The Beaver Beat (November 10, 2007)

There is some upside to procrastination. For example, writing this column on a Saturday afternoon enables your intrepid reporter to not just analyze last week's results, but part of this week's. Of course, the downside is that Ohio State just lost, which means that team down the road is going to be in the top two of the BCS rankings this week. Gulp.

But let's start with last week. What do you say when your offense puts up less passing yards in A GAME than your school put up in one PLAY just seven years ago?

Better luck next week.

Sure, the offense laid an egg without its starting running back, best receiver, and two starting offensive linemen. There have been lots of different games and lots of different reasons for losses in the Coliseum dating back to 1970. It's been 37 years since OSU emerged victorious in LA. It's not exactly Army-Notre Dame territory here (SIDE NOTE: Thank you, once again, Charlie Weis, for proving why you are the worst coaching hire at any school ever in the history of college football. Have a celebratory box of donuts.)

Speaking of Notre Dame, the Irish might be a pretty good example of where Beaver fans should be with their offense at this point. If Notre Dame fans walked into every game expecting their team to win, there would be a lot of unhappy Catholic football fans in the world right now. Notre Dame is the dumb son or daughter that consistently fails classes – you're not hoping for A's, a good GPA or a chance at getting into a decent school, you're just praying for him/her to graduate without a drug conviction so she can get the need-based scholarships.

And at this point, Oregon State's offense is in the same boat. Just don't turn the ball over a lot, don't get anybody else injured, and every now and then jump up and surprise everyone by putting a couple points on the board. The wheels aren't coming off – the wheels and axles have long since broken off, and now we just need to prevent the entire car from blowing up in a gasoline fire until the tow truck can come. OSU, Oregon State fight fight fight.

And can you really be that angry at anyone on the team? Hell, Mike Riley's made a true freshman wide receiver into everyone's new favorite running back. Canfield hasn't thrown five picks for at least a couple of weeks. Bernard's climbing (hobbling?) up the all-time rushing list. The O-line is doing its best with limited resources. The receivers manage to put their jerseys on the right way. There's growth, but right now that growth just means less failure. But hey, 2008 is only 10 months away. So take heart.

SO WHAT ABOUT THIS WEEK?

This is the kind of expert analysis I'm paid to give: Just win, baby.

With UCLA already going down to the Sun Devils, a Beaver win today mixed with a Cal victory over the Trojans would mean a four-way tie for third place: Cal, USC, Oregon State and UCLA all with three conference losses.

Normally third place in the Pac-10 means a trip to the Sun Bowl. But with ASU remaining in the Top Ten, and with Oregon creeping into the BCS Top Two this week with the Ohio State loss, the chances of two Pac-10 teams in BCS bowls increases every week. Even if/when Oregon loses in the Civil War, their high ranking might give them enough space to fall and still land in a BCS bowl game.

Which would mean that if OSU could maintain its third place Pac-10 standing (and hold your breath here):

San Diego.

It's been said too many times this year to count, but let me say it one more time: Welcome to the incredibly bizarre world of the Pac-10. A world where ASU-UCLA has arguably more bowl implications than Cal-USC. Where a four-loss team with a middle school-caliber offense could be vying for the Holiday Bowl. Where three-loss Washington is still gunning for a bowl game in November.

The end is near.

BONUS THOUGHT NUMBER ONE

You know how weird of a year it's been in college football?

Who would've thought in August that by the end of the year you could say "Appalachian State" or "Trinity-Millsaps", and everyone around you would know EXACTLY what you were talking about?

BONUS THOUGHT NUMBER TWO

Who am I rooting for next week in Stoops v. ‘Stache (does Bellotti still have the ‘stache? Does it matter)? Oregon. By a million.

And the next week? Oregon. By a million.

And I want LSU to lose, and every other Heisman contender to throw seven picks and/or get injured.

I want Oregon to be on top of the world in every single sense of the word. I want Oregon fans walking into Autzen looking freaking LOBOTOMIZED when the Civil War rolls around.

And so do you. It's worth it, Beaver brethren.

Because if OSU wins that game? With that much hype?

We might have to find a new rivalry game to play in 2008. Because Oregon State would be the winners. Forever. Even if the Beavers lost the next 50 Civil Wars. Period. Game over. Rivalry over. No more games to be played.

A guy can dream, can't he?

PREDICTIONS

Yeah, your intrepid reporter nailed 4 out of 5 games last week, missing only the Homer's Delight pick. That makes me 90% over the last two weeks. Please, hold your applause.

I would've picked ASU, but I suppose that doesn't count now. So we'll go Cal by a touchdown, OSU by two TD's and Washington State over Stanford by six.

Curtis Haley now has a streak of two straight weeks without missing a column.

thebeaverbeat@beaverfootball.com

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