OSU bowl picture coming into focus

THANK YOU, Scarlet. And go peddle it somewhere else, Chuck. The bowl picture for Oregon State is clearer now, though some monkeys are still looking around for a wrench or two that could make things interesting. And a quick check of a poll on the Sun Bowl site has fans voting Rutgers and Pitt neck and neck as the opponent they most want to see take on the Pac-10 representative.

If things play out as expected, Oregon State will on Sunday announce they've accepted an invitation to the Sun Bowl. Who the Beavs' opponent would be has yet to be determined by this weekend's games.

And yes, there's a long shot scenario that would border on the ridiculous. But we'll get to that in a moment.

Assuming the Beavs are headed to El Paso for a Dec. 31 tilt, (11 a.m. PT, CBS), the opponent looks to be either Pitt (No. 23, 8-3) or West Virginia (unranked, 7-4). Notre Dame is no longer a possibility with Rutgers' win over Louisville Thursday night.

Both seemingly offer stern challenges and headliners but if you're Oregon State, coming off that kind of regular season finale loss as they did, wouldn't you enjoy more the chance to beat a Top 25 team that boasts LeSean McCoy, one of the best running backs in the nation?

But first things first.

Pitt has to get by a UConn squad (7-4) that was ranked No. 24 at one time this year. If Pitt loses, West Virginia, with a win over South Florida this weekend, might instead get the Sun Bowl bid. If both WVU and Pitt lose, it a) won't matter because the world be plunged into eternal darkness or b) Rutgers might get the nod.

ALL OF THIS of course assumes that UCLA will lose to USC this weekend. If UCLA was somehow able to overcome the immutable laws of physics, (see Stanford in 2007), then the Beavs would be headed for the Rose Bowl. But given the UCLA offense, a Bruin win seems about as likely as does Carrot Top one day winning an Oscar.

As long as we're on the upset theme, however, and for those of you who would like to see a little chaos theory injected into the BCS and bowl selection process, you won't only be rooting for UCLA this weekend.

If Missouri were to stun Oklahoma, the Sooners could go from the national title game to the Cotton Bowl where they would likely face Georgia, and Mizzou would vault into the Fiesta. Meanwhile, in that scenario, part of the domino effect would likely result in Texas Tech taking Mizzou's spot in the Holiday Bowl and playing against the Ducks.

And finally, if you're considering on whether to make the trek to El Paso, this should pretty much settle it: The Village People are performing at halftime. How can you lose.

The poll on the official Sun Bowl site on who should be the opponent for the Pac-10 representative has West Virginia with a slight lead over Pitt, with over 28,000 votes between the two. Click here to see the current numbers.

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