The year is off to an abyssmal start. Riley apologists are busy in their trade. And truthfully, that is what it amounts to. Excuses for not winning and being unable to claw back from costly mistakes good teams don’t make. Riley is a C level coach at best having a D- or F+ year. Has he had some B years before? Yes but nothing any better and the year De Carolis based his ridiculous contract after should not receive higher than a very generous B- since we ended in the 5th place bowl and got our butts handed to us by BYU. Personally I wouldn’t give that year better than a C+. 5th place bowl out of 10 teams is right at the median and we played awful. But Riley has gotten the old guard to buy into that it was some magical season and so was the one before. You know when we got kicked in the rear by Oregon at home 65-38. Riley after our BYU slap to the face in 2009 was able to leverage his complete mediocrity into the biggest joke of a lifetime deal in the history of college sports. Yeah, Pee Wee Herman, you are Joe Pa.
So that leaves us with the game to be played at CenturyLink Field tomorrow evening at 7:30PM on Root Sports against Wazzu. The Cougars in recent years have been the laughingstock of the conference. That was until a dead flat Riley led team let them humuliate the Beavs at Reser last year in a game that prevented us from playing in the Holiday Bowl with a 6-6 record because of there being a logjam right below the .500 mark. Leave it to Riley to prefer getting to a 5th place bowl with many more wins and then pissing away the easiest games for our best bowl ever under Riley even with a hurt James Rodgers. It was all there but Riley couldn’t sell the opportunity to the players. He is the captain of the ship, so it falls on him and the coordinators. It could have been a chance to solidify a slight national reputation but who wants those things?
I see this game being an okay one but one which Riley will piss away yet again. His panty wearing persona and soft talk to the media devoid of any expectations has the players playing to his personality. It is not a good one for football. De Carolis will be watching from Palm Springs where his wife will first start pondering what if Oregon State brings in less than 40,000 fans a game next year and all the complaints continue? You may want to come up with a plan. The 12,000 by 2012 isn’t looking too hot. It looks like 4500 by 2012 could be much more likely. Oh well, we have the band of brothers “I’m okay, you’re okay” approach here at OSU. That means De Carolis and Riley get to keep their jobs as long as they swell want to.
Word of advice. Work with Nike and get a better brand with some new marketing. The guy who made Air Jordans an international sensation for a decade knows more about selling product than you Bob. Maybe tell Riley we want to actually try getting some fans to the Spring Game instead of 500 people. Once again look to Eugene for a model. Require 3 cans of food or $4 to get into the game. You will get over 5000 people if you get the word out a couple months before. Beats 500. But you didn’t even bother making the last Spring Game did you Bob?
Oregon St. will have a brief lead in this game at some point but it won’t last for more than half a quarter. Settling for a field goal and missing another along with 2 more Mannion interceptions will doom the Beavers to another ‘L’ for the loss column. Only chance we have is for Mannion to have 1 interception or less and mix it up well with Wheaton, Rodgers, Bishop and Halahuni. Ever notice how Andrew Luck converts most of his scoring TDs to tight ends? It works. Look for Halahuni in the red zone or set up a screen to Agnew or something. The receivers are fine targets but don’t telegraph and get us a costly red zone turnover. Unless we win the turnover margin we probably will not be leaving Seattle with the win.
I see us down 20-14 at halftime and losing it 34-24. Perhaps we have a 14-13 lead for 5 minutes in the 2nd. But we will be too inconsistent on offense and Langsdorf will be too predictable. They may be smart enough to let Agnew run 14 times for 84 yards but it will not be enough and Mannion will end up throwing two costly picks that WSU will turn into 10 points and the difference in this ballgame. Our defense will not get enough pressure on Tuel and their receiving unit will get more production after the catch than our own. Wulff will be pleased that he avoided a loss to the new cellar dwellars and it will go a long way to securing him atleast one more year. He knows you lose to the Beavs at your own risk and will do enough to come out of Seattle the better coach. All across the country people will see the score and say “Gee Golly Riley”, get it together already. 1-6 is worse than pathetic and no one gets why we accept a coach who can’t beat Sac St. at home.
WSU 34, OSU 24