Oregon State Mailbag: Most Tough Players to Replace in 2023 Las Vegas Bowl Fame, Jack Coleto and the NFL

The Las Vegas Bowl edition of Oregon State’s mailbag, as The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Nick Daschel whips out the answers from the team’s hotel coffee shop. Here it goes:

(Note: Mailbag runs for two weeks over the holidays, hopefully resuming the first week of January)

Other than the “Dam Nation” group, are you aware of any other vehicles for the Oregon State NIL that would help retain existing players and attract transfers? More specifically, higher dollar enhancers that provide higher dollar opportunities for athletes? – Dan R

There’s the Giant Killers group, which is run by a team of ex-Beavers that includes Scott Sanders, Bill Swancott, Evenson Bernard and Dave Montagne. Time will tell if the “top dollar boosters” come in. And the key for me is not the boosters so much, but the outstanding companies that are willing to jump into this space. This will take some time.

Are culture and chemistry equal to, less than, or more important to success than grade talent? I know it’s a mix, but some schools seem to focus on personality and decency over material gifts. -RSinsights

Fitness, culture and chemistry work in Oregon. You have to work at OSU, because the school simply won’t attract Alabama, or even Oregon level five-star talent. Ultimately, talent wins, as the teams with the most 5-star athletes tend to win the national championship. But Oregon State can continually compete for top 25 berths with culture and chemistry, steadily improving its talent pool.

Which of the players who will not play in the 2023 season will be the team’s biggest loss and hardest to replace? – Daniel D

They will all be missed to some level. But I will point to three. Jack Coleto tops the list because he successfully performs many roles on the team. He will lose his wits. That punt blocked against Oregon? I was told this was caused by a last minute call by Coleto. Brandon Kipper is a loss, due to his combination of experience, drive and talent. Then cornerback Rigzon Wright. It is difficult to replace the loss of the lock corner.

What conference does the crew responsible for the bowl game belong to? – not shiny

It’s an ACC crew.

Can we all agree that the Vegas pot is now better than most bowls in the buck (outside the rose)? A brand new NFL stadium, in a great city, and “prime time” TV against an SEC opponent. Give me that on a converted baseball stadium in San Diego or San Antonio in general. – OhltsPM

This argument can certainly be made. Pre-Christmas date plus. The Elegant Court is an undeniable bonus. Playing an SEC opponent – the Big Ten alternate years and the SEC in the Las Vegas Bowl – gives the game a great sense of time.

Personal ranking of preferences, in terms of city, fan experience, convention fair, etc.: Rose, Alamo, Las Vegas, Holiday, LA, Sun.

Do you have any idea when the 2023 Pac-12 schedule will be released? – @DamFan98

I thought it might happen now, but with the holidays coming up, it’s probably going to be pushed early to mid-January.

What backgammon does Coach Smith go to? – Tanner B

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Have you listened to OSU/UofO wbb announcers? I felt like they were overly supportive of UofO. Shouldn’t they be neutral? They do a good job of adding personal bits about the players. – Carla M

I was at the match so I didn’t hear the broadcast. Overall, I don’t think this is accurate. Most regional and national broadcasters get off on the story rather than a specific team.

Can (Ben) Gulbranson improve enough to lead the team to a conference championship next year or should we go to the gate for a chance? – Greg H

You first assume Oregon State will have enough talent to play for a 2023 conference title. We don’t know that yet. If so, can Gulbranson raise his game to the level of a championship team? surely. He’ll have a year of experience in the beginning to draw on, and a season outside to grow. But I don’t expect OSU to take chances. I think they’ll push to sign a quarterback in the gate, and look at what freshman Aidan Chiles has to offer. If Gulbranson wins the job, he’s going to have to do better.

If the Beavs win, what is their order to finish this year and start next? – Greg H

Oregon is currently ranked 16th in the Coaches Poll and 17th in the AP heading into cup season. We’ll skip the CFP ratings—where OSU is No. 14—because it doesn’t produce post-bowl ratings. Assuming the Las Vegas Bowl wins, a win for No. 12 would make sense in both polls. The top ten seems unlikely. There are far too many teams out there before the Beavers do head-to-head battles.

For the 2023 pre-season rankings, I need to know who is on the list first.

Beavs injury report? – Richard K

There’s always an upset on game day, but the team the Beavers put on the field against Oregon should be pretty much the same.

MBB – Is the steady decline in the second half a sign of youth or training? It seems like we could hang out with anyone at halftime, but then lose it minutes later. – Josh H

Obviously, that question was asked before Thursday night, as Oregon State outscored Seattle 48-30 in the second half to win 73-58. Look, this team is going to have its moments. Beavers are young and growing. They will stun and frustrate fans, often in the same game. I would say enjoy the ride, because if this team stays the same, OSU should get back to a winning record next season.

Any news on how many tickets OSU has sold out of its lot? – Kat E

Oregon State sold about 5,000 of the 6,296 Las Vegas Bowl tickets. The Pac-12 will pick up the tab on unsold tickets.

With so many elite QBs in the gate, are any of them on the Beavers’ radar yet? – Andy

definitely. However, I will not speculate on the names.

Is there any estimate of how many Florida fans will make the trip to Las Vegas? – @parimrock

I can’t say I’ve seen too many fans in blue and orange in Las Vegas, but we’re coming in on Friday, and I’ll be staying at the Oregon State Hotel. I suspect OSU fans will outnumber Florida fans. The Gator fanbase is very focused on next week’s 2023 signing class, not so much on a 6-6 team playing 2,500 miles from home.

Discuss next year’s schedule, games to win, etc. Do the assistants keep moving forward? Jack Coleto’s recruiting chances? Did he end up on an NFL roster? -realwebtraveler

Next year’s schedule discussion will have to wait until we see OSU’s 2023 roster lineup. Colletto is a lock who ends up in someone’s mini-NFL training camp. I would say the odds are 50-50 coined. I will say, yes, Colito does land on the NFL roster. His intelligence and versatility will win over the coach.

Any talk about the uniforms the team will wear on Saturday? Mostly curious about the color. I didn’t see anything from school or otherwise. – Randy S

Oregon is the home team. Beavers dressed in black.

If (Brian) Lindgren leaves… Paul Crest! – Jonathan W

Never say never, but I don’t think Lindgren will be leaving Oregon State, at least for the 2023 season.

I’m glad to see that OSU has offered Trent Bray and Jonathan Smith bigger contracts. I hate to see Jim Michalczik leave OSU. Have you heard of anything through the grapevine that will see any of the OSU football coaches leave after Las Vegas stadium? I hope we can keep the coaching staff intact. – Jerry S

Would I be surprised if an assistant coach left for another job? no. This is the case when you are on a 9-3 team. But you’re more likely to be a young coach looking for a bigger role or opportunity in the NFL, like Brian Wozniak, AJ Steward, Anthony Perkins, or Blue Adams. I would be surprised if Michalchik left. At this point in his seasoned career, Michalczek is looking more for stability, recognition, and compensation than the opportunity to make a name for himself. He has all three in Oregon.

Any word on what assistant coaches get paid after that raise? -IlikeBeavs

All of the assistants had two-year contracts heading into the 2022 season. Discussions are already underway, and I think most of the contracts were finalized in January.

Nick Daschle reported from Las Vegas

– Nick Daschle | ndaschel@oregonian.com | @employee

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