Another year has come and almost gone, and its once again time to pause for family, and celebrate the holiday season.
Beaver Nation didn't get to celebrate much the last couple of seasons, as the baseball team was eliminated on the road in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, and football struggled through their worst season since the Pettibone era.
But baseball did provide one last look at games with Andrew Moore on the mound for the Beavers, and some great beginnings to their careers for Freshman All Americans KJ Harrison, Drew Rasmussen, and Mitch Hickey. And there was a perfect afternoon against the Cougs.
And with a pre-season ranking of #8, nationwide Oregon State is expected to contend to win the Pac-12 and earn not only a #1 seed come NCAA Tournament Time, but potentially a National Seed. Those could be some fun presents for Beaver Nation to unwrap come spring.
Basketball gave Beaver fans some gifts as well last year. While the men's team didn't get to the post-season, they did get much closer than the consensus pick for last place they started the first year under Wayne Tinkle with. And there was a great home winning streak.
The women's team won the Pac-12 regular season championship for the first time ever, and earned a home opening weekend in the NCAA Tournament.
Then came recruiting the freshmen.
Coach Tinkle landed a deep and talented class that has the Beavers off to a 9-2 start, with 5 freshmen all contributing. And despite the Pac-12 being better than its been in years, Oregon State has a fighting chance to get to the post-season this time around. At the very least, some of the best basketball seen at Gill in some time will be available for the watching the next couple of months.
Not to be out-done, Coach Scott Rueck bolstered an already outstanding roster with the program's first 5-star recruit. The lady Beavers were the unanimous pick to win the Pac-12, and are off to a 9-1 start. There should be plenty of presents coming Oregon State's way from these gals in the coming weeks!
Football was a tough season, but Beaver fans did get some early presents with the arrival of a half-dozen early signees, the beginnings of what should still be one of Oregon State's best recruiting classes ever, even with the departure to BYU of Defensive Coordinator Kalani Sitake and LB/Special Teams coach Ilaisa Tulaki.
If Coach Andersen can wrap up a couple of good hires to fill out his staff, it would be some of the better gifts Oregon State fans get.
And with the promise of better recruits, the best schedule Beaver fans have seen in several seasons, one with 7 home games, including an un-heard of 3(!) home games in October, and NO week night games after Labor Day, was a great present to get from the Pac-12 schedule makers.
We at Buildingthedam.com are as always especially thankful for our Beavers, and our good fortune of getting to follow them, and also for our friends in Beaver Nation. May peace and happiness, family and fellowship, and a happy holiday season be the gift to Beavers everywhere! (And even those dreaded Ducks, hated Huskies, cursed Cougs, blasted Buffs, and unnerving Utes.! At least for a day. Or even 2, Go Dawgs and Go Cougs tomorrow in their bowl games in Texas; represent the Pac and the NW well! We at BTD are giving.)
Have a safe and happy holiday, and of course, the remainder of the holiday bowl season (Christmas eve through the National Championship Game are still the best 2 weeks of the year!)!