Beavers selected to finish seventh, again

For the second consecutive year the Oregon State Beaver football has been selected to finish seventh in the Pac-10 conference by the West Coast media. Last year the media picked the Beavers to finish seventh and at the end of the 11 game schedule OSU sat at seventh place in the conference standings.

In the past four years the poll has predicted the Beavers would place fourth twice, seventh once and fifth once. In 2002 and 2004, both even years, the Men in Black exceeded the media's prediction as they finished third and fourth, respectively, one spot higher then their predicted finish.  In 2003, OSU finished fifth, one spot below the media's guess.

"We are, like everybody, excited about the start of a new year," coach Mike Riley said.  "We feel like we've had a productive off-season, a good spring practice, great commitment from our team and hopefully have grown a lot."

On offense Riley mentioned that most of the starters return, including the entire offensive line, the running back and quarterback.  The big question mark is at receiver where the production of Mike Hass needs to be replaced.

"We have big shoes to fill at receiver, that's probably the biggest question mark at this time," the 53-year old coach said.  "Who is going to make those plays that Mike Hass made for so many years for us? But I feel good about the core that is heading into camp."

Riley admitted that the defense slipped last year.  But with the entire secondary returning and an always solid group at linebacker the unit is ready to march their way to the top of the majority of the Pac-10's defensive categories.

"We played three freshman in the secondary to go along with Piscitelli," Riley said.  "We took our lumps there, but I am excited about that fact that those guys gained the experience back there. I thought they had a great spring in our secondary so I am feeling pretty good about that."

Senior safety Sabby Piscitelli joined Riley in Los Angeles were he talked about last year's performance and the benefits of getting back tight end Joe Newton.

"(Newton) is a tremendous player in the redzone and that is one of the biggest things that we are looking forward to this year...having that extra weapon back," Piscitelli said about his teammate.  "He's so versatile that our offense can do a lot more and spread the ball out. I think it is going to be a big, big plus for Oregon State this year."

For the fourth consecutive year USC was picked to win the conference crown.  California, Oregon and Arizona State each received first place votes.. The media poll has correctly selected the Pac-10 Champion in 23 of 45 previous polls, including the last six in a row.


20066
1. USC (18) 276 
2. California (7) 247
3. Oregon (3) 229
4. Arizona State (1) 204
5. UCLA 145
6. Arizona 133
7. Oregon State 125
8. Washington State 96
9. Stanford 90
10. Washington 50
 

2005
(Actual champ: USC | Actual OSU finish: Seventh)

1.  USC (41) 410 pts.
2.  California 300 
3.  Arizona State 296 
4.  Oregon 290 
5.  UCLA 282 
6.  Washington State 189 
7.  Oregon State 159 
8.  Arizona 131 
9.  Stanford 106 
10. Washington 92 

2004
(Actual champ: USC | Actual OSU finish: Tied for third)

1.  USC (24) 240 pts.
2.  California 210
3.  Oregon 192
4.  Oregon State 138
5.  Washington State 133
6.  Arizona State 131
7.  Washington 100
8.  UCLA 98
9.  Stanford 40
10. Arizona 38

2003
(Actual champ: USC | Actual OSU finish: Tied for fifth)

1.  USC (10) 227 pts.
2.  Arizona State (9) 224
3.  Washington (4) 198
4.  Oregon State (2) 172
5.  Oregon 139
6.  UCLA 138
7.  Washington State 107
8.  California 68
9.  Stanford 57
10. Arizona 46
       

2002
(Actual champ: WSU/USC | Actual OSU finish: Tied for fourth)

1.  Washington State (17) 302 pts.
2.  Washington (12) 296 
3.  Oregon (1) 272 
4.  USC (3) 243 
5.  Oregon State (1) 207
6. UCLA 178 7. Stanford 131 8. Arizona 107 9. Arizona State 87 10. California 47

2001
(Actual champ: UO | Actual OSU finish: Seventh)

1.  Oregon (20) 310 pts.
2. Oregon State (3) 270 3. UCLA (10) 262 4. Washington 228 5. Stanford 191 6. USC 185 7. Arizona State 128 8. California 90 9. Arizona 81 10. Washington State 70

2000
(Actual champ: OSU/UW/UO | Actual OSU finish: Tied for first)

1.  Washington (16) 275 pts.
2. USC (11) 272
3. Oregon (1) 211
4. UCLA 181
5. Arizona State (2) 167
6. Oregon State 163
7. Stanford 133
8. Arizona 127
9. California 63
10. Washington State 47

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