For the first time in this prediction series, WSU took a loss in the last post. While 81 percent of you predicted WSU would lose to Oregon, I suspect that number will be much lower against Oregon State.
WSU was favored in last year's game against OSU and we all know how that turned out. This season, WSU will travel to Corvallis where they currently have a one-game winning streak. Will they make it two in a row? Let's find out what you think.
Oregon State Profile:
2011 record: 3-9
2011 S&P+ rating: 186.0 (WSU 175.3)
2011 home record: 2-4
Returning starters: 13
Athlon Sports preseason ranking: 61 (WSU 51)
Phil Steele power rating: 124.97 (WSU 123.32)
All-time record vs. WSU: 38-46-3
Last meeting: Oregon State 44 vs. WSU 21 (2011)
Bill C Stat Profile: LINK
Bill C Preview: LINK
If Mike Riley can get both injuries and recent displays of undisciplined behavior under control, recent history suggests that this group of personnel can achieve at a much higher level than it did in 2011. Sean Mannion has a lot of potential, the receiving corps is fast and exciting, Scott Crichton has incredible upside, and the back seven of the defense should be something between solid and good.
But it is difficult to ignore just how far the Beavers fell last year; even with injuries and youth, one would have expected Riley's program to have a higher floor than that. Oregon State will almost certainly improve in 2012, but whether it will be enough to keep up with other North programs (especially if Washington State can quickly get its act together under Mike Leach) is either uncertain or unlikely. Right about now, a sugar daddy would very much come in handy.