If you're a die-hard college football fan, Sunday Morning Football is the die-hard college football blog for you. Matt brings unrivaled college football analysis to the table every day, and yesterday he decided to write an "An Absurdly Premature Assessment of: Oregon State".
Like always, Matt's analysis is second to none. I reccomend you head over to SMQ for the full post, but here are some tidbits:
I couldn't agree more with Matt's "best case scenario":
Best-Case: Slow and steady finishes somewhat respectably in the race. OSU does not look like a contender for the Pac Ten title in any way, but it has finished toward the bottom of the AP’s top 25 the last two years, and teams used to winning a little don’t go away easily. The question is whether, amid so many departures, this is really the same team. Most of the schedule still looks lke a toss-up, which is nothing new, and the Beavers have proven extremely adept at winning those either-or games when they win the turnover margin. More maturity at quarterback and a veteran, run-friendly offensive line bodes well for that number, and for keeping the defensive noobs off the field, which puts seven wins squarely in reach. If they keep their head above water long enough, a late season upset or another bowl win could get them to eight wins for the third year in a row, which has never happened in school history.
And also, the "worst case scenario":
Worst-Case: No...No, those Beavers are dead. I watched them die! The fact is, this year could get really ugly, really fast: in the first five games, Stanford is a strong upset threat, Penn State and USC are likely losses and Hawaii and Utah are potentially two of the toughest outs in the mid-major ranks. A 1-4 start is not at all out of the question for a team with so many holes, and who knows where the spiral goes from there with the meat of the Pac Ten schedule ahead. Riley’s worst season in his second go-round in Corvallis is 2005, when the Beavers were 5-6, 3-5 in the conference. Things have come a long, long way since the 1998 team in Riley’s first stint considered finishing 5-6 a breakthrough, but for the sketchy quarterbacking and defensive youth alone – not to mention the lack of proven skill talent on offense – the bad old days are very much a reality, temporarily.
Matt's right, the season could go either way. As you'll see in NBC's Position by Position breakdown, Oregon State doesn't have very many players who make the top five of their respective positions. And there's not a particular unit that pops off the page at you. It's going to take a lot of work to get everyone clicking together, but this Oregon State team could pull it all together come September. Or, they could crash and burn come September.