5-6 overall, 3-5 conference, 7th Pac-10
Against the spread
3-6-1 (4-2 home, 3-2 away, 2-2 grass)
6-5 (1-3-1 home, 2-3 away, 0-2 grass)
-1.27 per game
2005 Season Summary
Nice guy Mike Riley, in his second stint as head coach of the Oregon State Beavers after a brief taste of NFL life, had posted back-to-back bowl win seasons after he replaced the man who replaced him, Dennis Erickson. Riley left Erickson a full cupboard when he departed for the NFL and Erickson returned the favor upon Riley’s return. Erickson also, however, left a roster of players that was highly prone to penalties and thuggish behavior that was a trademark of his teams in Miami.
After Riley’s first season back in which they went 8-5 straight up and 6-6 against the spread the Beavers began 2004 with a roster still loaded with Erickson recruits/veterans led by quarterback Derek Anderson. In their opening game at defending national champion LSU, the Beavers suffered a cruel 21-22 overtime loss because of three botched extra point attempts. They reached rock bottom in their fifth game, a 7-49 home loss to Cal to fall to 1-4 straight up and against the spread. This completely turned the entire mainstream gambling community against Oregon State, who went on to finish 6-1 straight up and a perfect 7-0 against the spread the rest of the way as they had an incredible recovery to their 2004 season.
Concerns were many
Anderson and 12 other top Erickson recruits were out of eligibility entering the 2005 season and Riley’s concerns were many. In addition, with those 7 consecutive covers against the spread to end the season Oregon State was a known and popular commodity and would not be sneaking up on anyone to start the season, despite their considerable roster turnover. The mainstream gambling public would only remember the Beavers as a team that finished hot and had bowled three consecutive years. Oregon State, therefore, was not going to be much of a value on the betting boards, at least at the start of the 2005 season.
Over-valued from 2004
Oregon State opened the 2005 season with a 41-14 home win over 1-AA Portland State. This was followed with a 30-27 win/push as 3-point home chalks against perennial WAC power Boise State. So far, everything seemed normal and like it was in the past three seasons at Corvallis.
Reality set in the following week when the Beavers traveled to face highly touted Big East chalk Louisville, who was a 13.5-point favorite en route to a 63-27 blowout win that exposed Oregon State as a team in decline.
If anyone believed the Louisville debacle was an aberration that was put to rest in Oregon State’s next game at home versus Arizona State, who scored a 42-24 win as 7-point chalks. It was the Beavers’ third straight game without a cover as they were still over-valued from 2004.
Brief bump up
Oregon State next hosted another struggling Pac-10 program, Washington State, and was a bargain 1-point home dog, getting the cash in a 44-33 win. This was followed with an impressive 23-20 win at Cal as whopping 15-point dogs against the rebuilding Bears as bargain hunters enjoyed a brief bump up by the Beavers as Oregon State’s value reached its peak for the 2005 season.
In their next game at undefeated UCLA, Oregon State was just a 9-point dog in a 28-51-blowout loss as they began sliding down the rest of the way. They were clearly over-valued in their next game at home against Arizona in a 27-29 loss as 10-point chalks. The bleeding of red ink stopped temporarily in an 18-10 win at Washington as 3-point chalks.
Rock bottom at the end
Standing at 5-4 straight up and 3-4-1 against the spread the Beavers hosted rebuilding Stanford on Senior Day as a win would clinch a bowl berth. They lost 17-20 as 7-point chalks. In the “Civil War” season finale at Oregon, as 13.5-point dogs in need of a win in order to bowl, The Beavers were blown out 14-56 as they reached rock bottom at the end with four failures against the spread in their final five games as they finished without a bowl invite.