Just wondering É-nWhy do people think that Oregon State's football team should have had a better record just because it had so many NFL-bound players?

I know that sounds like a silly question, but it isn't. In football, you're only as good as your worst player. You can have stars all over the place, but if you don't have solid players at key positions, you aren't going to win big.

The Beavers had, at best, an adequate offensive line and a very talented quarterback prone to occasional poor decisions. That's not the prescription for a banner season.

I think it's unfair to blame Mike Riley for a season that didn't meet some people's expectations Ñ when those expectations may have been way too high in the first place. By the way, the last two years of Dennis Erickson were not exactly seasons to remember, either.

The Oregon Ducks, by the way, provided me with the model for teams that had star power but a poor record. Does anyone remember 1972? Oregon had six players taken in the draft Ñ including Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad) and tackle Tom Drougas in the first round, linebacker Tom Graham, wide receiver Leland Glass and linemen Mike Williams and John McKean. They had three juniors on the team Ñ quarterback Dan Fouts, along with linemen Tim Stokes and Chuck Bradley Ñ who would be taken by the end of the third round in the 1973 draft.

And that 1972 team went 4-7. Fouts' team went 2-9 in his senior season.

nWhy do they have to play the Las Vegas Bowl on Christmas Eve? It's probably one of the most fun bowl games I've ever covered, but come on Ñ Christmas Eve is a very tough time to be out of town. I have to think that Beaver attendance would have been much higher if the game had been moved a few days away from Christmas.

nNow that the Ducks are embarking on their second recent go-round with the Sun Bowl, I'm wondering if the fans of all these Pacific-10 Conference teams aren't going to grow tired of the same old destinations? I mean, once you've been to El Paso, Texas, for New Year's Eve, you probably don't need to go again. Wouldn't it make sense for all the conferences to reshuffle their bowl alliances every three or four years?

nDon't the bowl people see the potential of a playoff? It seems to me the attendance at the non-BCS bowls drops every year. Give the Vegas Bowl or Sun Bowl a first-round Division I playoff matchup, and it's sold out before you even know who's playing.

nWasn't New Mexico awful?

nForget about penalizing all the celebrations in college football. Wouldn't it be better, instead, to throttle all the taunting? Man, you see the words being exchanged after almost every play, and it gets tiresome. Just play.

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