12.Oct.2009 Mid-Season Conference Rankings

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1. Oregon–After a inauspicious beginning, the Ducks recovered nicely and wound up with the best first half in the conference. Right now they appear poised to win the conference outright. But, the Masoli injury could end those chances much like the Dixon injury of 2007.

2. USC–The Trojans have done what’s expected of them, even the annual pratfall (this year in Seattle), but they haven’t done it in the dominating fashion we’ve become accustomed to, thus showing signs of vulnerability and putting the conference title up for grabs. I’m not a Barkley believer–he’s looked very pedestrian given the offensive line and WR’s with whom he’s working.

3. Arizona–The Wildcats are a surprise. Great ground game, great defense, and an efficient passing since Foles took the helm. The QB switch makes one wonder what could have been @ Iowa.

4. Oregon State–The Beavers started strong, which we know is rare, then slumped for two games. The thing about those two games is that both were in their grasp, and one could argue, with better coaching the Beavers would be a (lucky) 6-0 right now. They haven’t played well enough to earn that record, but think about it–a proper coaches’ challenge vs Cincy, an interception or defensive stand vs Arizona. Both were there for the taking.

5. Washington–It all starts with Locker…the guy is a fierce and gritty leader who fires up the entire team. Even the defense has taken on his personality and are playing above their heads because of it. The USC win could have huge tie-breaker implications if the Huskies continue to play well.

6. Stanford–Stanford “are who we thought they were”…a gutsy, smart, big, and slow team. They’ll be right in the middle of the conference. But Harbaugh’s antics are getting on people’s nerves, adding unnecessary motivation to bully these nerds.

7. California–The Bears are the posterchild for the difficulty and superiority of this conference. Ganged up on the ACC and BIG-10 schools they played, on the road no less, only to get hammered in conference. Keep in mind, this is the 7th best team in our conference and they absolutely dominated those out of conference games. Coupled with the PAC-10s bowl record last year this speaks volumes. As far as the Bears’ season, they’d have to win out for it not to be considered a disappointment.

8. UCLA–Again, a nice road win vs the Tennessee team who played Florida so tough. Mirroring the Bears with a 3-0 OOC record, the Bruins have lost two straight since conference play began. Richard Brehaut seems to be the key to their season. If he starts from this point on, who knows. He looked great slinging the ball around last week; however, when Craft or Prince are in there the Bruins are indolent. I see the Bruins as having the biggest upside of any team ranked under the 5 slot on this list. Their defense is good enough to win the conference, so if they develop a passing game watch out. At worst they will pull some upsets and indirectly determine the outcome for the teams at the top. Dangerous team.

9. Arizona State–They’re sitting at 1-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall. Not terrible, but I haven’t liked a single moment from the Sun Devils other than the effort at Georgia, which isn’t impressive now that Georgia has shown their colors. They’ll be pests but I can’t see a run of any kind coming from this squad.

10. Washington State–The Cougars haven’t improved. That’s gotta be the most disheartening thing for their fans. I don’t see a conference win unless an opponent doesn’t show up. And I mean that literally.

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  • G Joubert says:
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    I’m detecting a bit of a tap tap tap anti-Riley drumbeat.

  • angry says:
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    G, you know I’m not anti-Riley as much as I am for great coaching. Riley has brain cramps. The Cincy no-fumble-review was one. Leaving #28 to in at safety is another. Don’t you agree? Those two decisions it could be argued very well cost us two games. I love Riley the man, like Riley the coach, and hate Riley when he’s passive and too much of a “mister nice guy” between the lines.

  • bill hetland says:
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    i love riley’s loyalty, and what he has brought to a program that lost for 28 years straight… he is single handedly responsible for the turn around in my opinion…. I also love the fact that osu won the family atmosphere of the year award, two years straight… Unless you want pettibone back, losing seasons, and kids not attending class…. I say we worship they guy and be damn glad we have him… You never know what decision is correct, shit happens…. though i would of reviewed the cincy play myself, and that was a damn safety against standford. go beavs..

    • angrybeaver says:
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      You guys need to accept that we aren’t in the Pettibone era and this isn’t 1970. DE and Riley turned things around. It doesn’t mean we can’t be critical and demand more from our coaches just because we weren’t good decades ago. It also doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what Riley has done or want him to leave. I just want him to be a better coach and recruiter. These are all mutually exclusive thoughts and compatible with one another. Don’t put words in my mouth, make assumptions, or tell me I should be glad we aren’t suck in the 70’s. Fear of going back to a prior, archaic time period isn’t valid reason to not level due criticism in 2009.

  • bill hetland says:
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    I meant standford…. damn it, that is a typo, not a spelling error…. so no smart ass remarks.

  • bill hetland says:
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    stanford, what the hell is wrong with this keyboard.

  • jor says:
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    This sounds like the same grumbling we hear in Berkeley because Cal hasn’t won the MNC by now. No appreciation for history, yet a fair desire to get off the plateau.

    I feel pretty confident Cal will finish better than 7th, having only faced the top 2 so far. But I’ll feel more confident if they prove that theory by beating up on the Bruins. There was no reason for them to score a single FG in each of the last two games.

  • BeavGuy says:
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    Angry-

    Why do you dislike Riley’s coaching so much? And how do you want him to become a better recruiter?

    You understand that saying, “It also doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate what Riley has done or want him to leave. I just want him to be a better coach and recruiter” completely means that you don’t appreciate or respect what he has done. You want him to be better (Change what he does apparently) at coaching. Or else what? You must be implying you mean he should leave if it stays this bad.. What else could the punishment be? More synical posts from you?

    Fact is, my beaver friend, OSU has more wins meaningful wins in the Riley era than any other era in the history of Oregon State football. And he’s well on his way to being the best coach this program has ever had, if he isn’t there already. Who do you want instead of Riley? Pete Carroll? Jim Tressel? Mack Brown? Tony Dungy?

    Just understand that most people couldn’t do to Oregon State what Riley has already done. Hell, coach after coach failed before him.

    Corvallis isn’t exactly the best draw for an 18-year old athlete looking at college, it’s not the wealthiest athletic program in the conference, and until Riley got here the first go-round, OSU couldn’t bring in anyone quality enough to compete for decades.

    I think he’s more than proven he can coach and recruit well.

    How much better could the situation really be? You do also understand it takes a while to BUILD A PROGRAM right? They’re winning 8 and 9 games a year, finishing in the Top 25 on a consistant basis..

    Step your game up a little bit AngryBeav. Complain about something relevant.

  • BeavGuy says:
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    Did you just say our basketball and baseball teams seem to do fine with it? Ya, basketball has done real well the last couple years (or decades) hasn’t it? And yes, Pullman is weak too. But I guess you can just look at the Cougar program now for more evidence on how easy it is to win in rural, small, college-town areas.

    Sure, baseball does a nice job. They can also recruit good baseball players out of the state of Oregon to come play for them on a consistent basis. Riley recruits kids from Oregon in football and you’ll dog him for not going elsewhere to look for better caliber guys. So what gives?

    And you make it seem like Wazzu is a better program than OSU because they made the Rose Bowl more recently. Cool. Washington State is also 4-16 in its last 20 games, so don’t sit here and tell me how Washington State gets it done but OSU doesn’t.

    And besides, what rich tradition are you talking about from OSU? You must mean the super meaningful Pac-10 titles that they won in ’41 and ’56. Or God forbid we forget the teams from ’57 and ’64. You do understand parody exists right? It’s a little tougher to win now than it was then. Blacks were still being massively oppressed when Oregon State was good in those days. I mean that’s how out of the loop most of the “success” OSU has experienced. Think about how much athletics at the college level have progressed since the last time Oregon State was good.

    Look, you can rag on Riley and talk about how he needs to be better at this and that. And look, I would love to have Erickson still here. But Riley is very good. He’s won Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors; he’s led Oregon State to 5 bowl victories and has them finishing Top 25 all the time.

    I’m guessing your a sad person, AngryBeavers. Because you constantly complain about very good things. Things that most people are completely embracing and on-board with.

    Your biggest Synic (SP?)-
    BeavGuy

    • angrybeaver says:
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      You’re picking and choosing your arguments.

      1. Beaver basketball is back (CBI, top 25 class) because of both the coach and his staff’s excellence in recruiting and teaching. Compare how aggressive Robinson as opposed to Riley. And since head coaches recruit less in football, go to the second level and look at Doug Grace vs Mark Banker, Cav, or Joe. Then compare our (football) staff vs the Staff at Washington or Stanford or Cal. See the trend? Do you see how there’s room for improvement, room to land better recruits? You’ll likely point out that Cal is 0-2 in conference or another strawman argument. My argument is this: do you have any idea what OSU could be if the coaches would hire a recruiter who could land them the athletes that Cal lands?

      2. Beaver baseball has had a top 25 recruiting class for several years now, and they have won 2 national titles. Is this luck or great recruiting and great coaching?

      3. My main complaint with Riley is his recruiting. You’re saying he can’t recruit to Corvallis because it’s rural. I just gave you examples of (a) two coaches landing top 25 classes in Corvallis and (b) the personality it required to do so.

      So, enough with the tangents. Of course basketball was bad for years…until we hired and excellent coach and recruiter. This strengthens my point that Corvallis has little if nothing to do with success and it’s all about the recruiter. I don’t even hold this against Riley too much, as I’d hate to be a 50 something year old man going after high school kids, but what I do hold against him is not hiring a young, energetic recruiter on the staff. Keith Heyward was the wrong hire and a Riley gaff. Just admit it.

      To say I’m a sad person is indignant and inflammatory and only serves to show the true spirit of “beaver nation”…fans who like to think they are hospitable and wonderful, yet at the slightest critique they lash out and take the defensive. Are those your rodent teeth you’re flexing at me?

      Regarding Wazzu, of course they aren’t a better program right now, but they have been over the past 10 years. Two Rose Bowls is greater than 2 Sun Bowls. I don’t care what happened the other 8 years. You know this but can’t admit it, can you? Who is sad now?

      -Angry

    • angrybeaver says:
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      What I hate about Beaver fans, and I don’t think this pertains to only them, it’s more about people in general, is that nobody can take criticism. It used to be that people could. Then it was that people could only handle constructive criticism. And now people can’t even handle that. I fall in the Michael Moore school of logic on this issue, and believe that if you love something and want it to be the best it can be, then you analyze and subsequently criticize what is holding it back from being what you believe it can be. The fact that I’ve been banned from two Beaver forums for expressing this love for the team says everything about people like BeavGuy and little about me. Though, there tend to be more of them, so they’ll say otherwise. It’s cattle, herd, etc…or any other word, analogy, or idiom for mass thought that you’d like to pen.

      There’s no getting through and changing a mind, especially once it’s been challenged. BeavGuy will continue to insult me as excellent Beaver fans do, he’ll convince himself that the Beavers are great, he’ll defend Riley as a genius, all while sitting in the 30th row on a 95 degree day at the Beavers 5th straight Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas.

      -angry

  • […] matters worse, Richard Brehaut is going to quarterback for UCLA. If you remember, in my mid-season report I said that UCLA’s season hinges on how much Brehaut plays. I believe he’s the missing […]

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