The Dam Links 11/15/2013:  Tempe

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

This weekend will be an important step in deciding whether this will be a season of Yay or a season of Meh.

91 days until first pitch...

Arizona State has had Oregon State's number for a long time. Between 1972 and 2002, Oregon State beat the Sun Devils once in 23 tries. Oregon State didn't win in Tempe between 1969 and 2009, so they've only beat Arizona State on their home turf once in the last 43 years. Let's hope we can fix that this weekend, and make it 5 out of the last 6 games.

Oregon State's recruiting class rankings are trending up with four recent commits.

The Pac-12 continues to show up comfortably at #2 in ESPN's conference rankings.

ESPN's Pac-12 blog provides their weekly Pac-12 power rankings and bowl projections. Somehow, the Beavers moved up three spots in the latest bowl projections during their bye week; they've got them in the Sun Bowl vs. an ACC team. The blog also keeps an eye on stories to watch this weekend, and provide predictions for this coming weekend.

CBS Sports also previews the game. Not a single person that I can find is picking the Beavers to win. This doesn't really surprise me, and I'm OK with it. Lower expectations seem to be better for Oregon State. I will confess that I am a little surprised that the spread (14) is as large as it is. Arizona State has been really good at home, yes, but Oregon State is 4-0 on the road, so they're not scared of the opposing crowds.

Good news: Michael Doctor is going to take his redshirt, and will return in 2014. While it's not 100% he'll be granted the waiver, it seems extremely likely. Although this season is certainly not over nor a lost cause, Lindsey Schnell looks ahead to next year. Depending on who returns for one more year, and who doesn't, OSU could go from a top 15 pre-season program to ... not.

David Lombardi of Pac-12.com actually compiles some of the most prominent bowl projections into one place. Vegas, Vegas, New Mexico, and Poinsettia are the predicted destinations.

Jabral Johnson and Ty Zimmerman, both Lawton, Oklahoma natives, are making their home town proud. With John Braun gone for the season, Edwin Delva tries to prove he can take over the role Ryan Murphy still thinks about Fred Thompson on a regular basis. Arizona State's Will Sutton is really, really good; Oregon State has to figure out how to stop him. Oregon State is trying to come up with some ways to get Brandin Cooks more involved again.

Mike Riley has some video thoughts on Arizona State. Ken Goe asks Fox Sports' Arizona's Tyler Lockman five questions about the Sun Devils. Sean Mannion, in a video interview, says the bye week was refreshing.

Our "AndyPanda" Wooldridge participated in a podcast with the guys from Speak of the Devils, previewing this weekend's game.

Stats Oregon State players lead the country in:

Sean Mannion: Passing Yards. Passing Yards per Game.

Brandin Cooks: Receiving Yards. Receiving Yards per Game. Receptions per Game (tied). Points Responsible for by a WR.

Boy, that list gets smaller and smaller. Of course, having a bye week will do that to you. So will not playing in the Mountain West.

Connor Letourneau points out that freshman guard Hallice Cooke had an important role in beating the Pilots on Wednesday night.

The mens' basketball team is honoring Native American Heritage again this year, and will be breaking out these turquoise uniforms against SIU Edwardsville on November 26th.

Mens' soccer has Senior Day on Sunday, when they host the Washington Huskies. The wrestling team heads to Michigan this weekend. In the season's first coaches poll, the Beavers have two wrestlers ranked #1 in the country, and the team is ranked #12.

Volleyball continued their streak of losses in conference, losing in four sets to #20 California Thursday night, extending their conference record to 0-15. Sadly, I kind of saw that coming. Of course, I’m kind of psychic. I have a fifth sense. It’s like I have ESPN or something

Womens' basketball has done what a Pac-12 team should, defeating two exhibition teams and UC Bakersfield decisively to open the season. If you're on campus and bored Friday during the day, you should head over to Gill to watch them play Sacramento State. Tipoff is at 11:30am for kids' day.

In non-official athletic department news, the club rugby teams are headed across country to play in the prestigious National Sevens Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Unrelated video of the day: ever wonder what happens when you wring out a towel in zero gravity?

This week's Illegal Participation podcast discusses Arizona State at length, as well as the usual report from Eugene, and awards the Tommy Tubberville Jackass of the Week Award.

As always, if I missed any links above, add them into the comments below. And be sure to vote in the poll, and if you're not heading down to the game this weekend, hang out for the usual pre-game report, witty repartee during the game, and post-game analysis.

Go Beavs!

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