Sports column: Lack of national attention is unjust - The Daily Barometer: Sports

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Sports Column Sports column: Lack of national attention is unjust

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Posted: Sunday, October 20, 2013 8:33 pm | Updated: 1:58 am, Mon Oct 21, 2013.

There are only so many ways to talk about how good Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks are.

So I won’t.

For as much national attention as the Oregon State football team has received because of the quarterback-receiver duo, it is shocking that this team is still getting overlooked in the national polls.

The AP poll, USA Today coaches poll and the Harris poll have all omitted the Beavers from the top 25 after a 49-17 romping of Cal.

I, like many, often question the validity of the Bowl Championship Series computers. But for the first time since Manti Te’o’s last relationship, I can comfortably agree that a computer outsmarted humans.

The BCS rankings were revealed on Sunday, and Oregon State came in at No. 25, despite none of the “human” polls ranking the Beavers in the top 25.

It’s beginning to sound like a broken record, but there’s a reason subjective human judgment is leaving the Beavers off these lists: Eastern Washington.

If a starting pitcher gives up four runs in the first inning, then goes on to throw the next six innings without allowing a base runner, people are still only going to remember that four-spot in the first.

The Beavers’ defense gave up a grand slam to Vernon Adams, and they’re paying for it even though they’ve thrown six scoreless frames since.

Is that fair?

I say it isn’t.

And everybody needs to get over that loss.

Wisconsin is the team OSU beat out to land in the BCS rankings. Wisconsin has two losses, but was still No. 22 in the AP Poll.

But I can understand the argument for Wisconsin: A team with a controversial two-point loss to Arizona State and a loss to No. 4 Ohio State sounds a lot better than one that lost to an FCS school.

Since the EWU loss, the Beavers have won six straight games and have defeated their opponents by an average of 19 points. In the last three wins, OSU has outscored Colorado, Washington State and Cal by a combined average of 29 points.

The Beavers have nearly cut their points-against total in half in the last three games, too.

The team even went on a 70-3 run in four quarters between the end of the WSU game and most of the Cal game.

A lot of times with the pollsters, the question to be answered is, “What have you done for me lately?”

OSU’s ranking, or lack thereof, is an exception. They’ve shown up and played lights out lately. However, they failed their first test and have been playing catch-up since.

Being one of the first teams outside the top 25 isn’t a bad thing. But if that one loss came to Utah instead of EWU, fans would be complaining about not being ranked higher than UCLA (No. 12 in the AP poll).

The Eastern Washington loss may live in the shadows of the 2013 season. An easy way for everyone to forget it would be a win vs. No. 8 Stanford on Saturday.

OSU should be in the top 25. Being left out may just be the exact motivation this team needs, though.

It’s still nearly impossible for media and fans to forget the season-opener, even with OSU playing as well as they’ve been. The Beavers can sure help exorcise those EWU demons and prove they belong up there in the polls.

There’s nothing better than proving everyone wrong.

Warner Strausbaugh, editor-in-chief

On Twitter @WStrausbaugh

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