25.Oct.2014 Stanford Post-Game Thoughts
It was fun reading the comments and seeing people raging at Riley and BDC. The thing is, didn’t those people see this coming? Stanford has been suffocating everyone, and OSU has only been able to score versus bad opponents. So obviously Stanford was going to win this game barring them handing it away or some other miracle.
Regarding Mike Riley, what can you say at this point that hasn’t been said? And that’s part of the problem. The Cassandras and Pollyannas have both said their piece. This conversation only becomes interesting if the Pollys begin to defect. We’re seeing it begin to happen (rumors PO is blowing up tonight, Mamma Machado getting testy on Twitter a few weeks ago, etc), but not yet en masse. For what are they waiting? Riley to pull his annual upset and add just enough confusion about his upper limit to silence everyone for a week? I don’t see that happening this year since the best opportunity for that was Utah. We see that type of game every year and know it means nothing more than a weird upset. An anomaly. It doesn’t mean he has suddenly “figured it out” or any other straw these people are grasping at. Hint: guys don’t figure things out when they’re 60. If anything the opposite happens.
Getting the bird’s eye view tonight, I saw just how bad Sean Mannion is. Yes, Riley is right some of that is Stanford being good, some of it is OSU’s offensive line, but most of it is Mannion. I saw a guy with plenty of time who failed to scan the field, failed to spot wide open WRs (yet we’re told the WRs can’t get open…interesting), and constantly threw the ball behind, over, and under WRs. When I watched the Chargers on Thursday night, they made the point Phillip Rivers throws under more duress than any QB. Yet, he has a 110 QB rating and 86 QBR. 20TDs and 5INTs, all while throwing behind a shaky offensive line. THAT is what great quarterbacks do. They transcend their cast. We see Tom Brady do this every week. I’m not saying Mannion should be either of those guys. But if people are going to say this guy is a 1st round draft pick and then completely blame the offensive line for his terrible play, then they also need to acknowledge what actually goes into great QB play. It is not a 6″5 frame or throwing a ball 80 yards from his knees. If it were, Browning Nagle would be in the Hall of Fame. Mannion has zero moxy, zero heart, zero leadership, and just doesn’t get what makes great QB play. Four years and it hasn’t clicked. That experiment, like the Riley experiment, should either (a) end entirely or (b) at least be called out for what it is. Need to start looking to next year and benching Mannion should not be out of the equation.
One last point: Hunter Jarmon makes the most explosive play of the game and Chris Brown plays well. Over and over I wrote Jarmon needed to be the guy who replaced Cooks. Over and over I wrote Brown is the best RB on the roster. Riley insists Bolden is Cook’s replacement and Woods/Ward is a legit Pac-12 backfield. It takes him 7 weeks to figure out maybe that isn’t correct? The guy is slower than whale shit. If it is not clock management it is personnel management.
A much shorter version of this post: it is inevitable that a coach wears out his welcome. That time is near.
A sign of a bull market’s end is when good news no longer propels the asset in question. We’ll see how fans react if Riley pulls off his yearly upset. If they forgive him then we’re still stuck with this, but this feels the closest I can remember to fans uniting in opinion. At this point, I don’t see anything but a victory in the Civil War cooling Riley’s hot seat.