Things on my mind as we head into another busy sports weekend ...

Should Oregon State not put itself in position for a Rose Bowl berth, representatives of the Holiday Bowl wouldn’t mind being a consolation prize.

“We’ve been coveting Oregon State for years,” says Weldon Donaldson, a member of the San Diego bowl game’s team selection committee.

Oregon State’s national ranking — 11th in the BCS, 12th and 13th in the polls — and 7-1 record are appealing to the bowl that is in line for the No. 3 team in the Pac-12 should Oregon not make the BCS championship game. The Beavers have other assets, Donaldson says, including coach Mike Riley’s three-year run coaching the San Diego Chargers.

“There’s a connection there with Mike,” Donaldson says. “We’re very much aware he has a large local following. We’ve never had Oregon State, which would be a good thing. Sometimes fans get tired of going to the same destination. We also know the Oregon teams are notorious for traveling well to bowl games.

“We’re in a delicate position, because we hope no one loses. but we’d be enamored of Oregon State. To get (the Beavers) would be a feather in our cap. We figure it would be ideal.”

The Holiday Bowl opponent, incidentally, would be a pick out of the Big 12.

“That picture is fuzzy,” Donaldson says. “It could be one of four or five teams.”

• I’m told that in the days following Thomas Tyner’s decommitment, and before his recommitment, to Oregon, the Aloha High running back got so many calls and texts from disgruntled Duck fans, he changed his cell phone number.

• The NBA’s new flopping rule has really taken care of the problem, hasn’t it?

I watched video of the two plays in which warnings were issued so far — Minnesota’s J.J. Barea and Cleveland's Donald Sloan — and I’m not sure either was any more a flop than dozens I’ve seen already this seasons.

Nobody likes floppers, but calling them out is simply too subjective. I’m with Stan Van Gundy, who suggests referees are the best arbiters and should continue to be the judge of whether a foul is legitimate or a player is faking it.

• Dwight Howard cries about the new rule for the All-Star game in which three front-line starters will be picked for each team instead of a center and two forwards.

“We work just as hard as anyone else,” the Lakers’ center says. “I don’t think it’s fair to take away a position that has been here for life. You need a center on the court. That’s like taking away a guard.”

Howard’s complaint rings hollow. Centers can still be chosen. The rule change simply opens the door for, in any given year, the best three front-line performers in a conference to earn a starting role. There’s nothing wrong with that.

• That NAACP member who complained a while back about the Minnesota Timberwolves’ roster being “too white” is the worst kind of crackpot.

The Wolves have blacks, whites, Hispanics and Europeans. It’s as good an example of a melting pot of races and cultures as there is in the NBA.

And by the way — are we operating on a quota system here, are we trying to win games?

• For years, Mark McGwire has pretty much ducked the issue of his performance-enhancing drug use during his major-league career. Finally, the former slugger has come clean in an interview with Fox Sports.

When asked what he would tell young players today, McGwire replied, “Well yeah, don’t use (PEDs). Use your head.”

“It’s a mistake I have to live with for the rest of my life,” McGwire continued. “I have to deal with never, ever getting into the Hall of Fame, and I totally understand and respect (voters’) opinion and will never push it. That’s the way it’s going to end, and I can live with it.

“One of the hardest things I had to do this year was sit down and talk to my 9- and 10-year-old boys and tell them what Dad did. That was a really hard thing to do, but I did it. They understand as a 9- and 10-year-old could. And if any ballplayer came up and (asked about PEDs) ... (I would tell him) run away from it. It’s not good.”

• Interesting move by the Seattle Mariners to build a Latin American baseball academy in the Dominican Republic that will be completed near the end of 2013.

The Mariners will become the 10th major-league club to have their own facility in one of the international hotbeds of baseball talent. For the past 10 years, the M’s have rented a facility near where the new academy — which will cover 24 acres — is being built. There will be two full-sized fields with room to build a third field; a practice infield; an agility field; lighted, covered batting cages; a bullpen with six pitcher’s mounds; a dining hall; classrooms for English literacy instruction and dormitory space for up to 80 players, coaches and trainers.

With the kind of players from the Dominican Republic who show up on big-league rosters every year, seems like a wise investment to me.

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Twitter: @kerryeggers

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