The 2012 college football season was a very pleasantly surprising one for the Oregon State Beavers, who defied all odds by winning nine games, knocking off two top-15 teams and even climbing into the top 10 at one point. They had a two-quarterback system, which never works, yet managed to come within four points or less of beating Washington, then-No. 16 Stanford, then-No. 5 Oregon and Texas in their only four losses of the season. With 15 starters returning in 2013, the Beavers have a great shot to not only build off their 2012 momentum, but also defy more odds in the process.
Typical Pac-12 powerhouses USC, Stanford and Oregon are now very beatable for different reasons, so that means Oregon State should have an easier time as a team to beat instead of a team under the radar. Now, the three teams just listed are certainly no pushovers and will all undoubtedly give Oregon State all it wants, but the Beavers are capable of winning every game, especially if they decide on one, full-time starting quarterback.
Oregon State’s real asset heading into 2013 is its defense, which ranked second in the Pac-12 a year ago and gets over half its staters back. All the attention will be on the quarterback battle between Cody Vaz and Sean Mannion, but the defense will be what keeps Oregon State in the conference title hunt. There’s nothing in-depth or technical about this–Oregon State is good and the Pac-12 competition is down, so that should equal another successful season for the Beavers.