Long ago, in a world far away in space and distant in time, the Oregon State Beavers possessed the finest athlete in the country, a 6'3", 195 lb. long–armed quarterback named Terry Baker.
Baker was a man before his era. During his three years of varsity play in Corvallis, he passed for 23 touchdowns and rushed for 15, accounting for over 5,000 yards of offense.
This he accomplished by playing tailback one season and quarterback the other two. His 99-yard touchdown run in the Liberty Bowl is still the record for that game.
He won the Heisman Trophy in 1962, the first person to do so west of the state of Texas. In addition, he won the Maxwell Award and was named Sports Illustrated's 1962 Sportsman Of The Year.
A multi-talented athlete, he was also Captain and Point Guard on the 1962–63 Oregon State basketball team and led the Beavers to the Final Four in his senior year.
Baker studied Mechanical Engineering in college and afterwards obtained a Juris Doctor degree in Law. To keep busy he played for the NFL's Los Angeles Rams.
This great man was the product of a broken home growing up. He and his two older brothers were supported by a Mother who "worked, worked, worked, at Sears to make sure we had food to eat and a roof over our head."
This weekend we will play witness to the most important game in Oregon State's fine football history since the days following the Terry Baker era. The opponent is the archrival Oregon Ducks. At stake is a date with Penn State in the Rose Bowl.
It seems appropriate that we bestow upon this year's "Civil War" the title of Game of the Week on Baby's Losers. The following is a list of this week's other important games.
BABY'S LOSERS 11/29/08
1) South Carolina @ Clemson: A great deal of hard feelings and bitterness permeates this rivalry. You really throw the records out the window here. Baby's Loser, Clemson.
2) Auburn @ Alabama: The underdogs talk a big game in this rivalry, but the best team usually wins. That best team is obvious this season. Baby's Loser, Auburn.
3) Florida @ Florida State: The Gators have a horrible record in Tallahassee over the past 20 years. They had better look out. Baby's Loser, closer than it looks, Florida State.
4) Georgia Tech @ Georgia: Here is the tale of two cities. When Nesbitt is healthy, Tech is better than up and down Georgia. In a close one, Baby's Loser, Georgia Tech.
5) Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State: If the Pokes can win, Texas Tech wins the Big 12 South and goes to the Big 12 title game. I don't see it. Baby's Loser, Oklahoma State.
6) Notre Dame @ Southern California: That seat is getting so hot for Charlie Weis. Some have said the Irish have to pull the upset to save him. Baby's Loser, Notre Dame.
7) Missouri vs. Kansas in Kansas City: A year ago this was the biggest game. These two states once fought a war against each other! Baby's Loser, Kansas.
GAME OF THE WEEK
8) The Civil War, Oregon @ Oregon State: This great battle often goes down to the final moments before the winner is decided. Mike Riley's Beavers are a hairsbreadth away from the Rose Bowl, but injuries abound for Oregon State. Baby's Loser, tight, Oregon.
Race for the Title
NAME LAST WEEK MISSED FOR THE YEAR/PERCENT
"12" 11–5 Wash, Wyoming, LSU, Notre Dame, Vandy, 90–22 / 80 percent
Timothy 11–5 Wyoming, LSU, N. Dame, Vandy, Rutgers, 87–25 / 78 percent
Baby Tate went 10–6, missing Texas Tech along with Wyoming, Washington, LSU, Notre Dame, and Pittsburgh. For the Year 85–27 for 77 percent.
Obviously the most disappointed person of the week was our friend Red Raider. However, there is one consolation for him: He went 12–4 to lead all predictors.
At 11–5 we have longtime follower of the series, MiamiMitch. Thanks to Mitch for always finding the time to stop by each week. Let me encourage everyone to visit Mitch's website and enjoy his outstanding work.
Also at 11–5 were Adam and Kenneth, who returned from a two-week hiatus. Daniel went to the clubhouse at 10–5 as he didn't pick "The Game" between Harvard and Yale.
Coming in at 10–6 we find Colin, Chase, Tony, Irish Michael, and Cliff. Posting a 9–7 record were Brad, Aaron, and Joe.
At .500 we find Isaac, Robert, Kent, Ryan, Go Bears, Josh, and Michael. Kristofer and College Football finished at 7–9. Trey came in at 5–11. He will have to blame his better half, who is an Indiana grad and made him pick against Purdue.
Let me take the time to give my sincere thanks to everyone who has provided their picks each week. It has been an interesting fall, and we certainly appreciate all the great work.