14.Jun.2010 Historical Analysis: Where Would Oregon State Rank Sans "The Streak"?

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Ah, the off-season. When I can indulge myself in mundane data and historical hypotheticals. Love it.

That Oregon State is just 33 games under .500 (497-530) in their history despite the infamous 28 year losing streak begs the question, to me at least: what if they were just…average…for those 28 years? Where would the Beavers rank in the annals of college football? Let’s go about answering that question, shall we.

The following table shows the number of wins between 1893 and 1971 (i.e. the first year of the streak).

W L
343 243
Avg/Season 4.6 3.2

These are the numbers for the 28 year losing streak.

W L
67 237
Avg/Season 2.4 8.5

And finally, the decade since the streak was broken:

W L
87 50
Avg/Season 7.9 4.6

The problem in averaging wins is that at the turn of the century, the Beavers were playing 3, 4, or 5 game “seasons”. Therefore, a ratio (winning percentage) makes the most sense for our exercise. Once found, the ratio can be expounded to determine expected wins during the 28 year losing streak.

This is relatively simple. Take the total games played between 1893 and 1971 (586) and divide it by wins (343). The ratio, therefore, is .585, or 58.5%. But what about the Beavers past decade? They, too, must be added since the idea is to find the Beaver’s winning percentage sans the 28 year losing streak. This is also simple. Take the total wins from 1999-2009 (87) and divide it into the total games played (137). The Beavers winning percentage the last ten years is .635, or 63.5%.

The final steps:

1. Sum total games (i.e. 586+137) = 723.

2. Sum total wins (i.e. 343+87) = 430

Divide: 430/723 = .5947. Rounded up, this is .595 or 59.5%.

This is the Beavers all-time winning percentage minus all games played from 1971-1998, the 28 year losing streak. During those 28 years, the Beavers played 304 total games (note: ties are not included in this analysis). If they had played to the .595 winning percentage as in the other 89 years of their existence…in other words, if they simply had “average seasons”, the Beavers would have won 181 games during the streak, giving them an all-time record of 611 wins and 415 loses.

That win total would place OSU 38th in career victories and 28th in winning percentage.

Revisionist history? No.

It’s more that two points need to be made:

1. The fan base has low expectations because they believe this is a historically losing program. The Beavers have a winning percentage of 59.5% sans “the streak”. Stop using the streak as both a crutch and benchmark for expectations.

2. When I see a fan write “To me, Oregon State is a program that’s been around 12 years” it again puts focus on the streak. Fans should research the causes of the streak–understand that it began because of racial concerns and continued because of apathetic leadership. Understand the history (Stiner, Prothro, even Andros) of your  program. Understand that by being critical and demanding more you won’t have to live through another streak.

Personally, I view those 28 years as an aberration. I have no choice when faced with 89 years of winning tradition.

Jump to Bottom
  • BeavGirl says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    hey this is a great post–really puts things in perspective I think.

    “it began because of racial concerns and continued because of apathetic leadership.”

    Man, the reasons for that losing streak are annoying. Wish people knew more about it. If they did they wouldn’t take it so seriously

  • CastorNation says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    My Bad. I wasn’t aware of the distant past. My entire adult life has encompassed the 28 year streak and the last 12 years. If I would make a comparison between now and the past, it would be in that 40 year window. When I was in elementary school I remember friends of my Dad making a big deal of OSU. Subsequently they played in the Rose bowl. 60’s. So I certainly knew they had previous success. Maybe it would be an interesting topic to look into the 28 years. I am optimistic about the future. But wonder how you can ever turn the balance of power. Maybe the more successful you are the fewer scholarships you get and vice versa. I saw ( before sanctions ) that USC had 11 five star recruits. How can you keep up with that in the long run. In spite of that, they (OSU) fight, they work hard, they try and they love what they do.. That’s why I am a fan, and that’s why I’m on this blog.

    • angrybeaver says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      You can’t keep up with USC, but historically, they haven’t been as good as in the past ten years. Think John Robinson II era–that’s more typical. ~8-9 wins, 10 in a great year. Under Pete they were on steroids..figuratively but probably literally too. (lol)

  • Warren says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    Brian Cushing says hi.

  • Justin says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

    This post makes utterly no sense. None.

    “1. The fan base has low expectations because they believe this is a historically losing program. The Beavers have a winning percentage of 59.5% sans “the streak”. Stop using the streak as both a crutch and benchmark for expectations.”

    The streak happened, its not as if you can throw it out and pretend it wasn’t there. The history and development that goes with it happened as well, and whether you, me or the tree like it or not it happened. Bad arguement, it puts nothing in perspective. This is the equivilant of me saying “Well, if the Trailblazers had been able to score 7 more points in the 4th quarter of game 7 in 2000 they would have been NBA champs.”

    That didn’t happen. What happened was the Blazers and Sheed folded like a wet taco and lost. Guess what, the Beavers lost 28 straight. It did happen, what you propose didn’t happen. This sounds like the revisionist history that the feathered vermin to the south’s former coach used to spout when he didn’t like the way a game ended.

    • angrybeaver says:
      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
      Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

      Do you really think I don’t realize the 28 years happened?

      This is not a historically losing program. There were 28 years of losing and these 28 years define the modern fan’s view of the team. You think it’s okay to accept less because of where they were and where they came from. Nothing went right during the streak–should I care about years lost due to being mislabeled a “racists school”? That it was impossible for Dee Andros to recruit blacks and thus impossible to win, because of civil rights and the general sensitivity of the times? Should I put weight into these years? Or should I put more weight on the years around them…when they had comparable talent to the rest of the league, could recruit all skin colors, had administrative backing, etc?

      So yes, you can’t ignore it and say it didn’t happen (which I did not do, despite your attempt to say I did). But you can put weight on the years before and after and paint a clearly picture of whether this is a historically winning or losing program. The streak created an imbalance in perception. This post makes quite a bit of sense. You just don’t really understand what it’s saying, and that is a you problem.

  • FedUpBeav says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

  • FedUpBeav says:
    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Write a Comment

  • Categories

  • Archives