Oregon State hopes to improve on last season's surprising success

While coach Mike Riley had an inkling last season's Oregon State Beavers were better than they were billed, this season he's more pragmatic about the team.

He says he thinks last season's team learned what it takes to win games.

Oregon State went from 3-9 in 2011 to a 9-4 finish last season. The six-game turnaround is the best in school history, and only Ohio State and Middle Tennessee could also boast the same improvement last year.

The Beavers' turnaround ended with a 31-27 loss to Texas in the Alamo Bowl. That final loss, a Civil War defeat by Oregon, and the fact that they didn't reach the 10-win plateau is what drives the team this season.