The game on Saturday was, as many pundits have coined, “The Battle for the Basement” between Oregon State and Colorado. As the team on the losing end, what should Beaver Nation do now? I mean, there is no way the Beavers are going to win any more games, right?
Well, maybe and maybe not.
Here are three takeaways from this last weekend that I think are important to remember:
- There is parity in Football.
While a close loss against Colorado at home in front of tens of fans seems like rock bottom, more than any other year, the distance between the worst team and the best team is short. Colorado has been close in most of their games this year, even when their QB could barely throw the ball after separating his shoulder.
- The season is not, in fact, over.
So lets realize that the rest of the games are going to happen. We are not going to just wave the white flag and forfeit them all. Yes, OSU has some fairly obvious deficiencies, some of which are insurmountable this year. But they also showed that there may be more to this offense than we previously thought. Through injuries and bumps and bruises, some good things happened. Players like Hopkins, Hill, Soesman and Mitchell (the younger one) showed that are tanks may not be totally empty.
While there were some issues and things that need to be cleaned up, to me, I saw a lot more potential at the end of the game. I saw them commit to running a talented runner, I saw them feel comfortable calling far more plays than they have called all year, I saw reads being made, blocks being made by new names and really, you cannot ask for a better play than 60 had, coming in for Harlow and totally dominating their defensive end his first snap.
So maybe if some of these young guys that are just now seeing the field for extended times can be a spark, maybe we can eek out a win before this season ends. Regardless, what we saw on the field Saturday night should give you a better idea of the completeness of what we can be offensively and defensively. It wasn’t gangbusters, but the pieces were there to showcase a lot more of what we will see. It was the first time all year I felt that Baldwin was able to flex his muscles a bit.
- We are going to lose fans and that is OK.
Losing teams don’t fill stands. Plain and simple. Winning teams do. So while we may lose some or a lot of our season ticket base, if the coaches are able to turn things around like they have at every other stop they have been at, we will all be reunited again sooner rather than later.
It is hard to rationalize driving down from Portland for a game that will end at 10 and you won’t get home until 2am, all the while fighting frustrating traffic. When you expect a loss. When you are watching a product that you feel is not great to watch, then no, being at games is a stinker.
On the other hand, it is hard to find tickets when your favorite team is winning. If you are at win 10 by week 10, magically the seats get filled with long forgotten faces wanting to catch a glimpse at what all the fuss is about. When you are undefeated going into the latter half of the season, people find the trip home late at night exhilarating because they are so jacked from the game and what they saw and are talking about it endlessly. OK, maybe exhilarating is a stretch, but a little bit of tired is nothing compared to the satisfaction of showing your duck fan co-workers your new Beaver Jersey as you announce “Jersey Monday” as a ‘thing’ for the office.
Winners don’t play in empty stadiums. Anyone we lose this year, may not be gone for long because the Beavers are going to win again. And they are going to win soon because there is more and more parity in football and our coaches are too dang good not to.
GO BEAVS! (PRO)