Oregon State has seen the depths of misfortune with their football program. Other schools have looked at the Beavers as an “automatic win”, but change is happening in Corvallis. Head coach Jonathan Smith has the Beavers resurrection project ahead of schedule.
It’s why Coach Smith should be the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. At the very minimum.
After the Beavers got by the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday night 35-34 the celebration was on.
The celebration was not about winning the division or the Pac-12 Conference. It was all about winning their fifth game of the year. Beaver students, fans, and players celebrated by rushing the field and letting off some much needed frustration.
For those of you that look at a field celebration after five wins as weird you don’t understand the Beaver football program. You are unaware of what Oregon State fans have had to endure over the years.
For the Beavers to get to five wins is something nobody expected. I mean nobody. If somebody tells you that they saw this coming they are flat out feeding you a line of crap.
What head coach Jonathan Smith has done in almost two seasons is nothing short of a miracle. There was no momentum with the football program when Coach Smith took over his alma mater. Fans and alumni had no confidence in the direction of the program. After the disaster that was the Gary Andersen tenure Beaver Believers needed a breath of fresh air, some reassurance, and to feel like the team could be competitive again.
During the introductory press conference Jonathan Smith promised his team would compete and in the second season of the Smith era the Beavers are competing.
The improvement that people have seen deals directly with the Beavers competing in most games. Outside of the Utah game where Oregon State was clearly outmatched, the Beavers have been competitive in their games.
The culture, vibe, and the amount of wins are changing in Corvallis. It’s a tangible thing that the players can see and feel.
For the Beavers to be in second place in the North Division of the Pac-12 Conference, to have five wins, and to be one win short of bowl eligibility is reason enough for me to say the Jonathan Smith should at the very least be the Pac-12 Coach of the Year. Coach Smith should also be in the conversation for National Coach of the Year.
Of course, being the humble man that Coach Smith is he credits his players and the staff he has assembled at Oregon State.
“It starts with the players and choosing to go to work and believing. These guys have been in it for the long haul. Those are the players that are now winning.” Coach Smith said.
Smith recognizes what this can mean for recruiting. It’s tough enough getting players to come to Corvallis when the team is losing, but when the team is winning it creates a buzz for future players.
“Winning helps of course.” Coach Smith said when asked about winning and what it can mean for possible recruits.
The recognition that Jonathan Smith is creating for the Oregon State football program is something that can not be stated enough. Smith is getting looks from quality players that want to transfer in.
Charles Moore, former defensive end, for Auburn has committed to Oregon State for 2020. He’s a former four-star prospect and top-100 recruit. When a player of that caliber decides to come that gives you a hint of what Coach Smith and his staff are getting done for Oregon State.
At the end of the day, Jonathan Smith is accomplishing things that many thought could not be done at Oregon State. He deserves a ton of credit for what he has done, but more importantly, he has restored hope in a place where hope had disappeared.
Jonathan Smith, Pac-12 and National Coach of the Year has a nice ring to it don’t you think Beaver fans?