Buckle your seat belts ladies and gentlemen as we take you on a four-state tour from the rainy terrain of Pullman, Washington, to the arid desert of Tucson Arizona. Only two years remain for the Pac-10 as we know it. In the near future, Colorado and Utah will join the conference and change the landscape. With them, they will bring divisions, a revised schedule, and a conference championship game. For now, sit back and enjoy the extravagant ride as we take a look at each team in the conference.
3. Oregon State Beavers
Offense: QB Defense: DE
RB DT Stephen Paea (SR)
WR James Rodgers (SR) DT
WR (SO) LB
LG CB (SR)
Projected 2010 Record:
Outlook: Mike Riley is the best coach in the Pac-10. He knows how to draw up game plans to frustrate opposing defenses and maximize the talent he has on the depth chart. In 2010, Riley’s roster is stockpiled with talent as the Beavers have a legitimate chance to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl. Standing 5’7″, Jacquizz Rodgers is the shiftiest back in the conference. Because he is so low to the ground, he is hard to tackle and possesses the speed to break big plays. In 2008, he made a name for himself by running all over then #1 USC. Jacquizz isn’t the only explosive Rodgers on the roster. His older brother James has solid hands and lightning quick speed. Together, the siblings can create headaches for defensive coordinators. The question mark is at quarterback. Sophomore Ryan Katz will need to facilitate the offense and get the ball to the playmakers. Mike Riley has a history of developing quarterbacks and should have Katz ready by October 2 at Arizona State when the conference gets going. Defensively, the secondary will be the main strength. There are questions elsewhere, but enough starters return to believe that this unit will be able to hold it together. Oregon State’s defense hasn’t been particularly great over the last few years. They rely heavily on the offense to shoulder the load, and 2010 should be the same.
Oregon State has a reputation for starting off the season slowly and then kicking into high gear when the conference slate begins. Unfortunately the early schedule for the Beavers is brutal. They play a pair of potential top-5 teams in Boise State and TCU, one at Boise and the other a de facto home game for TCU. While Oregon State will likely show up to conference play 1-2, the experience gained by Katz playing two outstanding defenses will pay dividends in Pac-10 play. The Beavers should have a very solid campaign. They should be able to beat USC in Corvallis and will be in solid shape when Oregon comes to town to close out the season .Don’t be surprised if the Civil War against Oregon carries conference championship implications for the third straight year.
Mike Riley recently signed a 10-year extension. Source:Yardbarker.com