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Posts Tagged ‘Feti Unga’

No. 80: Oregon State

Two years ago, Oregon State was a disappointment. Yes, there was the schedule, and yes, there were injuries, and yes, the team did have its fair share of personnel issues. But the 2010 team was likely the first of Mike Riley’s tenure – two different stints, beginning in 1997 – to fall short of expectations; most, in fact, surpassed the preseason expectations heaped on their plate. Last year’s team, on the other hand, did what it was supposed to do: lose games. And not just lose games but lose most of its games, suffering nine losses in a season for the first time since the dark pre-Riley days, which seems so long ago as to make most forget that yes, there was a time when Oregon State was a laughingstock not merely to those in Eugene but to college football fans from one coast to another. So you wonder: Is it worse to lose games and disappoint or to lose games and not raise one single eyebrow?

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    No. 66: Oregon State

    From 2006-9, a period most would call the best stretch in program history, Oregon State was picked to finish seventh (2006), fifth (2007), sixth (2008) and fourth (2009) in the Pac-10, according to the annual media poll. The Beavers went on to finish third, third, tied for second and tied for second, respectively. In short: no B.C.S. conference program played beyond its means more so than Oregon State, which might not have the talent but certainly has the coaching, it’s safe to say. So what happened in 2010? The Beavers were picked to finish third in the Pac-10, behind only Oregon and U.S.C., but ended up tied for fifth at 5-7, 4-5 in conference play. Perhaps O.S.U. began to believe the hype? I doubt it. But is it possible that the Beavers are more comfortable playing as the underdog? No question. And if that’s the case, O.S.U. might be in for a big year in 2011.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.