Beavers suddenly the darlings of the Pac-12
The last we saw of Oregon State, the Utes were running all over the Beavers in a 27-8 beatdown last October at Rice-Eccles Stadium. It was pretty clear then which team was on the rise and which was at its low point.
But the times have changed.
While Utah and Oregon State won't play again for another month, it's now equally apparent which team is trending in which direction. The Beavers are 2-0, with both wins coming against ranked opponents (Nebraska and UCLA). Sean Mannion, the quarterback who the Utes repeatedly beat up on, is showing poise and precision in the passing game. Receivers Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton look like all-conference performers if they can stay consistent.
Oregon State debuted at No. 18 in the AP Top 25 this week after a 28-21 win at the Rose Bowl last week. Now, we're not reactionaries enough to suggest that Oregon State will be making a return to that venue in January.
However, the resurgent Beavers are, in fact, thinking Rose Bowl, a dream which is aided by the fact the Beavers don't play USC this season.
"That bond we created in the offseason, it’s definitely helping on the field," senior receiver Markus Wheaton told The Oregonian. "We came into the season with one goal and we still have that goal. People will probably think it’s far-fetched, but if we stick together, anything is possible. We’re working to get there."
The Beavers are far and away the darlings of the early Pac-12 season, partly due to coach Mike Riley's nice guyness. After the win at UCLA, he stayed true to his promise and treated the entire team to In-N-Out burgers (no word on if the Beavs will swing into the American Fork In-N-Out if they win in Provo in three weeks).
In some ways, the Beavers are overshadowing the neighboring Oregon Ducks, who are ranked No. 2 in the country, but have a lot of questions going into week 5.
The Beavers are only 2-0, and has had two weeks to prepare for each of its two opponents, and advantage that can't be overstated. Saturday's game at Arizona will be a clearer barometer of where Oregon State is going.
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Links from around the Pac-12
Arizona (Tucson Citizen)
» Arizona Wildcats' Ka'Deem Carey picks up major All-America honor
» Doak Walker Award goes to Andre Williams, not Ka'Deem Carey
» Going strong: Hollis-Jefferson's dunk highlights victory for No. 1 Arizona
» Ex-Arizona Wildcats QB Nick Foles on cover of Sports Illustrated
Arizona St. (Arizona Republic)
» USA TODAY Sports' college football All-America teams - 2013
» Ka'Deem Carey, BCS snubs prove Pac-12 still not getting due respect
» College football assistant coaching: Tough job, but many want to do it
» USA Today Sports college football playoff bracket
California (East Bay Tribune)
» UC Berkeley head: Cal has 'serious work to do' to help its student-athletes
» Cal's Mike Montgomery equals John Wooden's wins total
» California Golden Bears set date for spring football game
» For Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, a long strange trip
Colorado (Denver Post)
» Colorado Classics: Ted Somerville experienced ups and downs at CU
» CU Buffs men's basketball rank 21st, first time both teams in poll since '97
» Bill McCartney keeps standing on the rock as life keeps changing
» Askia Booker hits buzzer 3-pointer for CU Buffs' win over Kansas
Oregon (The Oregonian)
» Walter Camp All-America honors: Brandin Cooks 1st team, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu 2nd team
» College football ratings: Oregon-Stanford was Pac-12's best; SEC and Big Ten dominate national top 5
» Q&A with former Oregon Ducks quarterback Darron Thomas
» Alamo Bowl: Finding motivation will be key for Oregon and Texas, both of whom envisioned being somewhere else
Oregon State (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
» OSU rugby: Men's, women's team both headed to National Sevens tournament
» OSU rugby: Alumni match set for Saturday
» OSU announces hire for compliance position
» OSU volleyball: Ducks have upper hand in season's 1st meeting between rivals
Stanford (San Jose Mercury-News)
» Stanford earns an A-plus for Arizona State pounding
» For Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett, a long strange trip
» Wilner on college football: San Jose State's bowl snub should not have been a surprise
» Rose Bowl matches similar teams in Stanford, Michigan State
UCLA (Los Angeles Daily News)
» UCLA Football Notebook: Running back Malcolm Jones loses appeal for extra season
» College Football: Position coach Adrian Klemm says UCLA offensive line a work in progress
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Improving UCLA has questions to answer during preseason football camp
» COLLEGE FOOTBALL: UCLA's prized recruit Eddie Vanderdoes cleared to play by NCAA after leaving Notre Dame
USC (Los Angeles Daily News)
» USC Football Notebook: Marqise Lee's injury not too serious
» USC Football Notebook: QBs Max Wittek, Cody Kessler present dilemma for Trojans coach Lane Kiffin
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel thinks Trojans might not miss QB Matt Barkley
» USC FOOTBALL NOTEBOOK: Dion Bailey says it's 'now or never'
Washington (Seattle Times)
» Jenna Orlandini takes her role as UW's libero seriously
» Pac-12 Tournament ticket deal
» Live chat at noon today
» Morning links: Watch UW's Sankey, Seferian-Jenkins at Disney World awards show today
Washington State (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
» Gonzaga women rolling
» WSU bowl rewind: 1916 Rose Bowl
» Eastern Sports chat, noon (Dec. 12)
» It is a very good year
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