The prolific offenses of No. 3 Oklahoma State (11-1) and No. 4 Stanford (11-1) will fill the new year's air with footballs in the 41st Annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on Monday, January 2, 2012 at University of Phoenix Stadium.
Led by two Heisman Trophy-worthy quarterbacks - Stanford's Andrew Luck and OSU's Brandon Weeden - the Cowboys and Cardinal rank second and 11th in the nation, respectively, in total offense, combining for a staggering 1037.9 total yards per game. They also combine to score nearly 100 points each outing - 92.9 per game to be exact.
Besides offense, the pairing also packs the highest-ranked teams to clash in a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl since 2003 when No. 1 Miami and No. 2 Ohio State decided the national championship.
Oklahoma State makes its first appearance in a BCS game; Stanford makes its third after defeating Virginia Tech 40-12 in last year's Orange Bowl and dropping a 17-9 decision to Wisconsin in the 2000 Rose Bowl.
Stanford never has played in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Oklahoma State makes its second Tostitos Fiesta Bowl appearance. The Cowboys beat BYU 16-6 in the 1974 game.
The 20112 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be the first gridiron meeting between Stanford and Oklahoma State and the Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com project the Cowboys as 9.42-point winners.
First-year head coach David Shaw was named Pac-12 Conference Coach of the Year after leading the Cardinal to a near-perfect season and keeping his team in the Top 10 for the entire season for the first time in school history. In fact, Stanford has been ranked in the Top 10 of the Associated Press poll for 21 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch in school annals.
Riding back-to-back 10-win seasons is another Stanford first.
Prior to its 28-14 victory over Notre Dame to conclude its regular season, Stanford tallied 30 or more points in 14 consecutive games dating to last season and 40 or more in nine of the 14 outings.
Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Cowboys are riding high after clinching their first outright conference championship at the expense of arch rival Oklahoma, a 44-10 victory on December 3 that also snapped OSU's eight-game losing streak against the Sooners.
The Cowboys rode a Top 10 ranking all season for the first time and produced 11 wins for the first time during the regular season.
OSU scored at least 50 points six times, including four times against Big 12 foes (Baylor, Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech). It's no wonder it also set single-game and single-season home attendance records, hosting six of the 10 largest crowds in school history.
Oklahoma State has won 10 games for the fifth time and in two consecutive seasons for the second time. The first occurred when head coach Mike Gundy was the Cowboys' quarterback (1987-88).
OSU's seniors have been part of 40 victories.