The Oregon State Beavers are in for a rude awakening this fall after a 6-0 start to the season has them dreaming of BCS National Championship glory.
Eight weeks into the college football season, Oregon State sits at No. 7 in the BCS standings and has successfully traversed the first half of its challenging conference schedule. The Beavers are 4-0 in Pac-12 play, but have yet to play the conferences' powerhouses.
Mike Riley's Beavers have two road games left at Washington and at Stanford. The Huskies have dropped just one home game all season long, while the Cardinal are perfect at home and even beat USC in Palo Alto earlier this year.
Even if Oregon State can survive those two upset bids, it will have to take down bitter rival Oregon at home in the Civil War. The Ducks have been National Championship favorites since the season began and are also the defending Pac-12 champs. A win over Oregon could be the icing on the cake of a brilliant season, but will instead be the defining moment for a late-season collapse in Corvallis.
The Beavers just aren't explosive or dominant enough on either side of the ball to go undefeated or even earn a trip to a BCS bowl this winter.
Oregon State's average win is coming by less than 10 points this season (26.2-16.5), and its 14th-ranked passing offense (310.7 yards per game) is arguably its biggest weapon. The Beavers aren't blowing teams out, and that doesn't bode well for their chances the rest of the way.
Just look at all the perennial college football powers like Alabama, LSU and even Oregon. They all win big and blow out weaker opponents nearly every time.
The schedule is set to stiffen up tremendously for Riley's club as the calendar flips to November, and you can bet that the pressure of being ranked so high in the BCS standings will get to his football team at some point down the road.
To expect Oregon State to continue to shock the world would be unrealistic and foolish. It has come from well off the radar this fall and deserves plenty of credit for a 6-0 start. But that doesn't change the fact that there are major obstacles ahead.
It's been a dream start to 2012 for Oregon State, but it's about to take a frightening turn with multiple matchups against the best the Pac-12 has to offer.
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