Cowboys, Cardinal in Fiesta Bowl
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. (AP) - The Fiesta Bowl will have a marquee matchup in its first post-scandal game: No. 3 Oklahoma State vs. No. 4 Stanford.
The Fiesta Bowl had a dud of a game last year and nearly lost its BCS status after an investigation into financial improprieties.
Bowl organizers worked hard to restore its image and landed a golden game of the Cardinal and the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State (11-1) fell just short in its national championship bid, finishing third in the final BCS standings.
Stanford (11-1) lost its chance to play for the national title with a loss to Oregon, but will be playing in a BCS bowl for the second straight season.
Last season, the Fiesta Bowl was left with a so-so matchup between Oklahoma and Connecticut.
The concern heading in was that it would be a blowout and that UConn, being so far away, wouldn’t travel very well.
Oklahoma won in a rollover, 48-20, and Huskies fans didn’t travel, the school selling just 5,000 of its required 17,500 tickets. The University of Phoenix Stadium was about 6,000 below capacity and fans weren’t too excited to watch it on TV, either, with ratings down 22 percent from the year before.
The 2012 game had the potential to be best BCS bowl outside the national championship game.
It was all going to depend on the poll voters and the complicated BCS rankings.
If projections held up and LSU met Alabama in a rematch between SEC powers, the Fiesta figured to get its dream matchup of Oklahoma State and Stanford. Had Oklahoma State vaulted over the Crimson Tide to No. 2 in the BCS, well, the Fiesta Bowl would be left to scramble for someone to face Stanford.
The Fiesta got its fiesta, though Oklahoma State isn’t too thrilled about it.
It’s not for any disdain for the Fiesta. It’s just that the Cowboys believed they deserved a shot at the national championship game.