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Posts Tagged ‘Sean Mannion’

Wisconsin, Nebraska Leave the Picture

Well, when your marquee win comes against Vanderbilt, as highly as we all think of the Commodores, you haven’t had a good day. It was a terrible day for the Big Ten, actually – one of the conference’s worst non-conference weekends in recent memory, trumping last weekend, which was defined by only one bad loss, not multiple losses. It was one weak game after another, beginning at noon, gaining steam around midday and then culminating, at nearly midnight, by an unforgivably bad performance from a program once defined by the pride it took in getting stops on the defensive side of the ball. From this entire group, a clutch of sour showings tinged with feel-good victories, two losses stand out above the rest.

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    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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      The Countdown

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