23.Jan.2011 Random Stuff 1/23/2011
As we wait to hear word on this past recruiting weekend and Marcus Peter's announcement on Monday, here are some things on my mind. Feel free to chime in with your own.
1. Scott Rueck is a heck of a coach. I've been wondering if there's any precedent of a women's basketball coach taking over a men's program. If so who did it, and how did that turn out? The Lady Beavs play with fire for all 40 minutes.
2. That being said, they did just lose to Oregon. This brings up two issues:
- Can we beat Oregon in any sport? Hell, I'll take a beer pong victory in a frat basement.
- Is losing to Oregon a positive? Or to rephrase: can anything positive come from losing to Oregon?
The second point is more interesting than the first, which is nothing more than a chippy quip. The thing about rivalries is that when one team become the clear "big brother", the little brother is forced to improve or curl into the fetal position. I think Oregon's dominance this past year has put everyone in OSU's athletic department into an "oh shit" mindset, and they're going to [be forced to] improve their product because of it. The sad thing is it takes Oregon dominating us to trigger this change in mindset. The fan base is on edge and looking over the ledge.
3. The "two biggest recruiting weekends in OSU history" wilted into two average weekends. Most of the athletes who showed up were near the same caliber that we always recruit. Maybe a hair better, but definitely nothing to rave about. I blame the recruiting services and media in general for the hype and subsequent deflation of Beaver Nation after things didn't pan out. Every year we're told it will be the year we get over the hump in recruiting. "Wins translate into landing better recruits!"…if I had a pre-1965 Quarter for every time I heard that line. Meanwhile, I just heard how the Ducks are finalists for two top 100 defensive tackles. Sounds like they, not us, are having the biggest recruiting weekend in program history. Shocker, right? I have a lot of ideas on how to improve recruiting. I'm sure they will fall on deaf ears or be called "stupid" by the optimistic (read: lunatic) fringe, but what the hell:
- Make the bad weather a selling point (i.e. "real men play in bad weather" or "it will prepare you for the NFL", etc).
- Build a Portland extension campus/business school for kids who want city life and a business degree. Move away from the "Ag school" reputation.
- Increase the value of an OSU degree (i.e. increase admission standards). We lose recruiting battles with Cal and Washington over and over because of this.
- Hire a sports psychologist (have I mentioned this one yet?) to work on recruits we do land.
- Build a business model by analyzing teams that excel despite having scare resources, such as the Minnesota Twins, San Diego Chargers, etc. It's all about absolute efficiency with what you do have.
- Switch to old school uniforms in an effort to re-brand the product. Heck, it would be a back-handed jab at Oregon as well.
- Redo the End Zones at Reser. Both the font and color are an eye sore.
- Always wear the orange jersey top. It has "curb appeal" as they say.
- Remove the cartoon beaver–no chance an 18 year old kid thinks that is cool.
- Redo Benny. That face and the matted fur…he seriously looks like a stuffed animal that was lying under an 80 year old woman's bed since she was 10.
- Rethink marketing…whether that means hiring Nike, or going rogue it doesn't matter. The current marketing department is terrible and stuck in the 80s.
- Use the internet to scout recruits. The staff are dinosaurs/Luddites.
- Be less conservative with finances…sometimes the long term payoff makes going into debt a good thing. It's what people do when they buy an education or a home. There is such thing as good debt. Money spent on facilities and re-branding would be money well spent.
- Move to an Air-Raid attack. Sure, you can win with a pro-style offense, but it's been around forever, and therefore pretty easy for defensive coordinators to scheme against. I think the New England Patriots offense would work well in Corvallis, especially with Tyler Trosin, a Wes Welker clone, signing on this cycle. This would be an offense as hip as Oregon's, but also in stark contrast. In short, we'd have our own, unique "gimmick" to run. I say that in jest of course. If you believe the Air Raid won't work in rainy Corvallis, fine, how about a line of hogs and power backs? The bottom line is the team should have a National image or identity. The pro-offense is like those now defunct TV/VCR/DVD/CD all in one electronics. It does a little of everything, but does nothing very well.
- Keep the family atmosphere; just make the family a lot cooler to be around.
- Recruit high I.Q. and leadership, not just athleticism or tangibles.
- Hire Angry Beaver as a consultant.
I mean, I could go on and on.
On a side note, many of you know I was annoyed by the departure of Ryan Allen, David Ross, and Kevan Walker. I spoke with Walker today to get an opinion on Riley; I wanted to know if he got a fair shake since there's been a trend of talented guys leaving the program. The reason I care is because it almost feels like the players were forced out, and in favor of worse players who Riley favored for whatever reason. Is Hardin or Martin really better than David Ross? Is Geno Munoz or Arron Nichols so good that Kevan Walker didn't deserve a single snap? Walker held a UCLA offer; Ross a Nebraska offer–those are nothing to sneeze at. At least give that kind of talent a chance in a game. And we all know about Riley's love forJohnny Hekker (before the apologists lash out, realize Hekker was a Junior this past season and 3 year starter, while Allen was a sophomore and 1st year starter).
Anyway, Kevan answered my lone question:
Q: Kevan, do you feel that Riley give you a fair shot at wide receiver?
A: I had a shot my red-shirt year but I feel after that I didn't get the same opportunities as the other receivers. I loved it there, but I love football too, and feel like I am good enough to play and not just sit on the sideline each week. Didn't want to leave, but I just want to play.
I wish I elaborated on it now, but you get the gist of it. Sounds like Walker was pretty frustrated.
Anyway, these are my notes and thoughts right now. Add your own, discuss whatever, as we wait to hear what transpired this weekend. My overall feeling is that we're in dire need of some good news on the recruiting front and victories on the court.