USA Today ranked all 128 teams in college football today. Clemson and Alabama obviously finished one and two, but they were followed by a pair of Pac-12 teams, USC (#3) and Washington (#4).
The Beavers came in at #88. Two spots ahead of Oregon (#90). Oregon State and Oregon were the 10th and 11th lowest ranked Pac-12 teams on the list. Arizona (#104) rounded out the Pac-12.
USA Today also graded every team in college football. What’s the difference you ask? Their rankings reflect who they thought were the best teams in college football, but their grades have more to do with program expectations. For example, a 4-8 season for Notre Dame was considered a disaster, but Kansas’ 2-10 season was actually not that bad.
Oregon State was given a “C+” for their 4-8 season. They ended the season on a high note, winning their last two games (against Arizona and Oregon); but they definitely had their fair share of struggles and endured a 5-game losing streak at one point.
Overall, I agree with the Beavers “C+” grade, but disagree with their #88 ranking. The Beavers played an extremely difficult schedule and lost close contests against Minnesota, Utah, Washington State and Stanford. The Beavers weren’t a spectacular football team in 2016 but I have a hard time believing that there were 87 teams better than them.