Fiesta Bowl 2012: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players on Both Teams

Johnathan CaceCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2012

Fiesta Bowl 2012: The Most Overrated and Underrated Players on Both Teams

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    The Fiesta Bowl will feature two great teams in Oklahoma State and Stanford, but they will also feature some great players. Yet while some big names get all of the media attention, there are still a couple players on both teams continue to impress under the radar.

    Maybe a big game on one of the biggest stages in football will begin to change people’s perceptions of these players.

    Here are the most overrated and underrated players for the Cowboys and Cardinal.

Overrated: Brandon Weeden

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    Weeden has lit up the stat sheet this year, amassing 4,300 yards and 34 touchdowns. But doing that against Big 12 defenses isn’t exactly something to hang your hat on.

    The most telling statistics about the quarterback is his play against the best defenses he’s faced like Texas, Oklahoma and the Cowboy’s lone loss to Iowa State. His passing efficiency never went above 117 against the Longhorns and Sooners and he threw three interceptions against the Cyclones.

    And at 28 years old, he probably won’t get a shot in the NFL. Weeden will be remembered for leading Oklahoma State to a record breaking season but he isn’t as good as many people think he is.

Underrated: Joseph Randle

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    It’s no secret that Oklahoma State is a passing offense but the school has produced some great tailbacks in the past and Randle is next in line. He is averaging six yards per carry and has just under 1,200 yards on the season.

    For comparison, Kendall Hunter had just under 1,600 yards but had a lot more time to learn on the job. But Randle is already a better pass catcher than Hunter with 238 yards on the season.

    With Weeden and likely Blackmon gone after this season, he will be heavily relied upon to carry the team to victory in 2012. When the Cowboys continue to impress next season, it will be because of Randle.

Overrated: Andrew Luck

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    For the ridiculous amount of hype Luck has gotten this year, he hasn’t exactly lived up to it on the field. He has thrown for just under 3,200 yards, which isn’t terribly impressive nowadays, but the real problem is interceptions.

    He has thrown at least one interception in each of the last five games, including nine on the year. His combination of measurables, football IQ and NFL readiness are unparalleled, but he had a far better campaign last year than he did in 2011.

Underrated: Chase Thomas

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    Most people don’t even know who this linebacker is, but he is one of the premier pass rushing backers in all of college football. Among linebackers, he ranks in the top seven nationally in sacks and tackles for a loss and leads the team in both of those categories.

    One of the biggest problems Stanford faced this year was the loss of fellow linebacker Shayne Skov. If the Cardinal didn’t get that kind of production out of Thomas this year, the defense would have given up a lot more points than it has.