Glendale, Ariz. (Sporting Alert) – Oregon (11-1, 8-1 Pac-12) and Kansas State (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) were two teams many had backed to be playing for the college football national crown next week.
Instead, the pair have setup an exciting Tostitos Fiesta Bowl date at University of Phoenix Stadium on Thursday.
Star quarterback Collin Klein season goal was to lead Kansas State to accolades this year.
Of course, the national championship game was the main target, and up until the shocking 52-24 hammering at Baylor on Nov. 17, the Wildcats were right on target to make it in.
However, things broke down for them and went very well for others, which means the seventh-ranked Wildcats will have to settle for playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
It’s not the national championships, but after winning the Big 12 title, Klein is ok with how the season has gone thus far.
“The goal all along was to lead this team to a conference championship and a BCS bowl game, and with the unity we showed throughout the season, we were able to accomplish that,” Klein was quoted as saying.
The Heisman Trophy third place finisher is also expecting a tough game against Oregon.
“Oregon is certainly going to be a tough matchup.”
Klein was outstanding this year for Kansas State, throwing for 2,490 yards and rushed for 890 yards in addition to tallying 37 touchdowns and his head coach Bill Snyder was full of praises for his senior quarterback.
“He’s awfully good at what he does and he’s awfully good as a leader and he’s awfully good as a field manager,” Snyder said.
“He’s awfully good in all the physical aspects of the game – and he’s a tremendous person.”
No. 5 Oregon Ducks, like Kansas State, were also undefeated on the season until Nov. 17 when they fell 17-14 to a determined Stanford team.
The defeat to the then-No. 16 ranked team, ended the team’s longest winning streak in program history at 13 games.
Playing in a college football bowl game of any kind is massive to most program, but the Ducks have set a particular high standard for their program.
“If you lose a game, you leave it up to chance,” Oregon coach Chip Kelly said. “The only thing you can do is not lose a game.
“Two years ago we did not lose a game, we got an opportunity to play in the (BCS title) game.
“This year we did and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Thursday’s bowl clash will see the Oregon Ducks facing the Kansas State Wildcats for the first time.
The Ducks will be entering its eighth successive bowl appearance and fourth consecutive in a BCS game. They defeated Wisconsin 45-38 to take the Rose Bowl last year after losing two games on the season.
Meanwhile, Oregon enters the game with a 2-2 record in its four BCS bowl appearances. The Ducks picked up a convincing 38-16 victory over Colorado in their only previous Fiesta Bowl.
College Football Bowl Game TV Schedule: Fiesta Bowl – Jan. 3
Event: Tostitos Fiesta – Oregon vs. Kansas State
Place: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Date: Thursday, January 3, 8:30 p.m.
TV Coverage: ESPN with Brad Nessler (pxp), Todd Blackledge (analyst) and Holly Rowe (reporter).
OTHER LIVE STREAM COVERAGE PROVIDED BY THE DUCKS
National Television: National Radio: ESPN Radio with Bill Rosinski (pxp), David Norrie (analyst) and Joe Schad (reporter). Local Radio: Oregon IMG with Jerry Allen (pxp) and Mike Jorgensen (analyst).
Satellite Radio: SiriusXM 84.