Oregon State Unlikely to Go Bowling?

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Will Oregon State get a bowl game invitation? Outlook not so good.

NOTE:  This article changed a bit from its first publish.  The rule requiring 7-5 teams to be selected prior to 6-6 teams being selected for at large berths was eliminated recently, although this is not a clear thing.  While this improved the Beavers' chances, I still don't think they're going bowling...

So all the results are in, and we can do some tallying with minimal guessing.

There are currently 80 teams that are bowl eligible.  Of these 80 teams, there are 66 teams that are bowl eligible and are guaranteed a bowl game due to their conference tie-ins.  Every one of these 66 teams has to get a bowl spot before Oregon State.

These are:

American (5):  UCF, Louisville, Cincinnati, Houston, Rutgers*

ACC (8):  FSU, Clemson, Duke, Miami (FL), Virginia Tech, BC, Maryland, Georgia Tech

Big 12 (6): Baylor, Oklahoma State, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Texas Tech

Big 10 (7):  Michigan State, Ohio State, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin

Conference USA (7):  Marshall, ECU, Middle Tennessee State, Rice, UTSA, North Texas, Tulane

MAC (4):  Ball State, Northern Illinois, Bowling Green, Buffalo

MWC (6):  Fresno State, Utah State, San Diego State, Boise State, UNLV, Colorado State

Pac-12 (7):  Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA, USC, Washington, Arizona

SEC (10):  Auburn, Alabama, Missouri, South Carolina, Georgia, Vanderbilt, LSU, Texas A&M, Ole Miss, Mississippi State*

Sun Belt (3):  Louisiana-Lafayette, Western Kentucky, Arkansas State

Independents (3):  BYU, Notre Dame, Navy

There are 70 bowl spots, this leaves 4 spots to be filled by these fourteen teams:

UNC, Pitt, Syracuse, Florida Atlantic, Central Michigan, San Jose State, Washington State, Oregon State, Troy, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, South Alabama, Ohio, Toledo.

None of the non-AQ teams are likely to be selected ahead of the ACC or Pac-12 schools.  That leaves us with four spots for UNC, Pitt, Syracuse, Washington State, and Oregon State.

In all likelihood, Clemson is going to be selected by the Orange Bowl as a replacement for national title game participant Florida State, meaning every other ACC team moves up a notch, which will allow a member of the UNC/Pitt/Syracuse trifecta to get an automatic spot.  That will raise it up to 67 teams, leaving three spots for the last two members of the ACC trifecta, Oregon State, and Washington State.

I don't like the Beavers' chances against a fan base that will either be a lot closer geographically (either ACC school), or a school far more excited to go to any bowl game at all after a 10-year drought (WSU).  Either way the school won't be on a 5-game losing streak to end the season.

If Oregon somehow gets a BCS berth, that would bump every Pac-12 school up a notch, guaranteeing that either WSU or OSU would get a berth, but not both.  The Pac-12 doesn't have a tentative agreement for a #8 bowl team;  Larry Scott might want to work on that in the off-season.

It is possible that the New Mexico Bowl could take Oregon State over Arizona and WSU, since they finished the season with the same conference record, but that seems unlikely since Arizona did have 7 wins, WSU has an eager fan base, and the Beavers haven't won since mid-October.

I could, of course, go through game by game and try and figure out which games will have open slots, and who they will be most likely to select, but I don't think it matters.  It's a matter of numbers, and Oregon State doesn't look like the most desirable team in any scenario.  However, stranger things have happened, and phone calls can be made.

I really hope I'm wrong, and if so I'm more than happy to eat crow, but at this time, I don't see it unless I'm completely doing something wrong here, or there's some backroom dealings going on.

Feel free to post in the comments if I have missed something or you see some mistakes in my logic.

Regardless, go Beavs!  68 days until first pitch...

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