Oklahoma State and Stanford are set to battle in the Fiesta Bowl. This is certainly not the BCS game Oklahoma State was hoping for, but it is a decent consolation prize.
This matchup promises to be one of the most exciting of the bowl season. It's a battle of two one-loss teams with two of the best quarterbacks in the country.
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Arizona
When: Monday, January 2nd at 8:30 p.m. EST
Betting Line: Not yet available
Who will win this game?
Key Storyline: Can Luck go out a winner?
Andrew Luck came back to school for his senior season for a multitude of reason. One of which was he wanted a chance to win a national title. He won't accomplish that, but he can come tantalizingly close.
A win in this game and the Cardinal will likely end up No. 2 in the country. It would be a fitting ending for one of the most celebrated QBs in college football history.
What They're Saying
This game is the cream of the crop when it comes to quarterback matchups. Newsok.com expands on this.
The Cardinal, 11-1, are led by Luck, who may be the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and a quarterback considered by most analysts as the clear favorite to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft in April.
Luck has thrown for 3,170 yards and 35 touchdowns, with nine interceptions.
Weeden, also in the Heisman conversation, has thrown for 4,328 yards and 34 touchdowns, with 12 interceptions for the 11-1 Big 12 champion Cowboys.
For two players projected to be pros, the Fiesta Bowl will provide a side-by-side comparison in what figures to be a storyline leading up to and through the game.
Key Matchup: Oklahoma State's Front Seven vs. Stanford's Rushing Attack
While the QBs will rightfully be getting all the headlines in this matchup, Stanford will bring a very strong running game. This is a balanced offense. They are 26th in passing yards and 22nd in rushing yards.
Oklahoma State has to keep this running game in check. Otherwise, Andrew Luck will have an easy time carving up their defense when he does pass, and Stanford will be able to keep the Cowboys' potent offense off of the field.
Should the Cowboys be in the title game?
On the Hotseat: The BCS
Envision this scenario: Oklahoma State comes out and absolutely rolls Stanford with a dominant performance on offense and defense. The final score ends up something like 42-17.
Then, a week later, LSU beats Alabama 9-6 again. Or they blow them out.
Fans are going to slam the BCS system from here until there is a playoff. Oklahoma State would have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that they deserved a shot at the title. And Alabama and LSU will play a game that we already saw this season.
Prediction: Oklahoma State 42, Stanford 28
The Cowboys proved in their last game that they are capable of playing a little defense. They won't be able to shut down Stanford, but they will be able to slow them down enough that their dynamic offense can take over.