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Sporting News: Oregon State Football Will Be Bowling This Season

The belief around the next step in the Beavers rebuild is growing by the day.

NCAA Football: Oregon State at Arizona Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

As Oregon State nears the start of year three of the Gary Andersen era in Corvallis, Beaver Nation is hoping to finally see the first breakthrough in the rebuilding project that started a few seasons ago. Last year, the Beavers finished 4-8, with back-to-back wins over Arizona and Oregon to finish the campaign and heading into the 2017 season, there’s one goal in mind: make a bowl game.

While the jury may still be out on pivotal key positions across the board, most notably at the quarterback spot, where a three-horse race between last seasons’ opening day starter Darell Garretson, last season’ final game starter Marcus McMaryion and Ventura College transfer Jake Luton still exists, according to the Sporting News, Oregon State is likely on their way to a bowl game in this upcoming season.

In their bowl projections for the 2017 season, the Sporting News predicted that Oregon State would be invited to the Las Vegas Bowl on December 16th to play Mountain West opponent Boise State. The unique nature of the match-up would not only be that the Beavers and Broncos are both regional rivals, but also that the two recently met in the third game of the 2016 season, when Boise State defeated Oregon State, 38-24, behind a four-touchdown performance from running back Jeremy McNichols.

NCAA Football: Boise State at Oregon State Cole Elsasser-USA TODAY Sports

In order for the Beavers to make a bowl appearance, Oregon State will have to make some serious strides over the course of Pac-12 play, where a loaded schedule that includes one of the country’s most grueling three-game stretches, awaits them. The Beavers also have a fairly challenging non-conference slate, which means the team will have to be hitting full-stride from day one. The first five games of Oregon State’s conference schedule include a road trip to Washington State, a match-up with Washington, another road trip to USC and meetings with Colorado and Stanford in Corvallis.

The benchmark for most bowl eligible college football teams is the six-win plateau, meaning that according to ESPN’s win percentage calculations, Oregon State would have to capitalize on (at least) their six best chances to find victory. The opponents in that projected group would be non-conference clashes against Portland State (97.5%), Minnesota (61.4%) and Colorado State (46.1%) and Pac-12 games against Colorado (51.7%), California (50.4%) and Arizona State (49.6%).

The Beavers season begins on August 26th at 11:30 AM PT on the road at Colorado State. The game will be televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network.