Mike Riley has a job. His job is to win football games, period. He was not hired to mold young men into role models or direct them towards opportunities. He was re-hired in 2003 to win football games. He made a promise then and continues to say each year, at the Pac10/12 media day, that he wants to compete in the conference for a Rose Bowl. Sounds great, but he has yet to live up to that promise.
Year after year his teams start slow in September. So much and often that the fan base, media, and boosters expect it without questioning the team's start. He has created a culture of losing. For some insane reason, no one cares about his slow starts. Not even the players. Leaders/seniors on the team have commented in the press about it. They are used to it and now this crop of freshman are falling right into line with an expectation that Beaver football loses in September and they need to just accept it. It is now their culture.
The media continues to write about how well respected he is with his peers in the NCAA and what a pleasure it is to be around him. Well he should be, shouldn't he? He is a coach at a Division I university that has a great reputation in a very competitive conference in his home town. He is living the dream. Anyone of us would act the same way. This act warrants nice guy articles while distracting the media from being critical, almost to the point of feeling sorry for him. Therefore no one wants to write a piece on his losing culture he has created. His win/loss record is mediocre at best. Fans and media look past his record and "respect" him because he is nice and says all the right things. The acceptance of being mediocre is embedded in Beaver Nation.
Unfortunately he has surrounded himself with his buddies, therefore he refuses to hold any of his staff accountable as they lose games they should win and win games they are predicted to lose. His teams are bi-polar. Fans have no idea what team is going to show up. This can not longer be the norm and culture. A smile, a cliche, or a tip of the hat will not hide the losses. Riley should not be celebrated for almost winning.
Coaches at other universities have lost their jobs for .500 seasons, not rewarded with an additional year on their contract.
Oregon State football under Mike Riley is moving in the wrong direction. It is 2011, change is acceptable and encouraged.