Oregon State finds itself in a pretty good situation with two upper tier bowls both interested in the Orange and Black. OSU will be at either the Holiday Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 27th or the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio on December 29th. Question is, which bowl is better for the program? The Alamo is the higher ranked bowl and is supposed to get the Pac-12 #2 team. With two BCS Bowl teams likely again this year for the conference, the Alamo then is in line for the Pac-12′s #3 team. The Holiday Bowl is just below but has alot of tradition in the conference and has produced some great games over the years. Normally OSU would stand higher odds of winning on the West Coast but with West Virginia a possible opponent, it looks like either game will be tough no matter where OSU ends up.
The caveat to that is that although a good chunk of projections place WVU in the Holiday Bowl, others have Texas Tech or TCU. WVU’s spread attack would be fun to watch but would the Beavers be favorites to score more than the Mountaineers? If that is the matchup then perhaps the slightly higher prestige and recruiting inroads that playing in Texas would promise could be worth it. That game would likely be against the Texas Longhorns. That would be great exposure for OSU and certainly have the feel of a BCS like atmosphere. Beating the Longhorns in the Alamo Bowl would only rank barely below the 2001 Fiesta Bowl victory in the modern era of OSU Football. One can also argue that the pitch to recruits is maximized when playing in the best possible bowl. At the same time it is better if you win your bowl and finish the year on a very high note.
I think playing Texas is a winnable game for Oregon State but it would definitely feel like a road game for us and not so for the Longhorns. In future years it seems more likely OSU will be quicker to have another shot at the Holiday, based off how some of these decisions are made, but do we therefore try to take the Alamo now not knowing when we have a chance to go that high again? This Oregon State team I do not trust to rise to the spotlight as well as Erickson’s Fiesta team. I am not sure Oregon State is mentally best when taking on the biggest traditional heavyweights. For that reason, even though I would love to see an OSU-Texas matchup, I think we have slighly better odds to win in the Holiday and would just have to hope for a favorable matchup. West Virginia could be even tougher than taking on Texas but I would take the Beavs against either Texas Tech or a payback rematch with the TCU Horned Frogs. Playing Oklahoma St. in a battle of the OSUs is also possible for either bowl.