Riley presents tough challenge for Wildcats

Every week some Pac-10 school's fans think their team is going to defeat Oregon State. Why? Because the Beavers don't have a big name head coach or a team loaded with high school All-Americans.

Every week some Pac-10 school's fans think their team is going to defeat Oregon State. Why? Because the Beavers don't have a big name head coach or a team loaded with high school All-Americans.

However, every week, Oregon State seems to win. Why is it that?

Here's your answer: Mike Riley is the best coach in the Pac-10 and one of the best in the country. The Pac-10 standings – Oregon State is first – prove that fact.

The way the Beavers execute on both sides of the ball is incredible. Riley is one of the best in the nation at evaluating talent and he might not even evaluate as well as he develops it once he gets it.

This stat tells you all you need to know: Riley is 7-0 as a head or assistant coach in bowl games. Meaning, if you give him a month to prepare for someone, anyone, he is going to win. This guy is on another level compared to almost everyone else.

Riley's last three teams have a combined 17-7 Pac-10 record, despite the limited talent available to him on the roster, at least if recruiting rankings mean anything. He's finished 3rd place in the Pac-10 two straight seasons and three of the past four years.

He's 25-11 overall in the past three years and is two games away from making the Rose Bowl.

And Arizona fans still don't take Oregon State seriously.

Well, they should. Oregon State is becoming a serious player in college football and under Riley, that's not changing any time soon.

On Saturday, Arizona is going to need to play a near perfect game to come out with the win.

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