Oregon State’s strong start got the attention of CBSsports.com senior writer Bruce Feldman today. He ranks the Beavers No. 1 in his list of top-10 pleasant surprises this week in college football. Coach Mike Riley was viewed to be on the hot seat after going 8-16 the past two seasons (how hot does the chair really get in Corvallis?). So it’s nice to see Mr. Nice Guy having success.
The story suggests the Beavers have been down and out for a while, but they averaged nines wins from 2006 to ’09. It’s reasonable to assume the fast start this season is attributed to strong recruiting classes off those successful campaigns.
The story praises the OSU defense, ranked No. 2 in the nation against the run, and talented quarterback Sean Mannion. It says that defense wrecked the Heisman campaigns of Wisconsins Montee Ball and UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin, but it seems a bit premature to me to make that assertion.