09.Nov.2011 Mike Riley will win 8 or 9 Games Again
I have no doubt Mike Riley will get better offensive and defensive linemen into the program and once again win 8 games. I've had people say, "Angry, you are going to eat crow when Riley blah blah blahs."
Look, the guy won 2 games this year. The bar is low. I know he can win 8 or 9 games in this conference because he has done it; therefore, I know he will likely do it again. Moving from a 2 win season to a 9 win season, Riley will seem like a genius, and Pollyannas will label the dissenters as dolts. Even Cassandras will soften a bit–firemikeriley.com will go back into hibernation, Canzano will write that keeping Riley through hard times was a good move, fans on this site will soften, etc.
I already know this will happen at some point in the future. It's a question of when, not if.
My point is simply this: it is time to move on because this head coach will cost the team games. We saw it this past weekend with botched clock management, we saw it versus Cincinnati when he didn't challenge the DJ Woods play, we saw it in his two-point call versus Washington, no challenging the clock vs UCLA 2010, etc. Those are just a few examples that come to mind, but he's had dozens if not hundreds of these "minor" brain farts that cost the team games. Riley's in-game management is good for a loss or two per year. So, an 8 win season could, theoretically, be a 10 win season. And the 9 win season could be a 10 or 11 win season. So, either you call for a new coach, or you accept he'll win 8 or 9 games, be on the cusp for a nice bowl game, yet ultimately shoot himself in the foot and fall short. Unless the Beavs play Hawaii, Riley isn't winning 10 games. Beaver fans also need to realize they are not getting the benefit of the doubt—Bowl committees will pick anyone they can ahead of Oregon State. It makes that extra win or two invaluable.