Thursday, June 2, 2011
Schedule analysis: Oregon State
By ESPN.com staff
We'll be reviewing each Pac-12 team's schedule, starting with the North Division.
Up next: Oregon State
Breakdown: six home (four conference games), six road (five conference games)
Nonconference opponents (with 2010 records)
Sept. 3 Sacramento State (6-5)
Sept. 10 at Wisconsin (11-2)
Oct. 15 BYU (7-6)
North Division games
Oct. 22 at Washington State
Nov. 5 Stanford
Nov. 12 at California
Nov. 19 Washington
Nov. 26 at Oregon
Sept. 24 UCLA
Oct. 1 at Arizona State
Oct. 8 Arizona
Oct. 29 at Utah
Key stretch: Will the Beavers be fast finishers as they've typically been under coach Mike Riley, excluding the 2010 season? They will need to be if the goal is competing at the top of the North Division. It certainly should be a November to remember. Four of five divisional games are scheduled for November, so the Beavers should have a big say in how things play out at the end of the season -- for themselves and the other five teams.
Trap game: It's not really a trap: Odds are the Beavers will take a Nov. 12 visit to California seriously. And the Beavers typically do well in Berkeley, where they've won six in a row (and 10 of 12 from the Bears overall). But this is a road game sandwiched between home games with Stanford and Washington. Will the Beavers be at their best?
Sure thing: The opener against Sacramento State should give the Beavers a nice preseason game versus an FCS foe to work the kinks out before heading to Wisconsin.
Analysis: Another tough schedule for Oregon State, with nonconference games against Wisconsin and BYU. It's also a strange schedule. The early-season bye -- Sept. 17 -- means the Beavers will play 10 consecutive weeks. Further, they will have played two conference games by Oct. 1, but only one divisional game by Nov. 1. Interesting timing: The Beavers get Stanford at home the week before the Cardinal plays host to Oregon, which is expected to be the conference game of the year between two top-10 teams. Can you guess which game will be tapped as Stanford's "trap" game? Missing USC would normally seem like a good thing for most teams, but the Beavers probably wouldn't mind another visit from the Trojans. Wonder if the stakes again will be big in the Civil War?