Year-in and year-out, Riley inherits a Beaver squad dotted with question marks and gradually turns it into an eight or nine-win team. You can mark your calendar by it.
Riley is at it again in Corvallis, taking a group with wholesale changes on defense and a beleaguered veteran Sean Canfield under center, and guiding it to the lip of the Top 25 cup. It never makes a lot of sense, yet it’s become part of the fabric of the Oregon State program and coaching staff.
Go ahead and underestimate the Beavers again next summer, but do so at your own peril. This program will clear whatever hurdles are necessary to make you look silly.
Want a well-kept secret that absolutely no one will be talking about until the end of the month? After Stanford upset Oregon and Oregon State surprised Cal, both in Northern California, the Beavers have a legitimate shot of capturing the Pac-10 title that slipped away a year ago.
Best of all, with the two Washington schools up next, they ought to be 8-3 heading into a Civil War that could decide the Rose Bowl representative for a second straight season.
If you’re a talented high school kid from the West Coast, give a long, hard look to Oregon State despite what the attention and offers you’re getting from the California schools.
You’ll get a four-year football education from Riley and his assistants that’s second to none in the Pac-10. Guaranteed.