Jonathan Smith is becoming a much more popular name for Michigan State fans. The Oregon State head coach has completely turned that program around.
Don’t be scared away by his overall record of 32-32 at Oregon State, but rather look at the turnaround he has made. The Beavers were Pac-12 bottom-dwellers when he took over. They were a laughingstock. He went 2-10 in his first season, 5-7 in year two, and then 2-5 during the COVID-19 campaign. Since then, he’s 23-10.
Oregon State made their first bowl game since 2013 in 2021 as Smith led the Beavers to a 7-6 record and then won their first bowl in a decade in 2022. Oh yeah, and the Beavers went 10-3 last season with a 6-3 record in Pac-12 play, finishing No. 17 in the nation.
This year, Oregon State is even better, sitting at 6-1 to start the season with two ranked wins in the last three games. The Beavers’ only loss this season was a 38-35 thriller at then-No. 21 Washington State. They have multiple chances moving forward to make a statement and a move in the playoff race.
If the Beavers are a legit playoff contender in mid-November (they will be), we should seriously consider prying Smith away from his alma mater.