Thanks to some tremendous reporting by Nick Daschel it appears that Oregon State is not as much of a lock to play in the Sun Bowl as it once appeared. The Alamo, Holiday and Las Vegas bowl will all have the option to select the Beavers first. And while Oregon State is competing with UCLA, Oregon & one of Utah/Washington for bowl game matchups it appears that the Beavers have garnered enough interest from the three bowls with choices before the Sun Bowl that El Paso is no longer the likely destination.
We asked Beaver Nation which of the four bowl games they would prefer and the Las Vegas Bowl won the popular vote. Followed closely by the Holiday Bowl.
Which bowl game do you want to select Oregon State?— Building The Dam (@BuildingTheDam) November 30, 2022
Despite having an early start date (December 17th) which would give the team less practice time and could make recruiting during the early signing period more difficult, the thought of an SEC matchup in Las Vegas is too enticing to ignore. While we won’t find out Oregon State’s location/matchup until Sunday we decided to look at the most likely opponent for each of the four bowl game options. We even throw in a few runner-ups.
Las Vegas Bowl
Beaver Nation’s first choice is Oregon State’s bowl game floor according to The Oregonian’s source (h/t Nick Daschel). Las Vegas is the closest destination to Corvallis/Portland and will be the least expensive for Beaver fans that want to attend. As hotel vacancy rates in Vegas are usually at all time highs in December, the Las Vegas Bowl will want to select a fanbase that travels well. Oregon State fans absolutely want to see the team hit the 10-win mark this season and should turn out in large numbers. I personally think this is the most likely destination for Oregon State when bowl assignments are revealed on Sunday. The Las Vegas Review seems to think it’s between UCLA & OSU.
Most Likely Opponent: Mississippi State (8-4)
Runner-up: Florida Gators (6-6)
Oregon State has never played in the Holiday Bowl, located in beautiful San Diego. The game will be held in Petco Park (home of the Padres) and is in a fantastic downtown location close to key hotels and all the bowl game festivities. This is another location that Beaver Nation covets, as it’ll be cheaper than traveling to Texas and who doesn’t want to go to Southern California in the middle of winter? The ACC doesn’t have a plethora of nine win teams like the Pac-12 does this season though. I think the Holiday Bowl really wants an Oregon vs North Carolina matchup, but we’ll find out on Sunday if that becomes a reality.
Most Likely Opponent: North Carolina (9-3)
Runner-up: N.C. State (8-4)
Located in the heart of Texas (San Antonio) the Alamo Bowl is quite prestigious and has had some thrilling contests in it’s bowl game history. Bowl officials will get their first pick after the Rose Bowl and many have them picking Washington or Utah (whoever doesn’t end up in the Rose Bowl). The Longhorns are the favorites to land in the Alamo Bowl from the Big-12 side. Coincidentally ten years ago, a 9-3 Oregon State team played a thrilling game against Texas in the Alamo Bowl. Back when Brandin Cooks and Markus Wheaton were catching passes and Storm Barrs-Woods rushed for 118 yards & 2 TDs in the narrow defeat. It’s possible the Alamo Bowl selects the Beavs, but I’m not sure it’s probable.
Most Likely Opponent: Texas (8-4)
Runner-up: Kansas State (9-3)
Last but not least (unless you ask Beaver Nation) is the Sun Bowl in El Paso. The 2nd oldest active bowl game is located right on the US/Mexico border in West Texas. El Paso is probably the toughest location to travel to for fans (in terms of price) and they rely a bit more on their local residents to fill the stands than the other bowls listed. The Beavers made quite the impression in their last Sun Bowl visit a 3-0 victory over Pitt. It was the 2nd lowest scoring bowl game ever. Could a (hopefully higher scoring) rematch be in store? Based on everything I’ve read and heard I think the Beavers will end up in Vegas. Stay tuned as we’ll find out this Sunday!
Most Likely Opponent: Pitt (8-4)
Runner-up: Duke (8-4)