29.Dec.2010 Beaver Athletics & Cognitive Dissonance

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Cognitive dissonance as defined by psychology.org:

According to cognitive dissonance theory, there is a tendency for individuals to seek consistency among their cognitions (i.e., beliefs, opinions). When there is an inconsistency between attitudes or behaviors (dissonance), something must change to eliminate the dissonance. In the case of a discrepancy between attitudes and behavior, it is most likely that the attitude will change to accommodate the behavior.

Two factors affect the strength of the dissonance: the number of dissonant beliefs, and the importance attached to each belief. There are three ways to eliminate dissonance: (1) reduce the importance of the dissonant beliefs, (2) add more consonant beliefs that outweigh the dissonant beliefs, or (3) change the dissonant beliefs so that they are no longer inconsistent.

Dissonance occurs most often in situations where an individual must choose between two incompatible beliefs or actions. The greatest dissonance is created when the two alternatives are equally attractive. Furthermore, attitude change is more likely in the direction of less incentive since this results in lower dissonance. In this respect, dissonance theory is contradictory to most behavioral theories which would predict greater attitude change with increased incentive (i.e., reinforcement).

It's my opinion Oregon State suffers from this phenomena more than any major university. It starts with the administration, trickles to the athletic department, and finally ends with the fans.

Everybody knows Aesop's fable called the Fox and the Grapes. In the tale, a fox cannot reach the high hanging grapes, and so he tells himself, "I did not want those grapes anyway as they are probably not ripe." By doing so, the fox reduces the cognitive dissonance in his mind, making him better able to cope with his own short comings.

You might say, "okay Angry, but we are not foxes and we do not care to eat grapes." Fine, how about eating unhealthy food, or drinking alcohol. These things kill human, yet most humans want to live a long and healthy life. These contradicting thoughts create tension, and people resolve and justify this tension (i.e. their destructive actions) by claiming one or many of the following:

  • citing sources that say unhealthy foods may actually be healthy
  • rationalizing that drinking in moderation is okay
  • rationalizing that if food or drink doesn't kill them, something else will
  • convincing themselves that since others engage in the behavior it can't be all that bad.
  • stating that many people eat unhealthy food or drink heavily, but only a select few gain enough weight to die from it.

So how does this relate to Oregon State?

Well, the most obvious relationship is with Mike Riley's recruiting philosophy. As Steve Sanner astutely noted, Riley goes for the "low hanging fruit"…this is not at all different than Aesop's "The Fox and the Grape." Instead of building a proverbial ladder to reach the fruit he desires, Riley instead rationalizes his decision, saying things like "I want them to be 4 or 5 stars when they leave" and claiming to pay no attention to the recruiting services. The former is rationalization from making bad decisions, and the latter is a result of cognitive dissonance known as an ego defense mechanism. If Riley has an "A List" and fails to sign players from it, what he should do–to use the Aesop analogy once again–is build a ladder to reach the high, ripe fruit.

Does any of this sound familiar when you consider the average Beaver fan's perception of recruiting? Even to this day, most fans will welcome with open arms the unheralded 0-star recruit with no DI offers. They will firmly believe, like a dirt farmer with his lottery ticket, that player X is the next Mike Hass and Johnathan Smith, but there is never a peep about Joel Cohen, Ricky Herod, Rory Ross, and the much greater percentage of low-ranked recruits who never made it. Why do you think that it? The answer is because admitting or acknowledging failure lowers serotonin, creates a need for ego-defense mechanisms, and makes the individual accept their average existence.

With regard to the University as a whole, they are also guilty as charged. Selling the "Family Atmosphere" because they cannot sell things like tradition, prestige, academics, etc. The problem at such a large scale is that the University cannot speak the truth due to public perception. If OSU were to admit they are average across the board, enrollment would drop. Individual coaches and fans can admit flaws and relieve themselves of cognitive dissonance because the audience is specialized, smaller, and wants to hear the truth and how it will be improved upon.

People sometimes ask me why I put so much effort into running such a "negative" site. This is the reason why: cognitive dissonance. There is too much of it around this program. I want to admit what we are and why we are what we are, and until every last fan does so, I will continue to do it. This is somewhat of a plea, but I have pride and will not stoop to outright beg. But Beaver fan, by rationalizing the signing of Kellen Clute, Blake Harrah, et al., even if they turn out to be Shanon Sharpe and Dick Butkus, you have just done yourself and university an injustice because you have accepted the low hanging fruit. Demand the building of a ladder, find the materials to do so, pick the high fruit, and if it turns out to be sour there is no cognitive dissonance to rationalize as you can take solace in knowing you have tried your best. The bottom line is this: adjusting your attitude to accept the problem is not a solution. Changing your behavior, or demanding others change their behavior that is causing the problem is a solution. Demand more.

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  • ean says:
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    If all coach Riley went after was the 4 and 5 star kids we would get rejected and be left scrambling at the end. OSU does not have PR machine like some schools it is going to be a long slow process and it may be painful at times. I don’t see where you offer any solutions. What do you suggest. I think Riley would love to have all the top guys but he can’t come out and say that he missed on all them… part of his job is selling the fans hope to buy tickets.

    • angry angry says:
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      I did offer a solution: build a latter to higher grapes.

      1. Higher better recruiters. Heyward has come on strong this past year, but he was garbage his first two. Pflugrad was available and a known monster of a recruiter.

      2. Who has replaced the dead guy (forget his name) as the talent evaluator?

      3. Where is the recruiting coordinator?

      4. Can the Beavers use technology and get on-line? Gundy is helping with this, but it’s 2011 folks.

      5. Can we start pitching playing time like other schools to get an edge? Is it really a lie to tell Moala he will start next year???

      6. Starting scholarship players on the offensive line would go a lone way toward landing DI offensive linemen. Coincidence we’ve landed one good OL prospect this year after starting walk-ons for two straight?

      7. High a sports psychologist

      8. Market better. etc.

      I’ve given hundreds of solutions over the past year and a half, and have hundreds more ideas if Bob D wants them. You are making excuses for a school that’s made bad decisions that have left them behind the times, and then blaming me by saying I’m not offering solutions. Again, cognitive dissonance in the fan base.

  • ean says:
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    Part of being successful is recognizing the limitations that you have to work with.

    • angry angry says:
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      and creatively overcoming them.

      There is zero creativity, and the school is ridiculous behind the times with technology and manpower. Enough excuses.

  • Warren says:
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    I say we target everyone Boise offers.

    • 2 says:
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      Here’s to hoping we land Moala, Lopa, Peat, McClure, Moore, Sample, Nowicki, and White. Those are some of the “highest grapes” and there is still a chance if we jump really high, we might be able to grab them. Maybe Hobbi as well:)

      That being said, if we do land say 4 of those guys, how do you see that affecting the future of recruiting and the future of the program? I know it’s a stretch just curious

      • Beavocalypse says:
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        Thing is, OSU only nabs about 1-2 4 stars a class. And we don’t continue building on that success. If we get 3-5 4 stars in one class.

        • Beavocalypse says:
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          I’d be more impressed if we got 3-5 4 star athletes.

          • angry angry says:
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            There should be no number like this. Would I be happy with 4? I’d be happier, but why say 4 is the number and be content there? Maybe the 5th one is the one that allows you to compete for a championship instead of a Sun Bowl?

            It’s not all about rivals.com star ratings, either. Trosin is a 4-star. Cooks is a 4-star. We have two of them. Zimmerman and Mullaney are high 3-stars, possibly 4. They all play WR, though.

            It’s about getting the stars, but also getting them at the right positions. You’ll never win many games with a line of walk-ons. It just won’t happen. Show me one time in the history of college football where a line of 3 (and sometimes 4) walk-ons won anything. Forget a Sun Bowl–show me where they had a winning record and went to any bowl.

            Desmond Collins is a low 2 star. Rivals has him at 5.7 and 3. Addie is listed as 3, but he’s clearly a 2. Stars don’t matter for that reason. But we can all recognize an uber talent. We all see Harrah has one good play on 5 minutes of film. That half these guys are projects, etc.

            Give me an offense of eleven 2-star Trosins and I’ll be thrilled. It’s not about stars, necessarily.

  • boxer22 says:
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    What else does OSU have to sell at this point?
    I think Riley does a good job with what he has to work with. Each year our recruiting classes have gotten better. Tradition and prestige are built over time and I think we are heading in the right direction. If you are looking for instant success without working for it I suggest you look to the South. Do you really want our program to be like the Hole?

    • angry angry says:
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      It’s a decade later and the talent level is the same as in 2000. Even worse, since that was a BCS squad. Is Keith Pankey starting in 2000? And if he does, is the team in the Fiesta Bowl? I’ve been hearing about this slow climb in recruiting, yet I see the same 3-star/c-list recruits over and over.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Ean,

    If I may offer a suggestion, I believe that what Angry is suggesting that Riley sets a bar for a certain kind of athlete.

    One goal that I think OSU should set is to compete with other Pac-10 schools for athletes, and win these battles. No more competing with the likes of Utah State for recruits or aim constantly for “off the radar” guys. In many cases, the reason why a lot of these recruits have stars is they are from schools that are winning, other schools are interested in them, or based simply on exposure of the media they are more obvious athletes.

    If I were to use, albeit a faulty, example- we could talk about NCAA Football (take your pick what year). The best way to succeed in that game is to be one of the first to offer big time recruits, gauge their interest, and if you can’t land them with the best pitches you have, then you move incrementally down and if you NEED to fill spots, you shoot for 1-2 star athletes.

    I don’t doubt that Riley and company know what they are doing with these unsung athletes, but I just want to see them go for broke a bit more in the opening weeks of the recruiting process, rather than try to nab these athletes late in the process.

    Just aim a little higher, that’s all.

    • angry angry says:
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      I’m suggesting exactly what I wrote.

      The standard is to pick the low hanging fruit. Then justify it, like Ean just did, by saying we can’t reach the high hanging fruit, when in fact we can by building a ladder we are slow to build. And that is putting it nicely.

      Ean is making a ridiculous counter argument saying I’m suggesting we pick all high fruit. Never said that and it’s putting words in my mouth and unreasonable.

      Ean is doing exactly what I said. Read what cognitive dissonance is. It’s changing expectations or mindset instead of behavior. He’s basically proven my point with his post.

      Also, what have I done, Ean? I made this blog and labor over it to get this message to fans, the AD, coaches, etc. Not only do I offer solutions, but my time and energy drilling home the message. Why? Because what is going on can be better. That you are resisting what this very post is about is what makes fans frustrating. I’ll keep drilling home the point, though. Eventually you’ll get it.

      • OSU4Life says:
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        Angry, I think creating a twitter and a facebook page would help market your blog, or at the very least help spread the word better! Just a suggestion.

  • beavskis says:
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    I just got into this very discussion with a buddy over the holidays. His dad is a pretty distinguished alum and a real homer. Thus, he basically views the program as his dad does: “Riley’s doing the best he can with what he has to work with.” I wholeheartedly disagree. Riley’s had 10 years to build a solid foundation and a winning program, and, if coach Robinson and coach Casey can recruit top-25 caliber classes. Why can’t Riley?

    If we want a better product on the field, it comes down to needing better athletes. There is no question in my mind that Mike Riley is a good football coach. There is no question in my mind that Mike Riley does a lot with a little. However, if you expect more than what we’ve been seeing (the prospect of a Sun or Las Vevas bowl), recruiting has to improve.

    If we don’t start trending towards more 3 and 4 stars, and less 0 and 2 stars, this program will be going nowhere fast.

  • JackBeav says:
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    I still don’t understand the dislike for Kellen Clute. Are we going to dismiss that we’re getting an all-state first team TE who has only played H-back for one year? Many observers have him pegged as a football player, (not just an athlete) who can play either side of the ball with great success.

    • angry angry says:
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      I just envision him as another Brady Camp. Not exactly a game changing TE. Maybe I am wrong. I have never been able to find film, and he has no other offers. Is it more reasonable to think a guy with no film or offers will be all-conference or a poor player? If he is an all-state talent, you would think at least WSU would know about him and offer him. He camped at Boise State and they had no interest, either. If he is good, why does nobody want him?

      • JackBeav says:
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        I think he has some connection to OSU which was obvious to all who talked to him. His play is described by a friend as “Hayden Plinke with an extreme edge.” This friend really likes Plinke at TE as well… and so does Chris Petersen apparently. I’ve heard indirectly that an NFL scout believes he can be the next Kevin Boss… only Clute is a little better at blocking. Apparently he likes to put defenders on their butts.

        I’ve not seen any film on him either, but I’ve never heard anyone say anything but ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ about him. My understanding is that he never sent any tape because he was just a FB before this year. And his attitude this season was ‘don’t bother’ whenever anyone approached him about recruiting. He camped at Wazzu, BSU and OSU. He liked Corvallis best, and when they offered first he took it.

        Boise might have nabbed him if they weren’t hung on what they thought were higher rated players at the beginning of the season. It was kinda funny. I heard that Petersen thought he still had a shot at Austin Seferian-Jenkins, so they put Clute in the ‘still evaluating’ category. Clute committed to us, and ASJ committed to UW less than a week later. Petersen missed out on two of the top three TE prospects in the NW (Lyerla being the other) in a matter of a couple days.

        • JackBeav says:
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          Another thing to consider is that Clute was far superior to Charlie Hopkins when they went head to head (they met long before Hopkins blew out his knee). And he outplayed Hopkins on both sides of the ball throughout the season.

          When all else fails, doesn’t he just look like he can be a mean summofabatcha?

  • JackBeav says:
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    I think you miss on the overall take on the school. Ed Ray has stated that the goal for the university is to be a top ten land grant institution, and he has made great strides in recent years. He does not throw this number out lightly either. He knows from experience what raw materials he has to work with and what they can be once polished. It’s the polishing process that takes some adjustment.

    As is always the case, comparisons need to be made to UO. They have stated the same goals in terms of academic perception, but they are chasing their goals with perception rather than incrementally building on a solid foundation. They are hamstrung by their mandate within the OUS. That’s why they can’t hold a candle to OSU academically. But they do have some very strong liberal arts programs which lend to their over-use of perception as a weapon. Is it any surprise that psychology, design and marketing are the only programs at UO which garner better than average marks from their peers?

    OSU chooses instead to work on their fundamentals and build from there. It has taken a change of tact in order to build beyond what was once unseen. I know the USN&WR rankings are bunk, but they are highly visible. Anyone with a discerning nature could spend five minutes researching their methodology and conclude that they are highly subjective and deficient in so many areas that there must be an underlying reason for the medium’s popularity amongst even those who are thought to be academically pure of thought. Since that reason was uncovered a couple years ago, then I would suggest that the topic of this post is wholly responsible for the continued success of their rankings.

    But that’s neither here nor there. Our administration’s recognition of USN&WR’s rankings as a tool to further OSU’s real value is evidence that they are moving in the right direct

    • JackBeav says:
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      …ion. What once was something to look down upon is now something to use like a bidet. It doesn’t matter that others are drinking from it to quench their thirst. All we need it to do is clean our backside.

      The recognition of the administration to increase the endowment is one shared by UO as well. But Ray is doing it by gathering large amounts from the public and private interests who have benefited from OSU’s existence (and will do so in the future). UO’s method is to beg the Oregon legislature for an obscene amount of money which they promise to match one day.

      All huff and no puff may work in the world of athletic marketing, but it doesn’t fly in the world of other people’s money.

      As a result, OSU has spent a lot of money in capital improvements which will benefit the school for years to come. And they have set aside a large amount of financial capital to endow several targeted faculty positions into the future.

      What was once a premiere veterinary school became dilapidated over the years, but an infusion of cash will bring it back into elite status. Earth sciences and engineering are beginning to flourish, so much so that there will be few rivals when stated goals are met.

      The Linus Pauling Science Center will be a jewel on the West Coast.

      And there is housing going up which will provide space for the influx of foreign students coming through OSU’s partnership with INTO (the first US school to do so back in 2008).

      And they’re doing so much more in maintenance, retrogrades and remodels to list here, all while building with sustainability and overall campus esthetics in mind.

      While OSU can never lose the ability to provide the service of an education opportunity to those who qualify (meaning that they allow what the elite universities of the world would regard as sub-standard students… or what I would call legacies at those same elite schools), they can meet the stated goal of greater enrollment (35,000?) by recruiting more varied and substantial students from all corners of the earth. The plan is in its infancy right now, but it has far surpassed what must have been conservative incremental goals.

  • JR says:
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    So you want all fans to recognize that the program is “average” and then you say Riley should be getting 4,5 star players? How many “average” programs bring that type of talent in? I understand that you want fans to demand more and I agree that the program fails to market creatively but there also has to be 4, 5 star players who want to play here. You can’t just “create a player.”

    You have to ask, what does OSU offer that the competition doesn’t. Currently its pretty slim for OSU in regards to the options 4, 5 star players have.

    • angry angry says:
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      The post is very clear about what I want. I don’t want to repeat and/or beat a dead horse. What you’re describing it is a chicken/egg cycle. That’s not what I am talking about.

      We’ll know in about a month if any true progress was made with (a) the coach’s free time and (b) their recruiting methodology and model.

      Right now, I see the same class we always sign. Beaver fans making it to be better than most are just correcting their dissonance.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Angry,
    At what point is Riley held accountable for a stagnant program? We are seeing coaches with very similiar resumes shown the door this year.

    • angry angry says:
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      I feel everyone is allowed a down year (like this one), but the trend should be upward. The Beavers are 5-10 in their last 15 games. He’s accountable always, but he’s on the hot seat (yeah right, lifetime contract) starting with next season’s kickoff. The guy better take the next step or things are going to get bizarre. Restless fans + lifetime contract = Bob D is suddenly in a lot of trouble.

      • JR says:
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        I’m not saying chicken and an egg. I’m saying the day that OSU gets 4, 5 star players is a long way off

        • angry angry says:
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          Nobody is asking for four 5-star players. Again, those rankings are subjective (e.g. Trosin is a 4-star). Land cornerstones like that each class. I don’t know how many. I’d say at least five, but obviously the more the better. I do know there’s a lot of low-hanging 1 and 2 star “filler” fruit on Riley’s rosters. Replace those with actual depth and you start to have a team that can do things. It’s as if Riley recruits starter talent and then practice squad talent, which is why we never have depth.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Well, they’re actually 6-9 in their last 15 games but completely agree with what you said. If the Beavers are bad next season, Riley won’t be the one in trouble, Bob De Carolis will be.

    • mckalk mckalk says:
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      I think Bobby D. is playing on that “cognitive dissonance” with Beaver Nation and it could backfire. I think he truly believes (based on the dark years) that everyone is happy with minor bowl games and a loyal coach for life. Has he even commented on this seasons underachievement publicly yet? And loyalty is a two way street, Riley headed to greener pastures before, so I am not hung up on that either.

  • ObjCritic says:
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    One thing OSU COULD offer talented athletes is early playing time. With the right influx of talent, those players could reasonably expect Holiday Bowl games, and the occasional Rose Bowl.

    The pac-12 north will be owned by Oregon if OSU doesn’t respond to Kelly’s escalation of talent and scheme implementation. OSU is not guaranteed, with its current level of talent, to reestablish it’s win streak over the UW, maintain domindance over Cal, compete with Stanford, and remember Utah is right at OSU’s talent-point. That says to me, in a pac-12 north, OSU could reasonbly be expected to be 4th out of 6 teams.

    OSU did not beat a single NW team this year! UW, WSU, or Oregon.

    OSU has lost to UO three times straight, costing itself two rose bowls and a meaningless bowl, while conversely, UO has played for progressively higher stakes (Holiday, Rose, National Championship). UO celebrated its trip to the NC on Reser Turf. UO fans burned Reser turf. ESPN GameDay had a UO lovefest in the quad. Respond and escalate Riley – sign talented players and play them. It’s the “playing” part that Riley and staff struggle with, so determined to prove they can develop walk-ons…

    • OSU4Life says:
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      Well said!!! OSU can’t be left behind. Mike Riley must sign some of these blue chips during this final stretch of recruiting! OSU must increase its speed, talent and athleticism to get to the next level! What will it take for OSU to get a team like the 2000 Fiesta Bowl team again? Lord knows how much we all miss that defense!

      • mw2 says:
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        If OSU ever schedules Eastern Washington in the beginning of the year again, and the Beavers escape with a 2 point victory, then we’ll know we’re in for a special season.

        • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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          If OSU has EWU on the schedule period they’re in for a great season. Only 2 times they’ve won 10 games, they played EWU thats season. Coincidence? I think Not lol

  • JR says:
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    I also love that everyone is applying this to football when it is the basketball program that the fans should be demanding more of. Robinson can only do so much in a short period of time. The University meanwhile has had 20 years.

    • JackBeav says:
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      It’s funny that the hoops team suffers from the same condition in Coach Rob’s time… only in reverse.

      Everyone (including the coach) has been hoping the seniors will be better with every game. But they’re retreating into shells while the youngsters are taking over.

      I still see value in Haynes and Wallace, but only if they completely alter the priorities within their games. To pretend that they are going to be scoring leaders or even perimeter threats is a waste of time… mine and theirs.

    • angry angry says:
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      It’s not just football.
      I’m still on Robinson’s side. I believe that early schedule was an experiment to avoid mutiny and genuinely figure out who can do what in live game action. I saw Robinson learning by the end.

      • JackBeav says:
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        We’ll see how much was learned tonight.

        Calvin looked like he was done with his three week tantrum, and he played excellent defense at the point of attack. But was that because he was sick and felt he was off on the offensive end? His illness provided more minutes for the youngsters, and they responded well.

        Wallace was a changed man as well. He was still a liability on the offensive end, but his wing defense showed that he was way out of place as a guard on defense. I still worry about his lateral quickness to cover the end line, but his help side was excellent.

        Omari has left the house. He played the short corner once, and not very short or very effectively. The only time he moved to the rim on offense was when somebody other than him shot the ball. Wallace has proven that he is becoming more adept on the offensive glass than Omari is, and Lathen is willing to play the mid-range and in to score.

        Omari was also terribly slow on defense. He looked so lost against UIC that I wondered why their coach didn’t key on Omari’s side every time down. The one thing saving his game was that he was so turned around that he was simply taking up the whole mid-range in his confusion.

        What works in our favor is that the new focus on the extended and match-up 2-3 zones will work for our offense during league play. We are going to face those defenses from almost all conference teams this year.

        We’ll know when the starting five take the floor what Coach Rob has in mind for all these schemes.

  • angry angry says:
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    The most interesting part of this post is the line “attitude will change to accommodate the behavior.”

    This is what we see with fans in their justification of everything Riley et al do. We saw it with Pankey. It’s what stops the program from being as good as it can be. I realize there is a cap on how good we can be, but we are not there and this is the reason why.

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    In large part, I agree with Angry about “cognitive dissonance” in Beaverland. But I’d use different words.

    The key principle is simple — keep doing the same things, and you will keep getting the same results.

    The OSU football program keeps doing the same things (e.g., wasting scholarships on 1-star recruits; relying on walk-ons to play O-line and D-line). And the OSU football program, for the past decade has been getting the same results (mediocrity). This is NOT a coincidence.

    Many Beaver fans seem to be living in denial about all this. They find solace by “hoping” for better results “next season” (an attempt to reduce “cognitive dissonance”, in Angry’s terms). But “hope” is not a plan, and “next season” inevitably turns out like this season (disappointing).

    So, Beaver Nation, what’s it going to be? Change behavior to get better results? Or keep doing the same old stuff, and rely on “wishing and hoping” to deal with the dissonance and live with the mediocrity?

    I think that’s all Angry is talking about, in different terms.

    • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav says:
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      In most respects OSU football has been doing the same things and getting similar results, as Silver said. However, I see one difference this past season and it is not good.

      The lack of effort, intensity, motivation, desire, focus, or whatever you want to call it stands out in my mind as the most obvious difference this year. How a team can stay in the fight against TCU and BSU and then come out so flat against UCLA, WSU, and the first half at UW is something that Riley et al must solve. I am convinced that there are factors unrelated to athletic skill which got out of control this year. We can all speculate but it is Riley’s responsibility to correct this.

      Has anyone noticed this poor attitude in the Riley era(s)? Is it just an off year??

      • angry angry says:
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        Because UCLA, WSU, and WU were all games that had expectations (to win), and TCU, BSU, Oregon, USC, etc were games they were supposed to lose. The team had zero leadership, and therefore played best with no pressure. It’s the trait common of losers, and that’s exactly what they did.

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        I think it started with James Rodgers’ season-ending injury at AZ. But the season’s key moment, in my opinion, was the failed 2-point conversion that resulted in the loss at Washington. When Halahuni failed to hold on to that pass in the end zone, the dream suddenly died. OSU players came to the realization that they were not going to have another charmed late-season run to a Civil War for the Roses. And when that collective dream died, the team lost focus and also lost confidence in each other and in the coaching staff. The rest of the season was a struggle to get the team pulling together, rather than pulling apart. And it showed in all kinds of ways (including, not least, in Jacquizz criticizing his O-line in the media — a terrible mistake on his part).

        I agree that Riley and his staff need to learn from all this. A team like the Beavers — with limited athletic talent — needs to bring its “A” game every week to win.

        But, longer term, the more important point is to address the talent shortfall by improving recruiting. OSU’s success should not be made to depend on athletes of limited talent being able to overachieve each week. Look at Oregon and other successful D-1 programs — they are recruiting much better athletes than we are. If we want to achieve better results, we need to improve our recruiting. Period.

        • angry angry says:
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          Yeah these are good observations. I agree with almost all of that, but also think they played best in the games with no expectations as is their wont.

          ps. Did you happen to see Adam Hall getting called out AGAIN for a cheap shot in the Oklahoma State game last night? The telecasters were all over him. Riley’s opinion: “shucks, the guy was just trying to make a play…”

        • oneoldbeav oneoldbeav says:
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          Lots of people comment about the two point conversion; I’ve always felt that the game should not have been close enough for that to be the deciding factor. A little imagination from Langsdorf would have made a big difference against UW and several other opponents.

          But the failed conversion was, in the end, the focal point of the game so I see your point.

          • angry angry says:
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            The Beavers were down 21-0 and playing no defense until they realized they had to actually try to win the game. Then they played. Poor leadership and mindset. The game should not have come down to the 2 point conversion (which was the right call. Riley was correct in saying his team was gassed and could not stop Washington).

            I hated Langsdorf this past season. I feel he’s getting by on nepotism and organ donation. But, he’s calling plays and the guys blocking for said plays have the ability of you and I, so is the criticism completely fair? No. It’s somewhat fair, but this line situation needs to became stabilized before we know where the true blame lies.

        • TheOtherGuy says:
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          First off, silver and angry make some great points – especially highlighting the lack of leadership. Second, I’m a Duck who married a Beaver (after hearing me out, feel free to run me off the blog if you wish and I won’t return). I’ve seen most Beaver games this year – all that were televised anyway.

          Leadership really is a bigger issue than some may think. The moment James Rodgers went down, the heart and soul was lost for the year. The expressions went from confident to the “deer in the headlights” syndrome. Players AND coaches. Could one player make or break a team’s year? Unfortunately, yes. I think it is clear that the sidelines didn’t provide the leadership to overcome adversity.

          Before I ask my question, some background should help. Understand that Oregon went through this lack of leadership with Ernie Kent and the hoops team. His only successful years were when he had players on the court providing the leadership and direction – Aaron Brooks, Luke and Luke, etc. It is frustrating for the fans to find out that the coach provides no master plan or doesn’t implement a system to run.

          I am getting the same feeling for you guys and the football team. Would your season have ended up significantly better if James wasn’t injured? No doubt about it. But would it have been because the other players would feel more confident with James on the field or would the coaches have coached differently? I believe the leadership would have come from field, not the sidelines.

          When all is said and done, the key for Riley is to surround himself with others of higher expectations and more accountability. Coaches AND players.

          Like him or hate him, Chip Kelly illustrates my point well. Chip, the coaches, the players and the AD’s office all have set high expectations – and it works.

          Here’s hoping Riley does what he needs to do to improve quality on the field – and on the sidelines. It’s more fun when the wife is excited about the team.

    • angry angry says:
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      Silver, all I mean by Cog Dis is that when there is tension between what is reality and what you perceive reality to be, a human will adjust mindset before adjusting behavior. So, fans will “rationalize” the 1-star signings by citing Mike Hass et al without acknowledging the hundreds of walk-ons whom failed. It’s a psychological term that doesn’t really belong in football, but since I feel a lot of the problems around this program ARE psychological issues I brought it up. I realize my point might be confusing, but hopefully this clears it up. Just think what Aesop’s Fox did when it couldn’t reach the grapes, and you have what Beaver fans (and coaches) do. That is cog-dis. The proper behavior is to build the proverbial ladder to reach the grapes. Behavior adjustment > rationalizing.

      • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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        Agreed and understood. I do think we are saying the same thing, just with different words.

        Many Beaver fans seem willing to accept the same old results. And they tell themselves this is OK by rationalizing, wishing, hoping, etc. But, again, hope is not a plan.

        It’s simple. Change behavior. Or accept the same old results. You want OSU to change its behavior. So do I. The sooner, the better….

  • ean says:
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    I guess I missed the point of all of this. I would like to see the teams get better no doubt though. I am not sure about all of your suggestions because i don’t know what a lot of them mean but if they help the teams get better then that is good. I guess in the future I will avoid conversations like these and just comment on the actual games. This kind of stuff is not my cup of tea I am not that deep.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Relax. He’s just saying there’s a place for what you hope to see, but that shouldn’t erase what you actually see. They can be compartmentalized and discussed in such a way that they don’t marry each other.

      When someone hopes, wishes or prays for something, they read the results in such a way that they report only what supports their belief system.

      If you pray to any imaginary sky deity for a flower not to die, you waste your winter being upset at your deity because the flower didn’t make it through the first frost. You may even question your faith in what your imagination created in the first place. But when spring arrives and you find that the flower re-seeded and has produced multiple plants where the one was, you claim that it must be your personified imagination responding to your plea in some wondrous way you had never thought possible.

      Then some mean old botanist comes along and explains to you the ins and outs of that particular species of flower. S/he de-mystifies the process and lays it all out in terms sensible, tangible and real.

      Human nature says that you stick with the imaginary sky deity through thick and thin, because to believe the botanist would be an admittance that you were wrong in some small way prior to his or her teachings. If the small lie to yourself can be wrong, then that opens the door for the big lie to be exposed. And you can’t let that happen… or so you think.

      One day I hope you learn that seeing everything for what it is turns out to be a freedom unsurpassed.

      Stopping to smell the roses doesn’t become some futile exercise in trying to explain the mystical reason for the smell’s existence. It’s just a lovely smell there for your pleasure, and you know not to grasp the stem because you were aware of the thorns.

      • angry angry says:
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        Look at this Walt Whitman!

      • angry angry says:
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        This is a good paragraph, though.

        “Human nature says that you stick with the imaginary sky deity through thick and thin, because to believe the botanist would be an admittance that you were wrong in some small way prior to his or her teachings. If the small lie to yourself can be wrong, then that opens the door for the big lie to be exposed. And you can’t let that happen… or so you think.”

        Human societies are actually founded on small lies to the self. Think of how many relationships (i.e. marriages, etc) are miserable because of this concept. Or the guy who goes to OSU because he’s not smart enough get a Stanford SAT score. Sure, there are exceptions to all of these generalities. e.g. I see some damn smart people on this blog. Point being that admitting personal flaws is extremely difficult. It is soooo much easier to come up with a plausible reason things did not go your way.

        JackBeav, in your example I sense some irony. The same person who would deny the botanist would glorify the cardiologist who explained or fixed their heart condition. You know what I mean? Science is Western civilization until it’s not.

        • JackBeav says:
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          That depends. There are still people who disregard all medicine as un-godly… whatever that means. Cognitive dissonance has at least provided the majority of the Earth’s population to allow that their deities were capable of creating a framework for scientific discovery. There is a growing movement among religious types who can’t quite compartmentalize that part of their life. They choose to accept their deities as creators, so when they see what they see they know with certainty that their deities are wondrous in their simplicity/complexity.

          Quite frankly, those who deny science in any way are insulting their all-powerful deities. They admit that their imagination cannot conceive of any being crafty enough to come up with something more complex than they themselves can understand.

          If I had a deity, it would be a damn sight smarter than I am.

          My favorite stupid argument was a couple years ago when some moron came up with the idea to counter evolution with the complexity of the eye. This dolt said that his deity must exist because the eye is so complex that it couldn’t have been evolved.

          And people in the media took it and ran with it like it had some validity. Then they asked some random scientist at some random school what he thought of the idea, and he just looked at them (coincidentally with his eyes) like they were the stupidest people on Earth… which they were at that point in time.

          • angry angry says:
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            Religion is tricky because it is so intricately related (in the cult sense) to power and money. The Pope? Really? Give me a break. I just watched a show on I.D. called “Disappeared”…the guy who, well, disappeared donated 30,000 to his cult/church before vanishing.

            Anyway, I could really go off on the subject of religion, the universe, philosophy, etc. It’s something I ponder a lot.

            I’ll say that eye argument is ridiculous. But, being a biologist, I am around a lot of arrogant jerks who believe the eye could only have evolved one way–through a slow evolution–and Darwin is their God. They state eye evolution as if it is fact.

            As a thought experiment, I enjoy the thoughts of Spinoza (among others, like Descartes “brain in a vat”)–cause and effect until you can no longer rationalize a cause to the ultimate effect (creation of the universe). If you just simply ask the question “why” to someone’s belief system they always break down and you ultimately wind up with the answer “because I just believe that’s the way it is.” The church calls this error or inability to comprehend “blind faith.” And I do think we have an inability to comprehend, and that is all blind faith is. Neanderthal comprehended less than us, a future version of man will comprehend more than we do, etc.

            There’s definitely some link between light, space-time, etc. Take a photograph of an object in motion. Think about what you’re seeing. At the quantum level things break down. String theory brings them together, but there are 11 versions and all comprised of esoteric math. Begs the question does the math make the theory exist or does it exist on it’s own accord? Then you have the human experience in his/her environment. Take a human who is not yet born. Is he tantamount to being dead? Senses create reality. People will say they know their apartment or home or a tree in the forest exists even when they are miles away from it. They can never under any circumstance (including video surveillance, equipment, etc) prove this. A coma/vegetable victim has no existence except to others with senses. The only thing a human is to do is to say “I think xyz exists because I think I see it”, but there are optical (and audial, etc) illusions galore (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_illusion) so you can’t trust anything. Final analysis is “I don’t know”…agnostic is the only respectable belief.

            That was a jumbled mess. I’m on some drugs and half asleep. lol. God, I should start a blog about this.

          • JackBeav says:
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            Ha!
            http://www.theonion.com/articles/evolutionists-flock-to-darwinshaped-wall-stain,2523/

            “I think that generally (& more and more so as I grow older) but not always, that an agnostic would be the most correct description of my state of mind.”
            –Charles Darwin in a Letter to John Fordyce, May 7 1879

          • angry angry says:
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            Funny. Check out the onion article I posted in the forum. It’s good.

            Darwin was also notoriously bad at math, and he felt it held him back his entire career. Definitely would score poorly on an SAT.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    One of my favorite sayings:

    “The greatest of all gifts is the power to estimate things at their true worth…” La Rochefoucauld, “Reflexions”

  • ean says:
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    Any pregame discussion of ASU?

  • G Joubert says:
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    Maybe you’re over-analyzing it. Maybe it’s just as simple as Riley not knowing how to recruit nor how to set up a competent recruiting system. Maybe in 97-98 (when he landed some recruits the program coasted on for years) he just got lucky. What he should do now is do a nationwide search for a young and hungry assistant who is building a track record and reputation as a good recruiter, someone in a lower or lesser job somewhere, where that coming to Oregon State and the PAC-10 would be an attractive step up. Hire the best one he can find and give him the assignment of getting his foot in the door of as many 4 and 5 star recruits he can, by whatever means he can. Pay him incentive bonuses for exceeding targets and goals. Just like in sales management.

  • OSUBABY OSUBABY says:
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    What about “Street Agents”?
    I keep hearing about Oregon using these types of recruiters to get big names, is this legal and why are we not doing this?

    • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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      Just a WAG on my part but I’d wager it has something to do with how much money a school does or doesn’t have.

  • mckalk mckalk says:
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    Are we expecting more from Riley or more from the football program? Riley has never won a championship or taken a team to a BCS bowl, so why after ten years would we have that expectation now? Ten years is a helluva long time to do a job in this day and age.
    Dennis Ericksen on the other hand, took two different programs to BCS bowls, so ASU fans should have that expectation from him as a coach.

    • angry angry says:
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      I think there’s a growing number of critics who are expecting more from Riley. Riley brought higher expectations upon himself by being moderately successful. This is not uncommon.

      Think of a great band like Led Zeppelin. They are judged by a higher standard than someone like Paris Hilton. Their records are also judged against each other. For example, critics love Houses of the Holy. They hated In Through the Out Door. Is the latter a bad record? No. If you or I made it it would be praised, but Led Zeppelin, by being great, are judged by a higher standard that they set, and therefore the record is considered a failure.

      This is how life works.

  • angry angry says:
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    Quiz being a jerk/drama queen on twitter again.

    http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindbeaversbeat/2010/12/lamikes_coming_back_but_what_a.html

    Dude, just leave. Sick of this crap.

  • Osubaby Osubaby says:
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    I kind of felt the same way about 2 weeks ago but didn’t want to get reemed by everyone on this site. I feel like he has run his course and needs to leave for us to grow as a team and offensive unit. It was like when masoli was at Oregon. He was the focal point of the O and other players didn’t get a chance to shine as they should. Look at the quacks now. Anyone of thier 4 back or athletes can be instilled in thier offense. I like the idea of more than one star on a team and focal point. I’m done with quizz at this point! I will support him if he comes back but I’m ready for new blood.

  • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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    I for one don’t blame Quizz at all. Would you want to return next year when Riley can only offer the same stinking OL as Quizz had last year?

    They have no chance of being anything other than mediocre with that OL. Additionally it’s mho that the DL isn’t going to be as good either.

    Why come back and risk a career ending injury for WHAT, a 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th place finish?

    Hell NO!!!

    And I haven’t even touched on Langsdorf’s shitty play calling.

    • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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      Seriously! Give us more guys like Quizz who is one of the most competitive player I’ve seen. His attitude is because he is a player and not a slug.

      I totally agree with Mud&Sticks, wouldn’t blame him if he went to the NFL. If fact I would blame any college player who left early for the NFL. Money is good and football life-span is short.

      In this case if Riley and crew can produce an offensive line for next year, and so far no one has been impressed with the recruiting towards that, then Quizz would be an idiot for staying.

      As far as all this psycho-babble rabbit trail stuff… whatever!

      • BeaverBill BeaverBill says:
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        I need to proof better:

        “I wouldn’t blame any college…”

        “if Riley and crew can’t…”

  • OSU4Life says:
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    This is an honest question.
    Will OSU be any better in 2011? Yes, or no? Why and why not?

    Did anyone else hear the commentators from the Alamo Bowl game (Oklahoma State vs Arizona)? They were saying that in order to be successful in “today’s” college football a program must have money, the financial backing, and facilities to be successful. They were also saying that x’s and o’s are not enough in todays game for the head coach. They were primarily referring to Ralph Friedgren’s treatment/firing at Maryland.

    Now that Al Reser has passed, is OSU doomed financially?

    Speaking of Oklahoma State, did anyone else notice how creative their plays were? Their wrinkle to the “fly sweep”, how dominant their offense is, how balanced they were? Danny Langsdorf, were you watching and taking notes?

    • angry angry says:
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      I was wondering about Reser’s…who owns it now? I thought he had sons whom the business was passed to, but I can’t remember…

      To answer your question: OSU will be better in 2011 only if they replace those walk-ons on the offensive line with good players. Their LBs should be better and their schedule easier, which probably translates to an extra win or two. They’ll be back to playing in the Bank of America Panama Branch Crap Bowl.

    • Mud&Sticks Mud&Sticks says:
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      “…They were also saying that x’s and o’s are not enough in todays game for the head coach….”

      I didn’t watch the entire game, just bits and pieces here and there (using ESPN3).

      During one of the times I was watching they were stressing how important it is for a head coach to be able to recruit, pointing out that OSU’s head coach had brought in some very good players and that was why their record had improved so much.

      It’s looking like grim times lie ahead if OS has lost their deep pocket guy AND the fact that Riley and company can’t seem to put forth a message which is attractive to the high caliber players.

      • angry angry says:
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        I don’t see the picture as being this grim…yet. There is a lot of good, young C+ to B level talent in the program that could be “coached up” higher.

        That being said, there is too much grade D talent that has a low cap on it. For example, even if Riley can get a F to D level guy like Harrah up to a C, that’s not good enough to win a championship. Beavs always lack depth for this reason, too. Most teams don’t have the gap between starter and backup that we do.

        I just see a lot of waste in this program, and that’s why I constantly stress efficiency. We need to be the Minnesota Twins of college football. There is no room for error if the program wants to take steps. Just an example: an out of state scholarship to someone like Wilder McAndrews cost the school about $80,000. What did McAndrews give back in return? Maybe 5 games total of mediocre play? These players represent labor, just like any other human body. Think about the waste when looking over the roster.

      • OSU4Life says:
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        Oklahoma State is able to recruit better athletes because they have their own Phil Knight in a man named T. Boone Pickens! He has helped turn things around there with his donations to the Oklahoma State athletic department. But……. They have creative offensive minded coaches in Mike Gundy and their offensive coordinator, Dana Holgorsen (who is moving on to become the West Virginia head coach in waiting). Basically, they were not so set in their ways at OK. State, and they were willing to change up their offense! Their offense is 50/50 balance with running and passing plays, up tempo, and very well balanced (ie: not one dimensional like ours) I think it would do very well at Oregon State as well! I know, I know, OK. State has a good Offensive Line, and everything starts upfront.

  • angry angry says:
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    If the Beavers had five B level talents on their offensive line this blog would probably not exist, or it would have at least half the action that it does now.

    This blog was pondered in June of 2008 when I saw the problems in their early stages, complained about them on Blitz, was told to shut up/got banned, etc. I finally started it a year later when I couldn’t take it anymore.

    Trust me, I want to be able to shut this place down, stop complaining, and do other things with my time. I have a ton of various hobbies that suffer because I cannot ignore the defiance and contempt I feel toward the inefficiency and lunacy in this program.

    Beavers: please recruit B talent at offensive line, defensive line, corner back, and linebacker, then coach them. Every other position can be the average player you so love and desire to recruit, and you’d field a championship team. This trend of recruiting great wide receivers, running back, and QB is ass-backward.

    End tangent rant.

    • Max says:
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      I agree with you on what positions OSU should put a bigger emphasis on in recruiting. Look at the average salaries by position in the NFL: Quarterback is understandably number one, then defensive end, then offensive line. The least paid positions in order: WR, RB, S, K/P, & TE. I read the Blind Side by Michael Lewis and aside from the personal story of Michael Oher there was an interesting narrative of how Bill Walsh and the 49ers revolutionized the game by putting more of an emphasis on who was playing on the offensive line. Today the “blind side” tackle, the LT for the right handed QB, is the second highest paid position in the NFL I believe.

      http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/multimedia/photo_gallery/0807/nfl.average.salaries.by.position/content.1.html

  • OSU4Life says:
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    Angry, Then how was OSU so successful during the 2000 Fiesta Bowl season?
    Not for the sake of argument, but rather simple curiosity. Was our offensive line much better then? Were our recruiting classes better then? One thing that stands out, make that two things that stand out from year 2000 team, was overall team speed, and a nasty swagger! They played with such a high level of intensity and a tremendous chip on their shoulder. They couldn’t be denied.

    • angry angry says:
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      I don’t know. I didn’t follow that team or OSU in 1999. I basically started paying attention around 2004. I do know they recruited a lot of questionable character JC guys, most of whom panned out and wound up giving the team the edge you’re talking about. Riley recruits good students and nice guys who fit his personality. I’ve heard a lot of people say Erickson won with Riley’s recruits, so I looked over the list a few years ago and remember thinking the key players were Erickson’s JC recruits. Even if you believe they were Riley’s recruits, you can then say look what Erickson got out of Riley’s recruits versus what Riley gets out of them, and suddenly the importance of coaching looks pretty huge. Anyway, maybe someone who followed that team more can elaborate and answer your question better.

      Recruiting, and the sport in general, was different a decade ago. The internet was not mature, recruiting services weren’t around, and therefore knowledge was less and scrutiny was lower. The Pac-10 was considered down early in the decade, too. It’s hard to compare. That 2000 team could also be described in terms of aberration, anomaly, or law of averages, as they were picked to finish in the top ten the following year and missed a bowl game entirely.

      • OS_Beaver says:
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        Erickson created a buzz that made us nationally important for the first time since Terry Baker Heisman in 1962 and the ’67 Giant Killers.

        Houze (T.J.) and Ochocinco (Chad Johnson) were inspired as was all of Beaver Nation. The TRUTH is that Riley would have gotten quite a bit less out of them that year, because he would never have inspired them like Erickson did. I think Riley’s time should be fading quick here because I feel is main problem is he just doesn’t inspire the team enough or recruit players and instill in them they can win the conference. I am just used to more of the same from Riley. I cannot get passionate about Riley. Harbaugh and Chip Kelly yes. But it has more to do with their own expectations, how they talk about them and expect results, and then get their players to go out and play their very best for them. The Beavs played 12 games last year and could not come back from even a single point down to win. That equals no heart and delusion in the minds of most Beaver fans to think this is acceptable. We want to be able to be right there with Oregon where if we win the Civil War we are the Pac-12 North champion. But we also want that under a coach who is inspiring and is nationally relevant. I feel Riley and Bobby D are just hiding in Corvallis like it is Ice Planet Hoth. Collecting a great paycheck and spinning a mediocrity is dandy perception. I am ready for the AT-AT Walkers to start terrorizing their “green grass” and show them that there is a war going on in the Pac-12 and across the nation with teams that are actually relevant and admired. The Beavs have next to no true national respect at all right now. They lose 98% of the games that would better establish their reputation. Riley’s record is really mediocre at best and if we had expectations he would probably already have been shown the door.

    • Max says:
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      That team could get after the QB better than any other OSU team I have seen. The two “Presidents” Grant and Jackson, in terms of sacks, were two of the most productive OSU DEs during that season. That team also gave OSU the nickname Linbacker U. Barnett, Siegler, and Robinson were three of the best linebackers OSU has ever seen. Lastly, the offensive line were able to protect Smith and Simonton. Just look what happened to Simonton’s stats the year after when they lost three starters from the previous year. The key to football is protecting the skill position players on offence and punishing them on defense.

      • Max says:
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        Look at the team’s roster a couple years later and you will see some big time talent: Derek Anderson, S. Jackson, James Newson, Tim Euhus, Dwan Edwards, Eric Manning, Siegler, Barnett, Mitch Meeuwsen, Dennis Weathersby. Yet the team was not nearly as good. The offensive line was terrible, worse than it is now if that’s possible, and the defensive ends, sans a young Bill Swancutt, couldn’t pressure the QB.

        • mckalk mckalk says:
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          You are so right, so much hinges on OL/DL talent. Simonton could not even get 1000 yards his senior year and that one team with Dwight Wright basically gave up the run and passed most of the time with Anderson and superior receivers.

  • OSU4Life says:
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    How many more times will take for OSU to lose to the hole before, heads start to roll? If I were the coaches I would post 37-20 above each players locker, every day until the Civil War to send a very clear message! If I were the AD, I would add a $100,000 bonus to Mike Riley each time he beat the yucks!

    • OS_Beaver says:
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      Contract should be that only Holiday and up bowls are considered a decent to good year and worthy of a bonus. A win versus the Ducks also should get a bonus. But Riley and BDC have skewed the program by having a retarded contract that rewards 6-6 and a Kraft Hunger Bowl like it is the same as 9-3 or 10-2. Beaver fans are disappointed with less than 8-4 so that could be another measure stick besides the holiday Bowl. Less than that and a year should be taken off the contract. Beaver fans could care less about Vegas, Hunger, New Mexico or Sun bowls. We want to win the Pac-12 North after beating Oregon. Get back to only rewarding Holiday or higher and beating the Ducks and all else is “just par for the course” and expected and we will be a much better and respected program. The Nation thinks of the Beavs as a team that occasionally goes to a Vegas Bowl and may play like they don’t care because we don’t. We expect more and if Riley and Bobby D can’t deliver the let heads roll. New blood would go a long way to a rebirth and rejuvenation of Oregon State and Beaver Nation pride. The time is near.

  • CastorNation says:
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    I have been trying to figure out this whole recruiting thing. All D1 schools have 85 scholarships ( except USC ). They have guys in the mix sometimes 5 years at about 16 per year on average. So if most of the Seniors and Juniors start, you have 32 and some walk ons or fresh- soph players. So possibly we could start mostly Scholarship players, if we had the talent. I know why the big schools get the talent ( it falls in their laps ). Not so sure what the draw is for Boise. I don’t know how you draw “winners” to a mediocre program ( that beat USC a couple of times, played for PAC 10 championship and never played in higher than #3 bowl ). Kelley, Rose Bowl and Championship, Harbaugh 4 or 5 years Orange Bowl, Sarkisian 2 years and holiday bowl. Stoops Holiday, Alamo last 2 years. Rodgers brothers may be back, but same line, same result.

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