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Fiesta Bowl Betting: Stanford, Oklahoma State Clash In Attractive Fiesta Bowl

Posted by Blake Frazier on 12/7/2011 5:17:07 PM
fiesta bowl betting

The Stanford Cardinal and the Oklahoma State Cowboys both went 11-1 in the 2011 college football season. The winner of this game could easily finish No. 2 in the national rankings.

Stanford Cardinal vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys - Monday, January 2, 2012
Sports betting line: Oklahoma State -3.5

Why Stanford Will Win

When you do your homework and assess your sports bet on this game, you have to realize that this is likely to be the final collegiate game for heralded quarterback and Heisman Trophy finalist Andrew Luck, the man who is so substantially responsible for turning Stanford from a Pac-12 also-ran into a BCS bowl team over each of the past two seasons. It’s true that Stanford’s former head coach, Jim Harbaugh, was the architect of this resurgence in Palo Alto, California; its also true that it was Harbaugh who instilled toughness into the Cardinal program at every position. However, without landing Luck, Harbaugh would not have won the 2011 Orange Bowl. He also would not have become the coach of the San Francisco 49ers. He also wouldn’t have set the table for first-year head coach David Shaw to win 11 games and punch a ticket to the Fiesta Bowl.

Luck is indeed the centerpiece of everything Stanford is, and everything Stanford does. Luck can be overwhelmed by speed and power from an opposing defense, as was the case in his team’s 53-30 loss at home to Oregon on Nov. 12. However, Oklahoma State’s defense is not a particularly strong or robust defense. The Cowboys got lit up by Kansas State earlier this season, struggled for two and a half quarters against Texas A&M, allowed over 30 points to Tulsa, and blew a 24-7 lead against Iowa State. Luck will be able to call running plays, bring OSU’s linebackers into the tackle box, and then throw over the top of the Cowboys’ defense on play action passes. Stanford is in good position to score 30 points, control the ball, and keep Oklahoma State’s defense off the field.

Why Oklahoma State Will Win

The college football betting  experts who are looking at this game are aware of how good Luck is, but they have to be convinced that Oklahoma State has fielded its most complete team in recent memory. The Pokes finally won their first Big 12 championship this season, breaking the stranglehold that Oklahoma and Texas held on college football in the South Central Plains. Oklahoma State has been regularly outflanked and outfoxed by Oklahoma in the rivalry known as the “Bedlam Series,” but this year, the Pokes finally threw down the hammer in a convincing 44-10 masterclass that chased away so many demons for head coach Mike Gundy.

Oklahoma State has certainly benefited this season from the fact that its quarterback, Brandon Weeden, is 28 years old, much like Florida State in 2000 with Heisman Trophy-winning 28-year-old signal caller Chris Weinke. Weeden’s maturity has been a galvanizing element on a team that has become more than just an entertaining offense. OSU’s defense isn’t brilliant, but the Cowboys have a positive turnover differential greater than 20, a central reason for their success this year. Oklahoma State scored multiple defensive touchdowns in the rout of Oklahoma, a sign that this team – whose defense was far worse in 2010 – has done a lot of growing this season. If OSU’s blend of top-notch offense and ballhawking emerges against Stanford, the Pokes should manage to win.

Who Will Win

This game pits Stanford, a team with a great quarterback and a rugged style of play, against an Oklahoma State squad that possesses more quickness on the edges and big-play receivers such as NFL prospect Justin Blackmon. Stanford could play a more tactically precise game on Jan. 2 and still lose because Oklahoma State has the better athletes at most positions. The enduring truth about football is that while quarterbacks can cover up a multitude of deficiencies, they can’t win big-boy games such as the 2012 Fiesta Bowl if they don’t have enough help from their teammates. Stanford has the best NFL draft pick on the field, but Oklahoma State has the best team. Take the Cowboys when all is said and done in Glendale, Arizona.

College Football Betting Pick: Oklahoma State

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