Tonight (late tonight), Oregon State takes on Arizona for this year’s Dad’s night game,which will also be the 300th OSU game played at Parker/Reser Stadium .
It will be cold, damp, dark, and generally miserable, especially for the desert dwelling Wildcats. It will be interesting to see if the ‘Cats even bother to try, and there’s history of them not under difficult circumstances, including as recently as last year in Seattle. In fairness, its impossible to prepare in Tucson for what football in November in the northwest can be like.
Further, Arizona is the one team in the conference that’s in even worse shape than Oregon State, as far as injuries, talent deficit, and lack of depth goes. It’s why the ‘Cats are also 2-8, the same sorry record that the Beavers have, and an even worse 0-7 in conference. And why the Beavers are 6 1/2 point favorites, the first time Oregon State has been favored in a Pac-12 game in the Gary Andersen era, or against any FCS squad not named San Jose State in years.
It’s also the first visit to Reser by the ‘Cats since 2011, when a 37-27 Beaver win set up Oregon State for a 3 win season (the same thing a win tonight could do), and led to the firing the first of the following week of Arizona coach Mike Stoops. Which led to the hiring of Rich Rodriguez, and bowl trips every year for the ‘Cats until this season’s injury induced collapse.
Unlike Stoops, Rodriguez won’t be fired should Oregon State win.