Oregon State mailbag: Could Mark Helfrich ever assist Beavers, bowl reps in Corvallis

You ask, and The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Nick Daschel responds. This week’s Oregon State ‘bag includes OSU-Oregon memories from some readers. Here goes:

Small U.S cities such as Frisco, Tex. and Conway, S.C. get to host college football bowl games this year. When will Corvallis get to host the Resers Fine Foods burrito bowl? Surely the weather or availability of hotel rooms can’t be the reason Corvallis (or Eugene) has never hosted a bowl game. – James M

Frisco is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area, so it’s hardly Smallsville. Conway isn’t that far from the beach, which could be attractive during the cold winter months. There are so many reasons why Corvallis and/or Eugene aren’t hunting bowl games. But No. 1? There’s no interest.

Another good win for the Beavs. Which bowl games are in play for the Beavers? Outside of beating the Ducks what other outcomes help the Beavers chances of a better bowl? USC to the playoffs, UCLA somehow losing to Cal, WSU winning the Apple Cup? Which bowl games have to follow standings, and which get to pick? Is there any chance the Beavs get selected over UCLA if they finish with the same record? – Peter H

Honestly, better to wait until the games are decided until this weekend before speculating on bowls. In a nutshell, the Sun is Oregon State’s most likely destination. But a case can be made for several other bowls. If you’re looking for a bowl ranked above the Sun, you might root for Oregon State to lose. There’s a possibility — albeit a slim one — that if USC gets in the CFP and Oregon and Washington finish in the CFP top 10, OSU moves up to the Vegas or Holiday bowls.

(Ben) Gulbranson has nearly won me over as the future QB (over Nolan or transfer portal next year). Solid, safe performance but made first downs when needed with his feet, actually design QB sneak for a TD… amazing. But also gets better each week. Am I drinking too much Kool Aid here or no??? – Matt N

Yes and no. Gulbranson is the quarterback for the moment. But there’s a reason the coaches picked Nolan in August. Let’s see how he fares comes spring when competing with Gulbranson. Also, who’s to say there’s isn’t someone better in the transfer portal?

If/when coach Brian Lindgren moves on from OSU to become a head coach somewhere, what do you think of them looking at Mark Helfrich to take his place? He’s a smart guy, has developed Heisman-trophy-winning quarterbacks, and an Oregonian. Would that even be a possibility? (I’m a fan, so I’m allowed to play the “what-if game”). – Andrew

Helfrich cashed a large buyout check from Oregon, and continued to make money as an NFL assistant and television analyst. I wouldn’t say no chance, but I suspect Smith has a short list of young, hungry coordinator possibilities should Lindgren leave.

Looking ahead to 2023, what position group do you see dropping off the most between now and then? With all our leadership, it’s interesting to see that we are still a fairly young team. Any thoughts would be appreciated. – David W

The losses seem to be well distributed throughout the team. I don’t think any position group is going to fall off the map. The group that figures to get hit hardest is probably the secondary. Cornerback Rejzohn Wright and safety Jaydon Grant graduate, and others could leave and take a crack at the NFL. Offensive line will take some hits if LT Joshua Gray opts to leave early, along with senior Brandon Kipper.

Can you do a survey about what the expectations for win totals for the next 4 years after the bowl game. It’s hard to stay grounded when your home team takes a turn for the better… – Max C

I don’t need to do a survey to know. 12-0 is the expectation. And cover the point spread.

How many Beavs do you think make it to the NFL after this year? – Bryan M

Off this current roster for the NFL in 2023? Wright, Jack Colletto, Gray, Kipper, Grant, Alex Austin, Kitan Oladapo, Omar Speights and Simon Sandberg have various chances of getting drafted, a free agent contract or mini-camp. I suspect at least one or two will make a roster.

Have any bowl reps requested credentials for the Rivalry Game? – Joe H

I’m told no. Apparently bowl reps don’t make the rounds like they used to.

Not necessarily Civil War-related, but super curious about your thoughts on Aiden Chiles. Been a long time since I’ve seen fans on Twitter hype up a player like I’ve seen with him. How does he fit in with Benny G and the rest of the QB room? – Matt

I hate to evade questions, but I can’t say that I spend time breaking down high school football video. I’d prefer to see Chiles in spring football (if he’s leaving high school early) and preseason camp before making any assessment about fit. College isn’t high school.

(Damien) Martinez Pac-12 freshman of the year? – Theo

Seems likely, unless Cal running back Jaydn Ott has a monster game Friday against UCLA, and Martinez does nothing against the Ducks. Martinez has clearly been the best freshman during conference play. By the way, the Pac-12 awards an offensive and defensive freshman of the year.

Does it hurt Oregon State’s chances at a better bowl game if we beat Oregon knocking them out of a NY6?? (Assuming USC, Washington and Oregon all make the NY6) — @awesomeshark789

Yes. An Oregon loss makes it very difficult to finish among the CFP’s top 12. And even if they do, the Ducks would have to beat USC in the Pac-12 title game, which knocks the Trojans out of the CFP.

What’s the chance of keeping the name of the rivalry “formerly called the Civil War”? Can we just go back to it being the Civil War? All the media still reference it as formerly the Civil War, but it is the Civil War. — @TheColorGreen69

Fans and media are free to call Oregon State-Oregon whatever it wants. But the schools aren’t going back. Time to move on.

As a Beaver alumnus and longtime fan, I think that Phil knight should step up a simply call the game the “Nike Challenge championship.” – Steve C

If Nike dropped a seven-figure check on the desk of the school’s athletic directors, it could probably call OSU-UO whatever it wants.

2008 I was disappointed as a Beavers fan but when I got home my daughter, who’s 8 at the time, gave me a big hug and her favorite toy because “she was so sad for her daddy not getting to go to the Rose Bowl.” She even offered to open her piggy bank to buy me ice cream. – Shawn W

Cool story.

2016 Civil War. We’d lost 8 years in a row and I was a freshman. Stood front row center field, got to rush the field, and saw my dad midfield after for one of the best celebrations, after us having season tickets for so 15 years and finally a big win. – Alex L

I’m curious if Beaver fans rush the field Saturday if OSU wins. Well, actually I’m not. They will.

After the 2020 Civil War win watching all the cars parade by Reser after the game honking their horns is something I’ll never forget – Pat M

Still too bad fans couldn’t attend because of COVID. Great game.

Best memory was the 1998 Civil War. My parents took me (12) and my sister (8) to the game. Duck fans behind us were loud and obnoxious, and one got thrown out of the game. Then the Simonton run happened. It was so loud, but also that section behind us was so quiet. It was great. – Benny L

Ah, the good old days. When we never had to hear the word “Natty.”

1991. Oregon State wins its only game of the year, 14-3 in Autzen. The day before, first-year coach Jerry Pettibone has the team practice carrying the seniors off the field. Awesome scene at the end, as they did it for real. — @LeadfootBeav

Since it was the season’s only win, the Beavers probably could have carried those seniors all the way back to Corvallis.

Prior to the 1998 double overtime win by the Beavers, I went for a run in the Tualatin Hills Nature Park. Beaverton Creek was flooded, even the elevated footbridge was underwater. While wading across, I encountered a BEAVER. I saw this as an omen from the football Gods. — @beertownbill

I’ve got nothing.

My first child was born on Civil War day 2020. The game started right when we got to the hospital room after she was born. My wife took a well-deserved extended nap next to me for the whole game. I held my precious, sleeping daughter for 3 hours in my arms, while watching the game on mute on my phone. Took everything inside of me not to wake both of them when Chance (Nolan) scored that final touchdown! A day I will never forget for many reasons. – Jon D


–Nick Daschel |

ndaschel@oregonian.com | @nickdaschel

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Lazy Cork
Enable registration in settings - general
Compare items
  • Total (0)
Shopping cart