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The Dam Links 3/6/2014

Scott Rueck appears to be asking "What do I have to do to be named Coach of the Year?"

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

177 days until kickoff vs. Portland State..

First, don't forget to check out the Beaver women on the Pac-12 Network in the tournament this weekend. First game Friday night at 8:30 PST.

Brandin Cooks will be doing a Google Hangout Thursday from 4-4:30 PST with JRSportBrief. ESPN's Rich Cimini's Draft Spotlight shines upon Brandin Cooks.

This mock draft has Brandin Cooks going to the Chiefs with the 24th pick, and Scott Crichton going to the Vikings at 40th.

The Pac-12 football blog ranks each coach's best season, regardless of school. Mike Riley is 8th on the list, ranking the 2008 Beavers as his best season. I really wanted to argue with this, based solely on how the 2008 year ended, but realized it's not that clear cut. This is a great idea for a poll, maybe I'll use it sometime. Like, in about a half-dozen paragraphs. Reviewing the options, though, it's always a matter of "almost." We are cursed men, Miss Turner.

Former Beaver Brandon Browner finally learned his NFL fate for next season: he has to sit out four more games. He is an Unrestricted Free Agent, so he can sign with any team. I'm guessing the Seahawks won't be willing to pay him enough given their salary cap position, but his drug issues might mean he's going to come mighty cheap. We'll see.

An update on Jared Cunningham from Oregon Live's Connor Letourneau. He was recently released by the Hawks, but plans on signing with an NBA team TBD this week. Letourneau also reports that Hallice Cooke is intent on working out of his slump.

Pat Casey doesn't think the Beavers are playing very good baseball... yet. Jason Quick of the Oregonian chimes in on Beaver baseball, and points out that the Beaver hitters' current approach is reminiscent of Moneyball.

The Portland Tribune's Kerry Eggers tells us that Ben Wetzler will tell us his side of the story ... eventually. Jason Quick says that Wetzler still has work to do. Finally, the Phillies' president realizes that maybe they should have handled things differently in the Ben Wetzler situation.

After annihilating Arizona and blowing out 20th ranked Arizona State this weekend, Oregon State's women's basketball team fell a line in ESPN's Bracketology, and they've got the Beaver women squaring off against Syracuse in University Park. They also remain unranked in the AP poll, although they did climb to 4th in votes receiving (29th overall). That would be a little more palatable if they weren't 3 spots behind the team they just beat by 23 points, and are two games ahead of in the conference standings. Not sure how that works exactly.

In the Pac-12 tournament this weekend (held in Seattle at Key Arena), the third seeded womens' basketball team tips off at 8:30 on Friday night against the winner of Thursday's Washington-Utah game. A win puts them into a likely game against second seeded Cal on Friday night, although it could conceivably be Washington State or Oregon. I'm rooting for Utah Thursday since they aren't the host, and the Huskies did beat Stanford at home already this year. Of course, I was worried about the last game in Seattle, and that worked out alright. OSU's Athletic Department put together a preview, complete with game notes.

The Pac-12's official All-Conference team was announced for womens' basketball, and OSU seems woefully underrepresented. Four Beavers received honors in all: Sydney Wiese was named to the team, Ruth Hamblin and Jamie Weisner were Honorable Mention, and Gabriella Hanson got honorable mention on the all-freshman team. In addition, Hamblin was named to the all defensive team, and Wiese was named to the all freshman team.

Tara Vanderveer was named Coach of the Year for the fourth straight season by the Pac-12 coaches, which disappoints me, but I guess it's understandable. I guess I believe that Rueck has exceeded expectations by so much that I was expecting him to be the no-brainer recipient. Coach of the Year, to me, is about exceeding expectations. But is it really more impressive to win the title at Stanford yet again, or harder to take a team that was holding open tryouts on campus three years ago and was predicted to finish eighth, and push it to finish second in the Pac-12? I would say the latter, but what do I know?

Apparently, however, ESPNW agrees with me: they named Rueck Coach of the Year. So did the Pac-12 Media. What do the coaches know that we don't? They seem most likely to actually have the best grasp on the situation. Of course, maybe the SID's don't...

Big congratulations go out to the OSU wrestling team, who won the Pac-12 Championship for the third straight year. They are sending eight wrestlers to the NCAA tournament, which will be held from March 20-22 in Oklahoma City. Video highlights of last weekend's meet at Stanford are available on the Pac-12 website.

Oregon State won another Pac-12 championship last weekend: Sammy Harrison won the Pac-12 title in the 1,650 yard freestyle in 15:55.57, breaking the school record by 22 seconds. This is the first individual conference championship for an OSU swimmer in program history.

I couldn't find a short, interesting video. So I settled for a medium length video that's one of the most hypnotically terrible music videos of all time. I don't know if it's quite "David Hasselhoff Hooked on a Feeling" bad, but it's right up there.

As always, vote in the poll below. And if I left anything out, leave it in the comments.