Oregon State’s dominating victory over the No. 19 UCLA Bruins today announced to their remaining doubters (after the Beavers' huge win over then No. 13 Wisconsin) that this team is a legit Top 25 team.
Coming into the week, Oregon State was just an honorable mention in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls.
In the AP poll, the Beavers just missed out on a No. 25 ranking. Instead, they were stuck behind one-loss Nebraska and Boise State. However, the coaches who vote in the USA Today poll, were terribly off, leaving the Beavers behind seven teams in the honorable mention section.
Maybe the coaches thought the Beavers were lucky to hold on to a victory against the Badgers two-weeks ago, winning 10-7.
But against UCLA, the Beavers proved that they have a stellar rushing defense with a deadly passing attack.
In the Beavers’ signature win against UCLA, Sean Mannion had his way against this Bruins defense, throwing for two touchdowns, 379 yards and a QB rating of 172.7.
This was very impressive, as it was against a UCLA defense that previously held Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez—who is second in touchdown passes and quarterback rating in the Big Ten— to no touchdown passes and QB rating of 96.9.
For some perspective on how well UCLA’s passing defense was playing before today’s game: Martinez’s next-worst passing efficiency rating is 212.5. With the way that Boise State looked, barley surviving against BYU, 7-6, Oregon State should leap them in the next AP poll.
However, the coaches are the ones who will have to wake up and take notice of this strong team from Oregon—the one that doesn’t have a new uniform combination every week. It’s easy to see their win was the most impressive out of those teams ranked No. 24 on down to those on the honorable mention list.
Wisconsin struggled against UTEP. Oklahoma State, Cincinnati and Iowa State were off. And Virginia Tech, Baylor and Northwestern played teams that aren’t in a BCS conference.
Plus, Oregon State has one thing that no one else in the polls can claim that cements their claim of being a legit Top 25 team: They are the only school to open their season with two wins over ranked opponents.
Put the Beavers in, they absolutely deserve it.