Left photo: Steven Bisig/US Presswire
Lost Lettermen is counting down and ranking all 124 FBS college football teams from best to worst by comparing each to a well-known song. We will examine one team per day through the summer in the lead up to the 2012 season. Today’s team: The Oregon State Beavers.
2011 Record: 3-9
Head Coach: Mike Riley
Returning Starters: 16 (8 offense, 8 defense)
Key Players: QB, Sean Mannion, DE Dylan Winn
9/1: Nicholls St.
9/22: @ UCLA
9/29: @ Arizona
10/6: Washington St.
10/13: @ BYU
10/27: @ Washington
11/3: Arizona St.
11/10: @ Stanford
After posting a 10-win campaign in 2006, head coach Mike Riley and the Oregon State Beavers have been on the steady decline ever since. Following a season in which the Beavers started 10 true freshmen and had just three wins, Riley is hoping for much improvement in 2012. If sophomore quarterback Sean Mannion can find some consistency through the air, as well as scramble from the pocket with his thinner frame, maybe Riley will have a better year. That’s only if the Beavers can improve on the ground – both stopping the run and running the ball themselves. For the upcoming season, as the defensive front seven and the running game goes, so do the Beavers. The lone bright spot on the schedule? Riley and the Beavers don’t have to contend with potential Heisman frontrunner Matt Barkley.
After the 2009 season, Riley signed a three-year extension with Oregon State to coach through 2019 – that was after he won eight games. In the two years that followed, he has won just eight games combined. It may take a little time for Riley to right the ship in Corvallis, but we’re going to tell him to don’t stop believing, just like Journey told us 30 years ago.
FBS 124 Countdown