19.Sep.2011 Big Week for the Beavs (& expansion talk)
Until the Beavs lose a couple conference games, their season is alive. That makes almost every game from this point onward a "must win". Given the injuries, overall youth, and in-season transition to a freshman QB, I can't reasonably expect much. My 7-5 prediction looks too optimistic at this point. Downward revision may be in order, but I'll wait until after the weekend.
UCLA is in more turmoil than the Beavs. But, I think they feel this is one game they can win. Beavs now have the bottom feeder mark on their back, same as WSU for the past few years. Even bad teams (see Sac State) are licking their chops. Speaking of Sac State, they were trounced by Weber State 49-17.
So this is it. Beavs must win the game or they're officially the new cellar dwellers. If they win the game, confidence will improve and they suddenly have momentum. It's a huge game, even though on paper it just looks like a couple glorified high school squads going at it.
Macro issues right now: Texas et al to the Pac-16. My buddy texted me last night saying it's a done deal. I haven't seen that anywhere else, though. Frankly, I'm apathetic about the issue. Texas is clearly a horrible institution to deal with, so no matter the (increased) revenue or conference they decide on, they're a cancer that will bring it down. None of the four proposed universities have anything to do with the west coast. At least Utah and Colorado had similar sensibilities. The pod system means the original eight won't be reunited. Mentally, I'm preparing to check out of college football. The "pay for play" voice keeps getting louder, the number of teams that can compete for meaningful bowls is getting smaller, and the overall feeling of sickness is higher than ever. Why encourage or support this corruption? The answer is probably: "so I can feel superior and brag to some meat head that my school is better." That's a me issue. There are more productive ways to feel good about myself.
Some other random thoughts about expansion:
A positive is that it'll force the Beavs to live in this century. When Texas comes to Reser and sees Randy the Logger, Longhorn boards will light up with laughter and the AD might finally realize how lame we are. The cons are obvious. Small, rural schools never do well in powerful, money hungry conferences. Beavs won't carry their weight, and Texas and Oklahoma will wonder why they're subsidizing Oregon State and Washington State. Beaver fans will wonder why Dust Bowl squads were allowed to invade their conference and put that kind of pressure on them.
Of course, I am willing to give it a year or two before deciding, but expansion appears to be nothing more than exponential acceleration toward an inevitable end.