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The Dam Links 10/15/2013: Halftime

Halfway through the season, and we're halfway to ten wins. It's that simple, right?

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

And half-way through the season, Oregon State is still tied for first in the Pac-12.

Sean Mannion's up for the Manning Award Player of the Week again. You can vote here, although you'll need a Facebook profile to do so. As of 9:15 Monday, Mariota leads Mannion 2,500 to 2,100. Third place has 446. Of course, I'm sure that will change by the time this article gets published, and I'll look foolish.

With five consecutive wins (including three on the road), OSU's inching back towards the Top 25, and are currently #31 in the AP and #30 in the Coaches' Poll. I don't have much argument with that at this point. The BCS Guru projects the BCS standings, and figures OSU would be 27th as it stands. The real BCS rankings start next week, I believe.

The ESPN's Pac-12 blog has been busy: they have ranked their top 10 players in the Pac 12, providing a mid-season update to their pre-season rankings. Although #1 and #4 stayed the same, most of the others have changed, and now two Beavers make the top 5. Their weekend review takes a look at the best of the weekend, and they tab Rashaad Reynolds (two interceptions, two forced fumbles, six tackles) as the defensive standout. The midseason report is fairly clear of Beavers (Mariota's winning all the OPOY awards so far), but they do mention that the OSU-Utah game is the year's best to date. The Power Rankings have OSU at #5, behind Washington, Stanford, UCLA and Oregon. They also moved OSU up a spot in their bowl projections, playing against a Mountain West opponent in the Las Vegas Bowl. And what they learned last weekend in the Pac-12 is that the Beavers appear to be back.

It's not just the Pac-12 blog that's noticing Mannion's numbers. ESPN's Mark Schlabach provides a national midseason review, and ranks Mannion the fifth most valuable offensive player in college football. He also has EWU over OSU as the second biggest upset, which is a little surprising to me, but I guess there haven't been a ton of upsets this year. CNNSI's Stewart Mandel noticed him as well, although he's in the third paragraph behind two paragraphs about Marcus Mariota, who appears to be the Heisman front runner at the moment.

Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports raves about Mariota, and then praises Mannion some too. lists the 7 players who still have a realistic chance at the Heisman Trophy. You might appreciate the lead photo and #7 on that list. This guy uses statistical data from the football field, demographics of Heisman voters, and other items to predict who is going to win the trophy. This guy doesn't provide a list of who he thinks is the best, he predicts who will win the Heisman Trophy . This is a much more important list to be on than any straw poll.

Ken Goe asks if Mannion or Mariota is the better QB. That's one way to generate a lot of intelligent comments on your comment board. I didn't mean to read the comments, but I come from a long line of stubborn idiots.

SB Nation bowl projections don't think so highly of the Beavs, putting them in the New Mexico Bowl against Utah State. At this point, I certainly would find that a disappointment.

Lindsey Schnell of the Oregonian talks a little bit about Mannion and his portrayal (or lack thereof) in the national media. Almost missed as a footnote in this article: Connor Hamlett is doubtful for this week's game after hurting his knee in the second half against Washington State. Schnell also provides a sneak peak at Cal.

A Register Guard writer decides it's time to quit picking against the Beavers.

Connor Letourneau of the Oregonian writes that turnovers are critical to Oregon State's success. The Gazette Times' Kevin Hampton has a very similar viewpoint.

One final note from last Saturday's game: Brian M Floyd points out that the drive chart from the second half is a little hard to believe.

As you have probably heard, Rashaad Reynolds was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. Marcus Mariota won the offensive player of the week, and Utah kicker Andy Phillips won the Special Teams award. OSU has now won 5 of the 21 possible player of the week awards, most in the conference. Oregon is second with 4, nobody else has more than two. Reynolds also becomes the fourth Beaver (Mannion, Nelson, Romaine) to win a Pac-12 Player of the Week award, also most in the conference (Oregon is second with 3). Mannion was also nominated for offensive player of the week this week.

Mannion's Total QBRating continues to improve, he's almost in the top 10 now, when he was in the 30's just a couple of weeks ago.

And now it's time for my favorite recurring feature:

Stats Oregon State players lead the country in:

Sean Mannion: Passing TD's (6 TD's more than second place). Passing Yards (475 yards ahead of anyone else with 6 games). Passing Yards per Game (45.7 yards ahead of second). Points responsible for (only four points ahead of Mariota, but 34 points ahead of third place). Points Responsible for Per Game.

Brandin Cooks: Receiving TD's (1 more than second, 3 more than anyone else with 6 games). Receiving yards (77 more than second, 207 more than anyone with 6 games). Receiving yards per game (21.5 yards more than second). Receptions per game. Points responsible for by a wide receiver (and he's only behind one running back, Marion Grice of Arizona State).

Steven Nelson: Interceptions (tied for first with 5).

* * * * *

Other Stuff:

While it might have felt to Cougar fans that Oregon State scored 142 touchdowns in short order in the third and fourth quarter, I do believe this was the result of a technical error and not Connor Halliday:


Oregon State women's soccer finally got their first conference win, beating the Sun Devils 1-0 over the weekend. Mens' soccer had the weekend off, but fell to Washington 1-0 Monday night.

Volleyball is still winless in conference play, although they did take #23 UCLA to five sets.

The mens' golf team will finish up its final tournament of the fall today. The women have one more tournament later this month, at the Stanford Intercollegiate.

As Andy reported yesterday, OSU pitcher Clay Bauer was arrested for burglary and other misdemeanor charges. He was suspended indefinitely by coach Casey.

The OSU athletic department put together a great behind-the-scenes video from the trip to Pullman last weekend. I don't know who is doing these videos this year, but they're doing a hell of a job.

Finally, we can only hope the Cal Bears are this friendly this weekend:

If I missed any good links, put it in the comments below. During football season, I'm always bound to miss something.

Late edit: the newest Illegal Participation podcast is up.

As always, vote in the poll below, and we'll have more The Dam Links on Friday.