COMMENTARY: The beginning of the end, again?

IT'S ALMOST A letdown, Mike Riley publicly naming Sean Mannion the starter over Ryan Katz. It's been a foregone conclusion since Week 1 but Katz is now officially No. 2. Where's the intrigue in that? Heck, there was so much extracurricular drama last week I half-expected Riley to pull those two other guys late and suspend them for the fourth quarter, and the first three quarters of the UCLA game.

After all, Riley was switching out quarterbacks on second and third downs, why not enact the sometime-in-the-undefined-future suspensions of Castro Masaniai and Connor Hamlett beginning with the fourth quarter at Wisconsin?

In all seriousness, it's good that Riley made the QB call. It should never have gone on as long as it did, but it's good it's finally settled.

I would have preferred Katz remain the starter, I don't think he got much leeway to make a mistake out there as has been given Mannion. And my Beaver group of friends all still marvel at what Katz did at Arizona last year and see that game not as an aberration but as his likely future. But I also think Mannion can be a very good one over the course of his career and most importantly, I think a college football team cannot, and will not, succeed with a 2 QB-system and a quarterback controversy.


It just doesn't work.

By making the announcement on Tuesday, the first of three bye-week practices, it allows the Beavs a better chance to come together this week and on into next, and to finally fix for good at least some of what's been ailing them these first two weeks of the season.

And thankfully, Oregon State comes out of the bye facing one of the Pac-12's lesser teams in UCLA.

The Bruins, actually, might be in as bad or worse shape than the Beavers.

Last week, in preparation of the San Jose State game, (UCLA struggled to 27-17 win over San Jose State), Rick Neuheisel stopped practice and went on a "tirade" according to the L.A. Times, shouting "I can't be the only one who cares!"

No word on if a powder-blue attired Snuggles the Fabric Softener Bear, huddled with the offensive linemen, piped up to let Neuheisel know that yes, he is indeed the only one.

If Oregon State's run defense plays like they did against Wisconsin, the Bruin passing game won't be able to overcome the way Wisconsin's did.

And instead of strumming his guitar and singing Kumbaya, Neuheisel is more likely to bring back his post game speech routine and open it by smashing the instrument like John Belushi in Animal House.

And maybe, just maybe, Mike Riley will have begun in 2011 to affect another of OSU's amazing runs after a notoriously slow start. The beginning of the end, again.

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