There is no Duck news of note, so lets talk other Pac-10 news. OSU specifically. It looks like the Beavers have hired Brown coach Craig Robinson for their mens basketball opening. Robinson might be best known for being Barack Obama's brother in law. He's been a head coach for a whopping two seasons, amassing a 30-28 record against that stellar competition he gets in the Ivy League.
You mean to tell me that this is the best OSU could do? They're scraping the bottom of the barrel here.
Sure, they had higher aspirations, but St. Mary's Randy Bennett turned them down. Bill Grier of San Diego turned them down. Hell, the guy at IUPUI turned them down. Which should be a big wake up call to those in Corvallis--you may be in the Pac-10 but this is a bad job.
The truth of the matter is that the new coach--no matter who he was--has at least three years of hard grunt work and losing to do before the Beavers have any chance of being competitive. They have little, if any, Pac-10 talent on the roster. And getting the talent that you need to get there to be competitive is difficult for three reasons: the Gill needs a major renovation, Corvallis is a little tough to recruit to, and you have to convince somebody that they are not going to lose. Certainly you can win there--they have a great history. And WSU has shown that these turnarounds do happen. WSU also showed that they take awhile, and that you have to make the right hire to get it done (WSU hired Dick Bennett, who did most of the grunt work before turning the job over to his son).
And the getting the right coach part is where OSU got it wrong. If you are serious about becoming competitive, you have to go out and get someone. Randy Bennett or Bill Grier weren't going to come to Corvallis for the $500,000 that stingy OSU wanted to spend. Its not worth it to go through the losing and the rebuilding for that crappy pay. If you go to Bill Grier and hand him a cool million a year, he's your coach right now. But the Beavs again tried to do this on the cheap, which only ensures a lot more losing.
Look at us. We haven't even had a baseball program for almost 30 years. No players. No stadium. But we ponied up the dough and got one of the best coaches in the country to come here. You don't think that at the very least OSU couldn't have gotten Larry Eustachy to come thug it out for a couple of years and start the road back to respectability?
Of course, what all of this shows is that OSU has no interest or desire to even come close to competiting in the Pac-10. But as for me, I'd like to see a Civil War that actually matters every once in a while. Where the outcome isn't a formality. Something to be excited about. Because, the truth is, that the Civil War basketball game is the least anticipated matchup of the year. And it isn't getting any better any time soon.
20 years ago, the Beavers were winning conference championships with Gary Payton. They were perennially in the NCAA tournament. Now? They are on their knees begging for the guy who went 30-28 at Brown.
How the mighty have fallen. If this isn't the worst program in all of college basketball, I shudder to think what is.