger, OSU hater, inbred, troller, bad commentor, Rivals.com dissident

  • CastorNation says:
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    I can’t quite understand how Banker seems to miss the talent. It is a given that coaches look at film. Wouldn’t he see LB’s missing tackles? Wouldn’t that motivate him to move someone to start that produces better? I thought Collins and Doctor had better performances.
    As to ranking, who cares. The Beavers are not in any national discussion. At this point it is all about the Rose Bowl and ranking doesn’t matter, just PAC 10 champions.

    • OneEyedKing says:
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      Rankings are a joke anyway, since they’re based on pre-season rankings. How do you rank teams before they’ve even played a game? Not to mention all the east-coast writers and coaches going to bed before our games are even over.
      I don’t care much about the rankings or the stats, just improving and playing for the Rose Bowl.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I have to agree with my apathy for rankings. They’re stupid first, and I could not care less second… at this point.

    Around weeks 10 and 11 are when they start to get interesting. And if we’re playing for the roses again, the voters will be sure to rank us highly by the time that game rolls around. If UO and we stay undefeated, I can see two top six teams playing in the Civil War. And at that point eve

  • JackBeav says:
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    I have to agree with my apathy for rankings. They’re stupid first, and I could not care less second… at this point.

    Around weeks 10 and 11 are when they start to get interesting. And if we’re playing for the roses again, the voters will be sure to rank us highly by the time that game rolls around. If UO and we stay undefeated, I can see two top six teams playing in the Civil War. And at that point everyone will be wondering why a team with two losses is ranked so highly.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    It is obvious that the weak link for OSU is defense. The offense and special teams are strong (and will continue to be strong this year, even without James Rodgers).

    Going one level deeper, the weak links for this year’s OSU defense are also obvious: Brandon Hardin and Keith Pankey.

    I have been watching Brandon Hardin closely for the past several games. I’ve seen him drop gift interceptions that hit him in the hands and in the shoulder pads. I’ve seen him get beaten by different receivers in each game. I’ve seen him cluelessly faceguarding receivers downfield. I’ve seen him miss tackles in a variety of situations (in the backfield on blitzes; downfield on backs and receivers). My conclusion is that Brandon Hardin is not a top-quality CB, and never will be. I also think he has a low football IQ — too low to play safety for the Beavers. Perhaps he could bulk up during the off-season and take a shot at playing outside LB? If not, I think he’s at best a decent back-up CB and a good special teams coverage guy, not a starting CB.

    As for Pankey, he’s one or two steps slow. End of story. Pankey should be a back-up LB, behind Cameron Collins, for the rest of this season.

    As for next season, the Beavers’ offense is going to be lights-out (especially if James Rodgers returns healthy). Even more than this season, the only thing holding back the Beavers from greatness next season will be the defense. And being more specific, the problem is going to be the interior of the defensive line (due to the loss of Paea and Olander).

    What to do? Mike Riley needs to get involved PERSONALLY in recruiting one or two 4-star defensive tackle prospects (or JuCo transfers) to join next year’s Beaver squad. That should be Riley’s top recruiting priority (rather than spending time recruiting another top high school QB — the Beavers are already in good shape at QB for the next few years). And Riley can’t delegate this to someone else. He has to make it happen by getting actively and personally involved.

    If Riley does that, and succeeds in persuading one or two stud DT’s to come aboard, I think the Beavs are a potential Top Five team next year (again, assuming that James Rodgers comes back healthy next year, and that the other key players are healthy, too….)

    Go Beavers!!

    • JackBeav says:
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      I think we’re all being a little hard on Hardin. He’s playing the hardest position in our scheme, and he’s doing it against some of the best competition in the country. How many of us expected him to be the shining hero against Nick Foles and Juron Criner?

      That being said, he needs to improve. He does possess a decent football IQ, or he wouldn’t be in position to drop some INT’s or miss some tackles. He just needs to start making those plays rather than miss them. Going forward, he will be targeted. And if he fails in a big way, then I think all hope for improvement may be lost. But let’s give him a little credit for holding it together in the face of being the only defender on his side on most plays against some of the best offenses in the country.

      A part of his troubles comes from not having a LB in front of him. I think it was painfully obvious to all that playing inside out means we get to see Pankey following slow RB’s to the edge like a really slow DT. That has to place some horrendous pressure on a CB who has to read play actions and check downs to his side.

      If he’s placed in a position where he isn’t just a secondary weak link, then we’ll see how good or bad he can be. Until then, I have a hard time jumping on his back.

      I see good or better depth at all positions except DT as well. And even Tuivailala and Thompson provide some intrigue. But it would be nice to get some great run stuffers up the middle like Peat and Moala. But we also need some fresh beef on the O-line.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Regarding DT next season for the Beavers, and the difference that a freshman DT can make — see redshirt freshman DT Justin Washington (Arizona) or true freshman DT Johnathan Hankins (Ohio State).

    There are guys out there who could help. OSU just needs to make this the top recruiting priority for this cycle.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Regarding Hardin he has not been good but the next few games will give him a chance to at least try and show he can be decent. If they were facing Stanford and Oregon the next few weeks I would want to see a change immediately but they’re not so they can give him a few weeks to improve and hopefully he does.

    With Pankey it’s time to put him as a backup. He’s just way too slow to be getting meaningful time out there. I do not understand how Pankey is a starter he is awful. Collins and Doctor should be starting and both OLB positions. That would help them be even better come next season.

    This team definitely needs to find some good DT next season if they don’t t

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Regarding Hardin he has not been good but the next few games will give him a chance to at least try and show he can be decent. If they were facing Stanford and Oregon the next few weeks I would want to see a change immediately but they’re not so they can give him a few weeks to improve and hopefully he does.

    With Pankey it’s time to put him as a backup. He’s just way too slow to be getting meaningful time out there. I do not understand how Pankey is a starter he is awful. Collins and Doctor should be starting and both OLB positions. That would help them be even better come next season.

    This team definitely needs to find some good DT next season if they don’t that will be a big weakness for next season. If they will fill that need they will be a pretty complete team next season.

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