It’s a little more than two months away from the first game for the Oregon State football team and cyberspace is full of angst about the coming season.
So it’s time address some popular topics of discontent.
Eight players left the program last week. Some folks think that’s a disaster.
Well, the Beavers needed to cut loose some scholarship players to make room for recruits. Coach Mike Riley previously said there would be two greyshirts – the kicker and someone else. My guess is that it was going to be one of the American Samoa guys.
OSU waited until the physical results for Jordan Bishop (retired due to injury) to come in and put out the full list of guys leaving at once. It’s common for me to talk with Riley before training camp to get a long list of guys who didn’t come back.
The Beavers decided to get that out of the way now so that the team can move forward in August. That’s a good PR move. Get the hand-wringing out of the way now.
As for the talent let go, only Bishop is a blow. The others never stuck and were not going to stick. And I’m guessing some didn’t make grades or had other issues.
Another concern is the team has no depth. There are plenty of bodies. The question is if these are quality bodies. With college football, you won’t know until game time. It’s not like they are free agents or the top college players who were just drafted.
The only thing OSU could do with them was teach them in practice and film room, and work them out so they are prepared. That’s part of the charm of college football, seeing how each team develops.
There’s a big recruiting class coming in – including a JC LB. And there’s a slew of OL and DBs.
However, the 2-deep is pretty solid across the board. Some areas go to three deep, some the third person is in development.
Can the team sustain a string of injuries again? No. A team that doesn’t have four- and five-star players on the three-deep can’t. OSU’s success over the years came when players stayed healthy. A lot of that comes from luck. They haven’t had much the last two years.
Other teams fell apart. You could see it coming. The schedule now (with a Pac-12 title game) doesn’t allow for a midseason bye and that has hurt the Beavers (and other middle-level teams) big time. And that’s going to be a big-time issue from now on.
What about the DTs? That’s a good question. I thought more guys would be targeted in the last recruiting haul. However, if you look at the redshirt class, there are freshmen you haven’t heard of, a sophomore and a JC transfer who redshirted.
So I still maintain the Beavers can get six wins and go to a bowl game. That’s improvement and a year for those young guys to get better. That would make 2013 a potentially big year for OSU standards.
Some people don’t think that’s good enough. If you are at Florida, Ohio State, Texas or Alabama you would be right. The reality is that the Beavers can only do so much with the lack of money and the market they sit in.
The Pac-12 Networks will help, especially the money. However, as you can see Dish Network and DirecTV customers can’t see the games yet. So nothing’s perfect.
Settling for mediocrity is not good, but so are unrealistic expectations. Settling for a bowl game every once in a while is mediocrity. The Beavers need to make a bowl game eight of 10 years, and one those being a major bowl.
The time has come for a major bowl by 2013 or 2014.