Oregon State takes on USC in the LA Coliseum tomorrow afternoon, and its probably not going to end well. The Beavers have not won in the Coliseum since 1960, and haven’t won on the road since Boulder in 2014. Since Gary Andersen took over 3 years ago, they haven’t even come close on the road except last year at Minnesota, the only road loss not by multiple scores.
For all of these reasons and many more, the Beavers are 34 ½ point road underdogs against the 14th ranked Trojans, who will be motivated to change impressions after their 30-27 loss in Pullman last Friday night to now 11th ranked Washington State.
An OSU win is almost certainly out of the question, so the main item of interest is whether the Beavers can even cover the spread, which has been growing on a weekly basis. At some point they will, even though they haven’t yet this year, if for no other reason than an ever more ridiculous expected margin will eventually not be met based solely on how one team’s 3rd string does against another team’s hodge-podge of 2nd & 3rd string players, in an exercise that has no relevance to how good either team actually is.
But when one has to settle for evaluating just how bad the Beavers are, and must resort to seeing if freshmen who should be redshirted make a few good plays to offset getting beaten badly multiple times (if you can bear to do so, listen to the radio call tomorrow, where that’s exactly what you will hear), then it’s a misguided effort, with the attention focused in the wrong place.
There is a huge difference between whether the Oregon State defense can get a stop, and whether they can make a difference in the outcome of the game. Especially with a continuing inert offense.
It’s probably going to be another poor looking poor performance, which is part of why the university never takes the trips to the Coliseum seriously. Why expend more than the minimum resources on a lost cause?
Mostly because that approach only exacerbates the problem. Players notice, and actions carry more weight than anything Coach Andersen might say. So do recruits, both for the team and the university in general.
It’s also a bad deal for the entire conference, since the Oregon State-USC game is the only conference game that will end in the daylight, or even kickoff before its dark in the east & Midwest this week. Or it would be were it not hidden on the Pac-12 Network, which will soon reach more people in China than it will in the Pac-12 footprint.
All the more important Pac-12 games, and all the ones more likely to still be in some way in doubt midway through the 3rd quarter, will be a part of #Pac12LongAfterDark.
It appears at least that Oregon State has responded to their investors and customers complaints about night games by getting more early afternoon games. Fielding an uncompetitive team no one wants to put on in a time frame when there might not be a multitude of better viewing options wasn’t the approach people were paying for though.
In predicted temperatures above 90 degrees, its unlikely USC will be at their best either. And that won’t be good for the conference’s image, and marketability, in either the short or the long haul either.
At least the game will be over in time to watch the stream of Fresno State’s game at San Jose State, in which Marcus McMaryion, who has more wins as the starting quarterback at Oregon State than anyone else currently on the roster, is expected to lead the Bulldogs to a win that will put them above .500 for the season despite having played at both Alabama and Washington (where they didn’t get beat as badly as the Beavers did last week at Reser).
If that’s too frustrating a refresher about roster mismanagement, then there is the option of the Washington State at Oregon game. An actual compelling contest that should produce a great in-stadium experience. And a sell out. Between northwest teams. Minutes from Reser. Tickets were still available a day before the game for half what people were expected to shell out for comparable seats to see last week’s whipping of Oregon State by Washington.
Remind me again why we are supposed to be patient with this state of affairs?
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)