The return of Dennis Erickson is not just the subplot here; many are making it the lead story. Were Erickson to lead his Idaho Vandals to victory over his old team, it would not look good at all for Mike Riley.

That's not going to happen. Idaho's weaknesses were exposed in a 56-10 loss at Washington State on Sept. 9. Erickson needs a couple of years to recruit the kind of athletes who can compete with the big boys of college football.

The Beavers' psyche was wounded in their one-sided loss at Boise State, but they will begin the climb back with a solid performance Saturday at Reser.

THE PICK: Oregon State 34, Idaho 13