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2011 Bowl Games Schedule: Why Oklahoma State vs. Stanford Would Steal the Show

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 29:  Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Stanford Cardinal throws a pass against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 29, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 4, 2011

Whether we like it, it looks like the most likely BCS National Championship Game scenario will be LSU taking on Alabama. That means that regardless of whether they win the Big 12, the Oklahoma State Cowboys will probably have to settle for a different BCS bowl.

If we are to work off the assumption that the Cowboys will defeat Oklahoma in order to win the conference, then they will receive a bid to the Fiesta Bowl against an at-large team. While the at-large situation still has to be sorted out, it appears as though the No. 4 Stanford Cardinal are a lock to get one of the spots.

As much as a defensive battle can be entertaining in its own right, most casual football fans want to see a shootout. Provided Oklahoma State and Stanford meet up in the Fiesta Bowl, that is probably exactly what will happen as both teams feature extremely potent passing offenses.

Oklahoma State runs a fast-paced spread offense led by quarterback Brandon Weeden. Thanks to having more than 4,000 passing yards and 34 touchdowns against a Big 12 schedule, Weeden is likely a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate. He isn't the only weapon in the Cowboys offense, though, as wide receiver Justin Blackmon has been dominant with 15 touchdowns.

Stanford may not have as much offensive talent in total as Oklahoma State, but the Cardinal does have the best quarterback in the nation in Andrew Luck. Thanks to his body of work and full allotment of skills, Luck is considered by most to be the consensus No. 1 pick in the NFL draft whenever he should declare.

Statistically Stanford also has the nation's 23rd-ranked defense, but the Cardinal were exposed by the dynamic spread offenses of USC and Oregon. With that in mind, Oklahoma State likely has the personnel and style that could give Stanford problems.

With Luck trying to establish himself as the best player in college football and Oklahoma State trying to complete one of its best seasons in school history, both teams would likely be on top of their games, making this prospective Fiesta Bowl matchup a potential classic.

There is nothing quite like watching a great quarterback do what he does best, and that would be the case with Luck in this game. Not only would Luck have to have a big game out of necessity with Oklahoma State likely putting plenty of points of the board, but he could certainly move the ball on the Cowboys' suspect defense.

LSU versus Alabama will likely be a great BCS National Championship Game if it comes to fruition based upon the stage it would be played on. In terms of true entertainment value, however, I think that a game between Oklahoma State and Stanford would blow every other bowl out of the water.

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