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All selections, analysis and thoughts will be posted on the Bowl Express Thread
SPOOKY EXPRESS BOWLING FOR DOLLARS SELECTION AND ANALYSIS THREAD Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma State vs. Stanford
Monday, January 2, 8:30 pm
Just so we’re clear on where I stand: Oklahoma State got screwed. The Cowboys, the champions of the Big 12, were left out of the BCS National Championship Game as voters elected to go with a rematch between LSU-Alabama in the title clash. Oklahoma State was passed over despite the fact that Alabama didn’t win its own division in the SEC, much less a conference title, and the fact that Oklahoma State has performed better against a more difficult schedule this season. Instead, No. 3 Oklahoma State will take on No. 4 Stanford in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.
How Oklahoma State approaches this game mentally will be a key to this game. If the Cowboys are still focusing on how they were shafted for a chance at a BCS Championship then Stanford could have its way with them. But if the Cowboys are focused and angry, looking to show the college football world that they truly are the best team in the country, then we could see an inspired effort from the Cowboys. The last time out the Cowboys played their best game of the season, dominating hated rival and former No. 1 Oklahoma, 44-10, in the Bedlam Game. There is also a chance that the Cowboys could have a letdown after winning that game in such an overwhelming fashion.
Stanford is no pushover and played this entire season as a true BCS title contender. They finished the regular season 11-1 with their lone loss coming against Oregon. Ironically, that loss kept the Cardinal out of the Pac-12 Championship Game. And the fact that they didn’t win their division or conference championship may be the only thing that has kept them out of the BCS Championship Game. Oklahoma State’s lone loss this season came in overtime at Iowa State. That loss occurred in a Friday night game at Ames on the same day that two Oklahoma basketball coaches were killed in a plane crash.
This game features several Heisman Trophy candidates and several players that will be first round picks in this April’s NFL Draft. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is all but assured to be the No. 1 overall pick in this year’s draft while Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon should definitely be a Top 10 pick. Not surprisingly, this game features two of the most dynamic offenses in college football. A key component in this game will be turnovers. Oklahoma State has forced 42 turnovers this season – the most in college football – and that is a huge part of their game plan. But Stanford has only turned it over 15 times on the season, which is the eight-lowest total in the sport.
I know that it is very square to call for a high scoring game, but I think that’s exactly what we’ll see. Stanford is going to get its points because Luck is just that good and I don’t see any way that the Cardinal defense is going to handle the speed of the Oklahoma State attack. Sure, part of the game plan for Stanford could be slow the tempo down and try to control the ball and the time of possession. But OSU scores fast. And if the Cowboys get a lead that could force Stanford’s plan out the window. But I have Stanford winning this game by 2 touchdowns and the numbers dont lie so lets jump all over this money line dog and take Stanford to the bank.