By Jason Fleck
The Tostitos Fiesta bowl will place two teams whose BCS title hopes came to a crumbling end on the same weekend. With two games to play in the college season Kansas State was ranked No.1 and Oregon No. 2 and these two teams were looking to meet up with the National Title on the line. That all came to a fatal end when K-State Wildcats went into Waco and were given a trouncing at the hands of the Bears. Shortly after the Wildcats shocking loss, Oregon suffered their own heart-wrenching loss to Stanford in overtime. Now both teams, who came within one loss of playing for the National Championship in Miami, will instead meet up on Jan. 3rd in Glendale, Arizona. Now No.4 Oregon and No.5 Kansas State will compete in their own version of the national title game.
This will be an intriguing matchup since both teams feature senior, Heisman-hopeful leaders competing in their final collegiate games. Kenjon Barner, senior running back for Oregon, is the 5th leading rusher in the nation with 1,624 yards rushing with 21 rushing touchdowns. He also accounted for an astounding 16.5 points per game, which accounts for about 33% of his teams scoring. Collin Klein, senior quarterback for Kansas State, has 2,300 yards passing with 14 passing touchdowns while also rushing for just under 800 yards and 20 rushing touchdowns. He accounts for 10.9 points per game. That is about 27% of his teams scoring in a game. Both of these players have put up huge numbers and performances this season and will be looking to cap their senior seasons off with a Fiesta Bowl championship, look for them both to play a huge role in the outcome of this game.
This game will be decided by which team’s defense can come up with the biggest stops, since both teams carry high-powered offenses. Kansas State has the scary task of keeping both Barner and QB Mariota in check, while Oregon will look to keep Klein from taking over the game. Daunting tasks for both teams, this game could turn into an offensive shootout and quite possibly an instant classic.