We have talked about what went right for Beaver Nation in 2016, but now lets look ahead to the next year of Beaver athletics and what you should be looking forward to in 2017.
While it has become apparent that, barring a made for TV movie miracle, Wayne Tinkle and crew will not be making a return trip to the big dance, it is equally apparent that Scott Rueck better not plan any family vacations in March. The Beavers, lead by 3 point machine Sydney Wiese, are now ranked #10 in the country and have won 12 straight, including 3 consecutive wins over AP top 25 teams. It will be hard to top last years Final Four run and #2 overall ranking, but we should all know by now never to count Scott Rueck out.
Beaver Baseball is looking to make some noise after getting hosed by the selection committee last year. Lead by pre-season All Americans KJ Harrison, Bryce Fehmel and Nick Madrigal, the Beavs come in ranked #5 in the nation. Drew Rasmussen, who is coming off Tommy John surgery is expected back at some point in the season and will bolster an already solid pitching staff. The Beavs should compete for the Pac-12 title and as long as some of the young guys step up and replace Travis Eckert, Logan Ice, Trever Morrison and Caleb Hamilton, Pat Casey should have a good shot at getting back to Omaha.
Year 3 Of The Gary Andersen Era
The third year of the Gary Andersen era brings a lot of intrigue. Gary’s third year at Utah State was the year they turned it around and the Aggies became bowl eligible with a 7 win season. I believe he has a really good chance of getting at least 6 wins and coaching in December this year. There are questions marks at quarterback, especially given that it seems the offense will be evolving to add some elements of the Air Raid system that Mike Leach employs at Washington State. Do we have a quarterback capable of running that system? I don’t know, but it will be a wide open competition with Darell Garretson, Marcus McMaryion and JC transfer Jake Luton. Coach Andersen and his staff will also need to fill some holes in the secondary and the O-line to have chance of getting some sweet bowl swag come December.
A little over two years ago, then athletic director Bob De Carolis announced that Oregon State would finally be entering the facilities arms race that is modern day college athletics. The past year has brought us a new football locker room, the remains of a Woolly Mammoth and The Terrace. I have heard that The Terrace is pretty cool, but since I wasn’t lucky enough to find the golden ticket in my chocolate bar that is required for entry, I can neither confirm nor deny its coolness. The next year should bring us a vastly upgraded Valley Football Center, which should help with recruiting, which will help with wins, which leads to more money from donors for even more improvements, and maybe eventually Reser will be complete.
Before Brady Hoke goes to sleep at night he checks his closet for Ryan Nall