After losing 9 of their last 12 games to end 2011, the Oregon State Beavers bounced back with a very nice 9-4 season last year, which ended with a 31-27 loss to Texas in the Alamo Bowl. This year they have 15 starters and 60 lettermen back, so expectations are high. Vegas Odds has the Beavers listed as 125-1 to win the 2014 BCS Title.

Coach Mike Riley plans to pick a starting quarterback — either Sean Mannion or Cody Vaz — the week before the first game. It’s going to be a difficult decision, but Riley believes he can’t make a bad choice because both possess the know-how and ability to run the offense and win games. The quarterback, whether it’s Mannion or Vaz, will have many targets in the receiving corps. Brandin Cooks is the big-play threat. He had 1,151 receiving yards and is elusive after the catch. Kevin Cummings and tight end Connor Hamlett started to emerge as reliable options at the end of last season. Running back Storm Woods should improve in his second season as a starter. He nearly topped 1,000 yards despite a lingering bruised knee.

Riley worked minor miracles defensively to turn around his team in 2012, but he will have to provide an encore as three of four defensive line starters are gone. End Scott Crichton, who won't be able to practice due to a shoulder injury, was the best of the group and he returns, so finding a dependable player opposite him is what Riley needs to accomplish. Both starting outside linebackers return. Michael Doctor and D.J. Alexander are hard-hitting and quick. They made plays in space and covered backs out of the backfield. A middle linebacker needs to emerge, and sophomore Joel Skotte will be given a shot. If he doesn’t stick, Josh Williams is an option. The secondary returns two safeties and a cornerback. Ryan Murphy and Tyrequek Zimmerman are back as safeties. Both like to support the run but also are effective in coverage.

The Beavers started strong and reached the Alamo Bowl last season. One year removed from a 3–9 season, Oregon State finished in the top 25 for the first time since 2008. Riley went young two years ago, and most of those players are now upperclassmen. Oregon and Stanford are the class the Pac-12, but Oregon State is near the top of the next tier.

BCS odds: 125 to 1 ($100 wins $12,500)
Tied for 14th best odds (Alabama favored at 3 to 1)

Pac-12 Conference Title odds: 12 to 1 ($100 wins $1,200)
Ranked 4th best odds (Oregon is favored at 1.5 to 1)

Pac-12 North Division odds: 5 to 1 ($100 wins $500) 
(Oregon is favored to win the North division) 



The Golden Nugget in Las Vegas has released individual game spread lines for Oregon State games this season.


September 14th 
Oregon St. (-6) at Utah

September 21st 
Oregon St. (-6.5) at San Diego St.

September 28th 
Colorado at Oregon St. (-22)

October 12th 
Oregon St. (-13) at Washington St.

October 19th 
Oregon St. (-13) at California

October 26th 
Stanford at Oregon St. (+3)

November 1st
USC at Oregon St. (-2)

November 16th
Oregon St. (+4.5) at Arizona St.

November 23rd
Washington at Oregon St. (-5)

November 29th
Oregon St. (+16) at Oregon


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