29.Sep.2011 Correct me If I’m wrong, but…
Didn't the (85) scholarship limit begin in 1995? And didn't Oregon State's administration begin putting a concerted effort into a much neglected football program around that same time?
If all this is correct, it means Pettibone was reaping recruiting rewards, via the rule change, from 1995-1997. This is significant since it was right before Riley took over. In other words, with more dispersed recruits, Riley would have inherited better talent than past coaches. And those players would be juniors unless they red-shirted. So, they were filled out and ready to go. Riley won 3 games with them; Pettibone won 2 games the year prior. The next year, Riley won 5 games.
The Beavers didn't snap the 28 year losing streak until Erickson took over.
For some reason, Beaver fans want to credit Riley with Erickson's success. Most think Riley broke the streak. Most barely acknowledge Erickson went 31-17 and took the Beavers to their lone BCS game. And when they do, there is always the "yeah, but did it with Riley's recruits" quantifier (which isn't even true).
Also, by that logic, when Riley returned shouldn't he have been able to take the Beavers to a BCS game? I mean, if all that is needed is Riley's recruits then a BCS games should be an annual event.
Maybe I am wrong. I didn't follow Beaver football closely until 2003. Some of you guys go back to the 40's. Maybe you'll ream me out for this post, but digging through the record book, I see facts that point to Erickson being the better coach. The guy has two National Championships and 7 BCS games on his resume. Riley has 0 and 0. But, Oregon State fans believe Riley is the better coach. Erickson just road Riley's coattails. It's hard to imagine if the story were reverse and Erickson was the coach and Riley had left, that Beaver fans wouldn't be praising Erickson and dissing Riley.
I'm not anti-Riley or pro-Riley. He is what he is. An average coach with a laid back attitude. He's not a perfectionist so he doesn't pay attention to detail. That's it. He'll never take OSU to a BCS game, or likely even an Alamo Bowl.
I don't think today is the day to fire Riley. He should be given until mid-season to assume play calling, and he should be given the off-season to fire coordinators. It's also important that big donors and fans alike see just how average he is, because they need to become better educated fans so we can avoid this problem with future coaches. For the old, dying guard, this is a learning experience in objectivity and reality. These problems began long ago. I think it's important to understand the recruiting/rule changes, NCAA dynamics, OSU admins, etc all played a role in transforming the program. It wasn't a Riley thing. I'm sick of hearing the uneducated/under-analyzed argument (recently made by Ted Miller) that OSU's renaissance was due to Riley. He was a small part. I'm convinced any average coach could have done the same. The fact that Erickson, a far superior coach, did better with Riley's recruits only strengthens that argument. It's why I don't fear taking a risk on a new coach.
Anyway, these two guys will be on display this weekend. I have a feeling I'm going to enjoy watching Erickson's squad more than Riley's.