Mike Riley, consider the weight officially removed from your shoulders.
There has been almost no reason to be happy about Oregon State football through the first six weeks of the season. The Beavers were winless (with a loss to 1-AA Sacramento State), dealt with a quarterback switch from Ryan Katz to Sean Mannion and a nagging injury to receiver James Rodgers. On top of it all, OSU still has to face Stanford, Washington and Oregon in the Pac-12 North. Riley, who has been the face of that program for years now, was even beginning to hear the hot seat whispers surrounding his job security.
Then, as if by mercy or luck, Arizona rolled into Corvallis.
If there’s been one team equally as disappointing as the Beavers, it’s been Arizona. The Wildcats, with today’s 37-27 loss, are 1-5 — their only victory being over 1-AA Northern Arizona — and winless in the Pac-12. Quarterback Nick Foles has been about the only bright spot in an otherwise forgettable season thus far.
It’s weird to think of Riley or Arizona coach Mike Stoops on the hot seat; both have made steps in the right direction for each program. But right now, OSU and UA are slumping in a major way. Will it result in the firing of either coach? It’s too early to tell at this point, but at least Riley can take some time and enjoy a win.
Even if it’s just for a day.