What was once thought of as an impossibility could turn stark reality if the Oregon State Beavers have a repeat of their disappointing 2011 football season. Fortunately for Head Coach Mike Riley, he was the original orchestrator of the Beavers’ rise from the ashes in the late 1990s.
That in and of itself should be enough to hold onto a job for a team that has in-state rival Oregon staring them square in the eyes each and every season in what IS the season’s biggest game within the state of Oregon: the Civil War.
Last season’s Beavers’ team completed a dismal 3-9, including losses to Sacramento State, an embarrassing showing in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers, and the list goes on and on, finishing with a crushing defeat at the hands of the aforementioned Oregon Ducks.
With whispers of off field issues lingering, along with the conference schedule not being a cakewalk, Coach Riley could find himself in hot water sooner rather than later if the Beavs stumble out of the gate early. The schedule is almost identical to 2011, replacing Sac State with the Nicholls Colonels out of the Southland Conference.
The good news for Coach Riley, is that the Beavers host this season’s Civil War, and regardless of what each team has done in the season up to that point, this game brings extra special meaning to the table. The Ducks should win yet again, but Riley and the Beavers should make it a contest at least through the first half of the season. A return to 6-6 or 7-5 restores the alumni faith in Mike Riley. Another stinker of a season reminiscent of 2011 and I’ll be writing about a new man in charge in Corvallis in 2013.