For Beaver Nation, it was rock bottom. The Beavers were throttled by their rivals, the Oregon Ducks 69-10 yesterday at Autzen Stadium. The Beavers finished the season 1-11 and 0-9 in the Pac-12, their worst season since 1995 (1-10). The Beavers were outgained 577-211 against the Ducks, and the Beavers lost the turnover battle 3-0. Members of the local media mentioned reports of Oregon State players having to be separated from each other on the sidelines. In addition, it was also reported on twitter that Cory Hall and one of the assistants had to be seperated from one another. The season has taken a toll on the players and the staff. Here are some story-lines going into the off-season.
Is Beau Baldwin the Next Head Coach?
Last Friday, Football Scoop reported that Beau Baldwin is going to be the next head coach at Oregon State. However, Portland Tribune’s Kerry Eggers reported that Oregon State and Beau Baldwin have not reached a deal and the search is still ongoing according to sources within the program. Is Oregon State trying to keep the Baldwin hire under wraps because it is a negotiating ploy? Or, are the reports of Baldwin becoming the Head Coach completely false. The questions are likely to be answered in the next few days or weeks.
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say Baldwin is hired to be the Oregon State Head Coach. Baldwin did an impressive job as the Head Coach at Eastern Washington from 2008-16. He had an overall record of 85-34, and he led Eastern Washington to the FCS Championship in 2010. In addition, Baldwin’s Eastern Washington teams defeated Oregon State in 2013 (49-46 when OSU was ranked 25th!) and Washington State in 2016 (45-42, the same WSU team that was one win away from playing for the Pac-12 Championship!) Baldwin is known to have a great offensive mind and has winning experience.
For the Next Oregon State Head Coach, There is No Where to Go but Up
It’s no secret folks, things look bleak at the moment for the Oregon State Football program. Fans and some media pundits compare the current situation to the dark ages when Oregon State had 28 straight losing seasons, and it had a reputation of being a coaches graveyard. Beaver Nation witnessed loss after miserable loss this season, while they received updates of Beaver transfers such as QB Marcus McMaryion lead Fresno State to the Mountain West Championship game (Congrats Marcus!) and QB Kyle Kempt lead Iowa State to an upset of then-No.1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Oklahoma. Gary Anderson and the university mutually parted ways. Rumors of infighting, and a possible divided locker room. Oregon State is seen by members of the media as an, “impossible place to win.”
However, as difficult as it sounds to discuss, there are some positives for Oregon State and for the future head coach. With the facilities updated at the Valley Football Center and the indoor practice facility, Beavers have facilities comparable with the rest of the Pac-12, which was CLEARLY not the case during the 28 year losing streak. On the Beaver roster, there are some talented young guys that have developed experience this season. The New Coach will need to find ways to upgrade the roster, especially the Offensive and Defensive Lines,and the Quarterback position.
A new voice could have a refreshing impact on the Beavers. Player morale is low after the dismal 2017 campaign. New recruits and transfers could also aid morale and energy, but a new coach could go a long way to boost the confidence of this team. Look at Fresno State for example. They were 1-11 last season. Before the 2017 season, they hired Former Cal Coach Jeff Tedford and the team finished the season 9-3 (2 losses were at Alabama and Washington), and they are playing for a shot at the Mountain West Title next Saturday. I am not saying Oregon State will play for the Pac-12 Title next season, but it can’t get any worse, right? If a potential coach is looking at Oregon State, their resume, or their legacy (or pocketbooks) would receive a huge boost if they helped turn Oregon State into a winner. Imagine if the new coach could lead Oregon State into a bowl game next season? That coach could be considered as contender for Pac-12 coach of the year status in 2018. Realistically speaking, any type of improvement would be tremendous.
What Will Happen to the Roster?
How will Oregon State’s roster look next season? That is another million dollar question along with a million other questions. The underclassmen will wait patiently for the announcement of the new Head Coach in order to make their decision. Once the Head Coaching decision has been made, the players will decide if they will stay or look at other options. Also, will the head coach bring in new recruits or transfers that are connected with the new head guy, that are not on Oregon State’s roster. In addition, current players could be put in new positions under the new regime that they’ve never played before. Once the new coach and staff is settled, the Oregon State roster will begin to take shape.