With Pac-12 era over, it’s destination unknown for Oregon State and coach Jonathan Smith
Where do the Beavers go after a lopsided 31-7 loss to Oregon which could stand as the final game under Smith?
EUGENE — It’s impossible to know whether the decision to display Michigan State’s regular season finale on the jumbotron in Autzen Stadium over an hour before Oregon and Oregon State kicked off was intentional. They say everything is fair game during rivalry week, after all.
It was by game’s end, however, after most had departed the field in wake of the Ducks’ 31-7 runaway victory over the Beavers, that the same screen fastened on a single graphic.
“Vegas Bound,” it read.
The Ducks punched their ticket to the Pac-12 Championship and a rematch against Washington on Friday, but for the Beavers and their head coach, Jonathan Smith, its destination: unknown.
Smith’s name materialized as a finalist for the head gig at Michigan State this week. In the hours before the final Pac-12 iteration of the rivalry between his Beavers and the Ducks, several outlets reported the coach had emerged as the top candidate to fill the Spartans’ vacancy, that the search was in its final stages, and that a decision would be made by weekend’s end.
Oregon State’s defeat on Friday was its worst since a 42-16 loss at the hands of Utah in Salt Lake City early last October. When it's said and done, it might not be the Beavers’ most painful of the weekend.