When Arizona's Nick Foles and Oregon St.'s Sean Mannion start chucking the ball around Saturday (both completed at least 40 passes last week), it may seem like an Air Strike is underway. But Saturday, which is Military Day, the real thing apparently won't be in the skies over Reser. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
There's been a lot of interesting stuff swirling around this week, so here's something of a "notebook dump" of various info. relevant to Beaver Nation.
On the injury front, it looks like Malcolm Agnew is doubtful at best for this weekend's home game against Arizona. Agnew did not practice Tuesday, still sore from his hamstring injury, and much more in the missed practice department will mean a 4th. game missed.
OG Josh Andrews did work out at Tuesday's practice, and could be back on the field in another week or two, which offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh would greatly appreciate.
"Cav" and head coach Mike Riley went into considerable detail with the Gazette-Times' Cliff Kirkpatrick about the offensive line, and its a good read. Everyone recognizes the overall issue that the line is, but the coaches got into a lot of specifics with Cliff.
Other personnel notes include the return of Micah Hatfield and Tyler Perry. Hatfield, who has been out since during camp with a hand injury, will be worked back into the special teams packages, and provide at least some more depth to the receivers group. Perry's knee injury and his one-game suspension stemming from the MIP house party during camp have both been completely resolved, and so he's back in the mix at TE.
Coming out of the Arizona game, the "ding" report included wide receiver Markus Wheaton (bruised shoulder as well as a sore wrist) and quarterback Sean Mannion (sore throwing shoulder), and cornerback Keynan Parker (dislocated finger), but all were back at practice, and should be ready to go Saturday.
However, cornerback Sean Martin has a broken bone in his foot, and will be out at least 4 weeks.
Remember That Guy?
An interesting aspect to the Beavers' game against the Wildcats could develop when James Rodgers first encounters Arizona safety Adam Hall. It was Hall who hit Rodgers in the end zone in last year's game in Tucson, which resulted in Rodgers' awkward landing that tore two ligaments in his knee, and keeping him out of action until the third game this season. Hall, in turn suffered a knee injury this spring, and coincidently, its this week that Hall will be returning to action for the 'Cats. Word is there won't be a field mic on either player.
Conference Expansion On The Table Again
The University of Missouri board of curators have granted chancellor Brady Deaton "the authority to take any and all actions necessary to fully explore options for conference affiliation and contracts related there to, which best serve the interests of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri system."
This guarantees nothing, but it opens the door for the Tigers to leave the embattled Big 12-, and its been widely rumored they are going to join Texas A&M in the SEC. This is of some relevance to the Pac-12, in that Missouri has been in the conversation at times should the Pac-12 expand to 16 teams. While Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and various conference presidents have said they aren't looking at expanding further at some point, this potentially takes one of the key pieces off the table, and for the Big 10+, which is also a valid potential destination for Missouri, as well.
It could well matter when the SEC, who could add over 11 million new televisions to their conference "footprint" with the addition of these two schools, renegotiates their media rights deal, and it eclipses the Pac-12's record deal by a substantial amount.
Bill Connelly takes a good look at the case for Missouri's inclusion into the SEC.
The Pac On The Back Burner
ESPN Gameday Analyst Kirk Herbstreit said on the show last week that "...with USC's probation and fall from prominence the past couple of years, Pac-12 football has been pushed to the back burner in the national consciousness."
That set John Berkowitz, the normally level headed (for a Husky) editor of the UW Dawg Pound, off, but whether Herbstreit, Berkowitz, or you or I like it or not, Herby was right. And a string of dismal non-conference outcomes, with the only successes seemingly being either over mostly mediocre opponents, or otherwise sub-par, has done nothing to dispel that image in the minds of most fans, media members, and programming executives located east of the Rockies.
Of course, the way things have been going for Oregon St., maybe the lowest profile possible is actually a good thing? (More on that concept below.)
OSU Has Some Explaining To Do
The Oregon St. Athletic Department has some explaining to do for a couple of decisions that have come out this week.
Saturday is Military Day, which in recent years has included a popular fly-over by Oregon Air National Guard F-15s. But not this year, and the word is that is wasn't the National Guard, or concerns about the weather (the forecast is for mostly sunny Saturday). Rather, it was supposedly Oregon St.'s decision. There could be perfectly valid explanation for this (and the weather doesn't meet the eyeball test), but so far none has emerged. One should.
There's another area where some transparency is called for as well. As noted yesterday, there's no tv yet in the works for next week's game against BYU. All of the Pac-12's media partners, ESPN, FX, Fox Sports Net, and even ROOT Sports all passed on the game, doubtless due to the winless record of the Beavers. Today, the Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that with BYUtv, the nationally distributed channel owned by BYU, has been negotiating with Oregon St., and the unofficial word is that their being allowed to carry the game is a long shot.
A LONG SHOT??! Oregon St. has NO ONE else interested in them. Holding Beaver Nation and Cougar Nation (and that really is a nation, there's a clue there) hostage for $9.95 fees for a low definition internet feed via osubeavers.com allaccess is a cheap shot, especially with the impending infusion of cash from the new Pac-12 deal that takes affect next year, which is guaranteed to confirm their small time status. Those that currently question the situation the team finds itself in, significantly due to recruiting shortfalls, should really be happy down the line, when non-exposure continues that pattern, and they get their letter from the university asking for more contributions.
Pettibone A Presenter?
Kirkpatrick originally reported that former Oregon St. coach Jerry Pettibone would be a game ball presenter Saturday at the Arizona game. He's now noted that after receiving conflicting reports from OSU, where one group says he’ll be there this weekend, and another group says he will be at the Oct. 15 BYU game, its uncertain which one he will show up at.
This is the guy who posted a 13-52-1 record, including the 15 game losing streak that spanned the 1995 & '96 seasons, the last two years before Riley's first stint as head coach, the streak that is the last one longer than Oregon St.'s current losing streak will reach if they can't keep up with the 'Cats this week.
One would think Beaver Nation has already been reminded more than enough about the debacle that was the Pettibone era.