The Oregon State Beaver football team begins summer training camp August 3rd. Locally, Beaver Nation is cautiously optmistic that the return of Jonathan Smith will get the program going in the right direction. The first three non-conference games will provide Smith, this coaching staff, the players and all Oregon State fans a peek into just how far they have to go to compete for a Pac-12 title in the future. Right now, odds makers aren't giving OSU any respect.
Vegasinsider.com has posted odds on which team will win the Pac-12 title in 2018:
Oregon St 100/1
So I guess you could say this is no surprise considering the disaster of the 2017 season or the fact the Beavers haven't won a road game since October 4, 2014 in Boulder when Sean Mannion was at the helm.
The wild card for Oregon State is the arrival of a new experienced coaching staff that is transforming the program. Does this mean instant success? The opener at Ohio State is a huge challenge. The Beavers are listed as a massive underdog to the Buckeyes....three different websites list them as a 30 to 31 point underdog.
Game two at home....the debut in Corvallis for the new era of Oregon State football means a trip into the Big Sky conference and a game against Southern Utah. The Thunderbirds were 9-3 last season and qualified for the FCS playoffs losing in the first round to Weber State 30-13. The Beavers look to get a win here but Southern Utah will be ready to pull off the upset.
The non-conference game three is in Reno against the Wolfpack. This will be a great opportunity for the Beavers to end that road losing streak, Nevada was 3-9 last season. They open the 2018 season hosting Portland State before travelling to Nashville and a meeting with Vanderbilt.
The Beavers won't get the respect from oddsmakers and out of market writers until they get back on the winning track. It should be fascinating to see how quickly they can turn heads in the Pac-12 and beyond