- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1.More often than not in Mike Riley’s second tenure at Oregon State (2003-present), the Beavers have had a distinctive M.O. In 2004, a 1-4 start became a 7-5 finish; from 2006-08, Oregon State began 2-3 each season and finished a combined 28-12. Here they go again -- after the 49-46 season-opening loss to FCS Eastern Washington, the Beavers have won five straight. After this week’s game at California, Oregon State’s last five opponents are a combined 23-7. A fast finish in 2013 could send the Beavers to a BCS bowl.
2. Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher said at his press conference that what redshirt freshman Jameis Winston is achieving is taken for granted when talking about Clemson fifth-year senior quarterback Tajh Boyd. His consistency, Fisher said, “is the thing that we all get bored with. That’s what you don’t want to write about. You want to write about something spectacular. Great players are consistent in how they perform….What makes a great player is he does it every week.”
3. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly doesn’t go out of his way to discuss history. He doesn’t have to. It’s everywhere he turns. USC comes to South Bend this week, the 25th anniversary of the “Catholics vs. Convicts” victory over Miami that spurred the Fighting Irish to their last national title. The coach of that team, ESPN analyst Lou Holtz, will speak at the campus pep rally Friday night. Notre Dame has lost five straight to USC in South Bend. “Other teams (call Notre Dame) their rivalry game,” Kelly said at his press conference. “I think our players will be the first ones to admit that this is our rivalry game.”
3dSharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Information
4dTom VanHaaren and Erik McKinney