There are a lot of things going on here. There is the best Oregon State team of all time, the one that got the program the SI cover the next year, the one with Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh at wideout, and once-glorious Ken Simonton in the backfield. That team would go 5-6 the next year, Simonton would go from a projected first round pick to a seventh rounder, and Dennis Erickson would leave for the 49ers after losing a bowl game to Pitt. Bowl game results are forever inconclusive, and extending them much further into the coming season as predictors of anything is immensely dumb.
(P.S. The next time someone talks about everyone in the NFL being soooooo smart, please remind them that a major franchise hired a coach after losing to a Walt Harris Pitt team. Walk away smoothly without looking at the resulting explosion.)
There is also the Notre Dame here, playing reserve DBs against Oregon State and watching what happens when you do that. The answer is surprisingly clear: Chad Johnson runs for 74 yards untouched on one score, and pats down Houshmandzadeh on another in celebration and gets a fifteen yard penalty for it, and ND loses 41-9 in the first of many BCS disasters. They rushed for 17 yards in this game on 37 attempts. Coinstar offense: ENGAGE.
Another fine historical note to remember is that Bob Davie got five years to coach this team! Five! Some might make a parallel to Will Muschamp at Florida at this point. Some people want us to drive up to their house and throw a sack of cobras in their mailboxes. Some people don't realize just how many cobras you can pull out of a Florida zoo's reptile house without anyone noticing.