As the search for a new DB coach draws out many Beaver fans are wondering if Riley has gotten one or two “thanks, but no thanks” so far. Riley is currently #2 on the Coaches Hot Seat rankings. Perhaps there are not that many strong candidates who want to put their trust in Riley. Part of me also wonders if De Carolis is now in cost-saving mode to some extent so that if he has to dump Riley in the next couple years he can. The days of “aw shucks” pulling the wool over Beaver Nation and that Riley deserves longterm status controlling OSU seem to be dwindling. After all, the Joe Pa era is now a thing of the past and no other program is exactly rushing to fill the vacancy.
As of December, 21 2012 we also enter a new Mayan epoch that is supposed to bring lasting world changes as a new era begins. We can only hope BDC allows Oregon State to evolve fully into the 21st century when we see those hoped for uniform and branding changes in 2013. The new epoch is not a time to be conservative. Yet, as of right now one gets the sense that with this next DB hire Riley may again have OSU going the wrong direction as most the conference smiles in disbelief. I say that because I have the feeling Riley is going to hire somebody too old for DB coach. UW was very smart and brought in Justin Wilcox as DC and added another capable recruiter with Heyward. They are selling vitality, freshness and the hip factor of cool and confident personalities. They are currently far more likely to be setting the trends then the wallflower that is OSU.
Oregon State simply can’t afford to be hiring anyone over 50 in this position as far as I am concerned. It won’t do any favors to recruiting otherwise and each year will only make our entire staff seem even more stale and old timerish. These are death blows to a successful image that has any hopes of making BCS Bowls. The more I think about it, giving Riley 2 more years to make a Holiday Bowl is more than generous. There is absolutely no way we can afford any more that that without tangible bowl results. If Riley hopes to stay longer than that then he better realize we have to keep the staff younger and more interesting for top recruits. Brennan and Brasfield have helped in this regard and we have to keep going in this direction. We will only hurt ourselves if we bring in some 55 year old in the fading limelight of his career and put him to pasture like Riley.
If we want to be successful, OSU needs vibrant energy in the program to galvanize both players and fans. The trends across the conference and national landsdcape show that younger coaches are becoming increasingly influential and driving the sport forward. 18 year old recruits like being able to more closely relate to their mentors. They want coaches with some attitude and the drive to win every week. Ultimately, they want to be a part of something they believe in and that showcases their own generation. Riley’s career will be waning soon if he doesn’t realize he is behind the curve and start making needed changes. Like Gary Payton so clearly stated, “Recruits want new stuff, they don’t want old stuff.”