Preseason pollgazing

OREGON STATE IS back in familiar territory headed into the 2011 season, with the national punditry predicting little from the Beavs this upcoming season. But when it comes to Oregon State, their recent track record is surprising.

TSN, Lindy's, Athlon, Phil Steele, Rogers Poll, 3rd, USAToday and Blue Ribbon/ESPN predict Oregon State as the consensus No. 4 finisher in the six-team Pac-12 North.

More projections will be forthcoming in the next few weeks, and the Beavs could conceivably end up being predicted to finish fifth -- OSU currently sits a mere 0.5 of a point above No. 5 Cal.

But in the last five years, the pundits have pegged OSU correctly only once, in 2009.

In 2006, the preseason magazines slotted OSU at No. 7 in the Pac-10, and out of the Top 25. OSU was also picked to finish No. 7 in the Pac-10 media poll. And the Beavs were unranked in either the preseason AP or USAToday Coaches' Top 25 polls.

Oregon State finished in third place in the Pac-10, and ranked No. 21 and 22 in the final Top 25 polls.

In 2007, OSU was picked to finish out of the Top 25 and fourth in the Pac-10 by the preseason magazines. OSU was tabbed No. 6 in the Pac-10 media poll, and the Beavs were unranked in either the preseason AP or USAToday Coaches' Top 25 polls.

Oregon State finished in third place and ranked No. 25 in the final AP Top 25 poll.

In 2008, OSU was out of the Top 25 and at No. 5 in the Pac-10 by the preseason magazines. They were projected No. 6 in the Pac-10 media poll, and were unranked in either the preseason AP or USAToday Coaches' Top 25 polls.

Oregon State led the Pac-10 race for most of the '08 campaign before finishing third and was ranked No. 18 and 19 in the final Top 25 polls.

In 2009, OSU was tabbed No. 24 and fourth in-conference in the preseason magazines, No. 4 in the Pac-10 media poll and No. 25/26 in the AP and Coaches' polls. They finished in a three-way tie for second place in the Pac-10 and No. 27 in both polls.

In 2010, Oregon State was the consensus No. 25 pick in the preseason magazines, and No. 22 and 24 in the polls. They were pegged at No. 3 in the Pac-10 media poll. They finished out of the running, with a record of 5-7.

What happens in 2011? Oregon State fans are once again hoping the pundits miss the mark when it comes to the Beavs.

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