December 8, 2006

Staying the course!

This much is evident as Oregon State prepares to play in the Sun Bowl later this month, Mike Riley can flat-out coach.

Those blowout losses to Boise State and Cal? They seem like ancient history now. Much like the mistake-prone coaching tenures of Joe Avezzano and Jerry Pettibone. The point is no coach is perfect. So while Riley's demeanor and play-calling may be frustrating at times, compared the aforementioned coaches, he's not so bad.

After all, who would have thought the Beavers would finish in third place in the Pac-10 with a 9-4 record and have a shot to win 10 games this season? Certainly not the media who picked the Beavers to finish in the bottom half of the conference. And even most diehard fans would have been happy with a fourth or fifth place finish.

But that's the thing about Mike Riley. More often than not he defies the odds.

He did it in 1998, guiding OSU to an impressive 5-6 record with a group of players suited for an option offense. And again in 2004, when he led the Beavers to an Insight Bowl romp over Notre Dame after they started the season 1-4, thanks to strong finish by his squad, which won five of its last six regular season games.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!