Fiesta Bowl 2013: Predicting Which Teams Will End Up in Marquee BCS Bowl

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistNovember 30, 2012

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 17:  John Hubert #33 of the Kansas State Wildcats runs the ball against the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Fiesta Bowl is going to feature the Big 12 champion taking on the top at-large team available in the BCS rankings. That much is clear. What isn't clear with one week of action left is what teams are going to fill those voids.

As it stands now, Kansas State and Oklahoma both have a chance to win the Big 12 title. The conference doesn't have a championship game, meaning it comes down the final standings. It adds plenty of motivation to this weekend's games.

Let's break down which teams will end up in the Fiesta Bowl after the dust settles on Saturday.


Big 12 Champion: Kansas State Wildcats

Kansas State finds itself in a difficult position. The Wildcats were dreaming about a trip to the national title game, but a loss to Baylor a couple weeks ago ended those hopes. Now they must recover in order to lock down a BCS spot.

They're going up against a Texas squad that lost to TCU on Thanksgiving. It was an uninspired effort from the Longhorns and the Wildcats will be hoping that carries over to Saturday. But they better be prepared for Texas' best effort.

On the other side, Oklahoma finishes against the Horned Frogs. It's a game the Sooners should win. But, as the Longhorns found out, it's far from a guarantee. Landry Jones must make good decisions against an opportunistic secondary.

Since the Sooners play first, they have an opportunity to post their win and put a lot of pressure on the Wildcats. That could have a major impact on the game, considering Kansas State's confidence is already shaken after losing to Baylor.

Ultimately, Collin Klein should be able to make enough plays against Texas' disappointing defense, which is giving up more than 28 points per game, to clinch the conference title for the Wildcats.


BCS At-Large Bid: Oregon Ducks

It's been a crazy college football season. It seemed like whenever things in the BCS would settle down, a fresh batch of upsets would shake the rankings up again. So while it's tough to take anything for granted, Oregon certainly seems destined for the Fiesta Bowl.

Although it's a nice way to finish the season, Oregon was a lot like Kansas State. The Ducks were 10-0 and had their sights set squarely on a chance to play for all the marbles. That was before Stanford went to Eugene and handed them their first loss.

The Ducks, and their high-flying offense, will be the most intriguing option available to the Fiesta Bowl. They average more than 50 points per game, and matching them up with Kansas State should lead to a shootout of epic proportions.

That's key. After all, it's all about putting on the best possible show so casual fans will tune in to watch the game. Knowing there's a chance 100 points might get scored should get people very excited for the game.

If that does turn out to be the matchup, the slight edge goes to Oregon after seeing what Baylor was able to do to Kansas State. But it would be a terrific BCS bowl either way.