An OSU team with experience at QB and on the O-Line heads down to Autzen to battle Chip Kelly and the rolling Ducks. But this time, after suffering a home defeat a year ago, the Beavers will have BOTH Rodgers brothers healthy. Think I'm talking about the 09 Civil War, or the 11 Civil War? Find out after the jump...
(Promoted to the front page to promote thought, and discussion.)
Next year's Civil War might shape up to look like the last Civil War played at Autzen, with even Rose Bowl implications possibly back in the fold. OSU will be coming off a rough let down following a less than storybook ending to its prior season, while Oregon will replace several starters on the O-Line as they travel out of Eugene to open their season against a nationally ranked foe ala the 09 season.
Last time this was called "The War of the Roses." Next year could be the second installment of that franchise, but will the outcome be different this go around?
Mike Riley ended all doubts that he was the appropriate counter punch to Mike Bellotti when he returned from the NFL, posting Civil War wins in 04,06&07. One other point of which there is little doubt it this: the Ducks are stronger with Chip Kelly at the helm. Since Kelly arrived in Oregon, the Ducks are 3-1 against the Beavers of Oregon State. The lone loss coming in 2007 amid an armageddon of injuries which derailed the Ducks national title run. That being said, even if OSU returns to form next season, can Riley get over Kelly in his own house?
I'm betting no. Chip Kelly is 22-3 as a head coach, with his only losses coming on the road at Boise St and Stanford, and during the Rose Bowl against Ohio St. In two seasons Chip Kelly's team has yet to lose a home game and the recruiting is only getting better. (Disclaimer, I am a Duck fan, but also consider myself a Beaver's fan 364 days/yr).
So my question for Beaver Nation is this: Riley held his own against Bellotti, but Kelly is simply on a different level than Bellotti was. Based on what we've seen from Chip, Riley could put together five straight teams like we witnessed in 2009 and still possibly not get by a Chip Kelly team. That quality of team got it done when Bellotti was in Eugene, but recent history has suggested that a return to recent success might not produce what it once did. What happens to Mike Riley's fan support if he posts an 8 win season next year, but still can't beat the Ducks?