OSU fans feel a sense or urgency about the coming football season. Most will be extremely disappointed should we have a 3rd losing season in a row. There is a small rumor that BDC is holding back some Pac-12 TV money in the event we do have another losing season. The pressure is therefore high for Riley to get atleast 6 wins this season which would likely send us to the New Mexico Bowl. Personally, I may be ready for new leadership short of 7 wins but 6 gets the Riley extension unless Larry Scott makes 7 wins mandatory for bowls sometime this summer. Hence, it would likely be enough to preserve the Riley II era atleast one more year.
So if 6 wins is perhaps the magic number where will they come from? I think OSU will beat the Nicholls State Colonels. I see no other guaranteed wins. The next in line that I like them to have good chances to win are likely at UCLA Bruins in our 3rd game, maybe Washington St at home in a hard fought contest, Cal at home towards the end, and hopefully Arizona St. at home about 2/3 through the season. Those are the four Pac-12 games I give OSU a small edge in. However, I don’t expect them to win all four of those. I would say three of them is likely. So that would be just 4 wins and then we need to try adding 2 more from the games I see us as slight underdogs or worse.
Those games include Wisconsin at home in game 2, at Arizona Wildcats in game 4 because Rodriguez will be expected to beat OSU, at BYU Cougars, Utah at home in a tight one because Whittingham should be ready, at Washington, at Stanford and finally Oregon at home in the Civil War. I believe we will need 2 of these games to get to 6 wins and for Riley to be safe for another year. Utah at home is our best chance of this group I think. After that probably at Arizona or at Washington. Neither will be easy wins. I think we can hang fairly close to Wisconsin at home but after last year’s shellacking I in no way am prepared to predict a victory against the Badgers. I think Riley may just win 1 game out of this second group of contests. Perhaps Utah. That would mean his total victories would be 5 and it would be a 3rd losing season if that is how it plays out. That currently is where I stand. I put the over/under maybe around 5.30 wins but 5 is my most likely foreseen outcome.