Gary Andersen picked a really unfortunate point in Oregon State’s 2017 schedule to quit

The Beavers just made it through a nightmare opening run, and now things lighten up somewhat.

Gary Andersen stepped down as Oregon State’s head coach after a 1-5 start that brought him to 7-23 at OSU. He left behind $12 million, rather than stick around long enough to get fired.

That’s all fine. Personal decision, his frustrations were deepening, and his players seem to have his back. I’m just saying, what if he’d waited a couple more weeks, now that OSU’s finally through its hellish opening schedule?

Here was how Oregon State’s schedule set up before the season.

OSU’s expected record after six games was either 1-5 or 2-4, with wins over FCS Portland State and maybe one of Colorado State or Minnesota. In other words, when Andersen quit, Oregon State’s record was what everyone expected it to be all along.

OSU’s actual scoring margins were worse than S&P+ projected, but it’s hard to imagine a coach quitting a job over failing to hit a computer formula’s margin expectations.

That front-loaded schedule included two undefeated Pac-12 North teams and a Pac-12 South team that’s only lost to one of those North teams, plus a potential Mountain West champion and a Minnesota that was far better than Oregon State in 2016. That’s a hard start!

And now it sets up for interim coach Cory Hall to impress a little bit.

Oregon State has a chance to be competitive in all six of its remaining games. Stanford’s at home! Rivalry games are often strange! And a few — Colorado at home, Arizona State at home, and a trip to Cal — are even winnable.

If nothing else, losing by 35 is less likely going forward.

It’s hard to imagine a first-time head coach taking over this roster and putting together the kind of tear that’d lead to the Beavers making a job offer, a la Dabo Swinney and Ed Orgeron, especially since Andersen skipping a buyout means OSU can spend pretty big. But being able to claim 66 percent of OSU’s 2017 wins would still look nice on the résumé.

Now for the hard part: actually competing in an FBS game.

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