Recent articles from Athlon Sports and ESPN had Oregon State head coach Mike Riley ranked 7th and 8th respectively in terms of coaching in the Pac-12. I would have Riley at #9 or #10 as of right now and getting older doesn’t help when he is one of the gray beards in the conference now. Why I don’t have Riley middle of the pack or higher is failure to capitalize. Being a game away and only having to beat the Ducks for a Rose Bowl isn’t very close if you can’t beat the Ducks more than once out of 30 tries. I personally don’t believe Riley will ever beat the Ducks again.
Not to mention that when you then fall to the 5th place bowl, after said loss to Ducks and get embarassed by BYU, the sum of the year has a middle of the road feel with a very poor end. Not ever reaching a Holiday Bowl in over 11 years, which often does not exactly require greatness anyway, is the nail in the coffin that defines mediocrity at best. I like Riley more than Embree at Colorado and in line but an inch ahead of Tedford at Cal. Coaches who were rarely much beyond average in their better years and now past their prime.
I don’t like that Riley seems low on testosterone. Recent studies show that good teams give their fans the same testosterone boost as sex and trigger the same brainwaves and endorphins. Those that lose, the study showed, tend to start suffering from inferiority complexes. That is exactly how it felt after driving home from the Sacramento St. debacle. A caller who called the post game show said it makes you just want to stuff your face with napkins. I thought it was enough after he continued to harp, but the poor feeling almost all of Beaver Nation felt was palpable. An inexcusable loss that may have cost 1/3 of Pac-12 coaches their job by the middle of the following week.
I am not rooting against Riley the person. Football, however, is about winning and I will support whoever can deliver the biggest endorphin rush from dominating the opponent. This Mayberry stuff is for the birds. That said, I am sure there are a modest amount of Pollyannas and apologists still comfortable with 6 wins as a jolly good effort. To each their own though. Which Pac-12 coaches do you think make up the upper tier of coaching in the Pac-12?