Oregon Magazine

Pigskin Pete
Vikings Enter New Era
In 2012 Football Action

 by Fred Delkin

   Portland State football is facing a new horizon in 2012.  The Big Sky conference is expanding, with new members Cal Poly, North Dakota, Cal Davis and Southern Utah.  The 2012 Viking schedule includes all the newcomers and drops Montana, Weber State and Sacramento St.  PSU 2012 games at Jeld-Wen field include Carroll College of Montana, Southern Utah, Idaho St., Northern Colorado and Eastern Washington. 

Carroll is a private Catholic school in Helena, MT and winner of several national playoffs in the NAIA small school category (they lost to St. Xavier of Chicago in the 2010 national title game).  

The new Big Sky alignment is a mini-version of what's happening in Division ! ranks, as witness the Pac10 morphing into the Pac12 by adding Utah & Colorado.  The Big Sky has its own TV network, which began airing PSU contests last season.  We doubt that the citizens of Cedar City, UT represent a lucrative TV audience, but Grand Forks, ND and central California are promising sources of TV ad revenue.  

Looking ahead ...

The 2012 schedule is kind to PSU, with perennial power Montana missing.  We think next season results could project the Vikings into extra action in the national playoffs. 

Coach Nigel Burton has cagily concentrated upon Pacific Northwest prep talent in his recruiting, with both Oregon & Oregon State looking for help on a national scale.  Local kids represent strong home game fan attendance.  You won't get confirmation from PSU administrative authorities, but there is strong consideration for forming a new Division ! conference in the near future, which could number PSU, San Jose St., Fresno St., Utah St. and others.  Portland ranks in the top 20 of national population TV centers and could be the keystone in a new collegiate sports confederation.

Here is the Vik 2012 slate:

   9/1     Carroll College

   9/8     at North Dakota

   9/15    at Washington

   9/22    Southern Utah

   9/29     at Northern Arizona

   10/6     Idaho State

   10/20    at Cal Poly

   10/27     at UC Davis

   11/3       Nothern Colorado

   11/10      at Montana State

   11/17       Eastern Washington

That September Seattle visit represents taking it on the chin to rake in badly needed bcks for maintaining the program.  We'll bet that contest will be televised by Comcast Sports NW or Root Sports, if one can enjoy watching a mismatch.  

Coach Burton has successfully revamped the Viking grid program that one Jerry Glanville came very close to killing.  Sports fans within easy driving, busing or walking distance of ol' Civic Stadium (old nomenclature habits die hard!) should reciprocate with a ticket purchase.  

ROSES & RASPBERRIES...basketball results at UO & OSU are going in a Roseworthy direction, but Paul Allen's NBA entry is a floundering disappointment, with poor Greg Oden a lasting symbol of mismanagement...let's hear a cheer for the Manning family, whose name now ranks next to Lombardi as a moniker for pay for play historical annals.

© 2012 Oregon Magazine