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As the Stanford Cardinal get ready for the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, fans have plenty of opportunities to demonstrate just how confident they are in their team. As with any major sporting event, there are numerous odds people can bet on ranging from the point spread and over/under to which player will score the first touchdown. We don't have some of the quality prop bets like we get in the Super Bowl (length of National Anthem, color of gatorade shower on winning coach), but there are still some interesting options.
Stanford remains approximately a four point underdog to the Cowboys, with the line not really moving over the last month. There have been no shocking revelations that would change people's minds on either team. This game features two high profile teams so oddsmakers and the betting public all had an idea of what they liked about this game right off the bat.
The over/under for the game is at 74, which is one of the higher totals in the bowl season. The game features two high profile offenses that can put up points with the best of them. However, Stanford's defense can be a bit underrated at times. They have struggled due to injuries, but they are no push-over. Barring overtime, I actually think the under is a slightly more appealing bet. Of course, that means we'll see a huge shootout, but who knows.
The folks over at Scores and Odds provided some intriguing prop bets for the game. You can bet on the first player to score, with Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle and Justin Blackmon listed as 9-to-2 favorites. Coby Fleener and Stepfan Taylor are 6-to-1 and Andrew Luck is 15-to-1 (his passing TDs don't count for this). If I had to pick a sleeper, I'd go wtih Tyler Gaffney at 12-to-1.
You can also wager on Andrew Luck's passing yardage in a variety of increments. 291-300 yards and 301-310 yards sit as 11-to-2 favorites. In 12 games this season, Luck has cracked 291 yards four times. Oklahoma State can give up passing yardage with the best of them, so oddsmakers would seem to be looking at the Cardinal airing it out a bit more. If I had to pick a sleeper, I'd go with 261-270 passing yards at 10-to-1 odds.
For more on Stanford and what should be a highly entertaining football game, head over to Rule of Tree.
The Stanford Cardinal will be playing their second consecutive BCS bowl game in January when they head south to square off with the Oklahoma St. Cowboys in the Fiesta Bowl. While it is a great honor to play in such a prestigious game in front of a national audience, some of those -- particularly the seniors playing their final game -- wanted to play elsewhere than Arizona.
Due to the Pac-12, the Cardinal travel to Arizona every year. After the team played in Florida last season at the Orange Bowl, it was rumored that a few players were unhappy and wanted to play in Louisiana for the Sugar Bowl. The Sugar Bowl took Michigan over Stanford as their at-large team.
Despite the rumors, they are not true, according to a report from SFGate.com, which is affiliated with the San Francisco Chronicle.
An informal poll of 28 regulars by The Chronicle on Friday found that the Fiesta Bowl finished just ahead of "no preference" on their original wish list once they were out of the discussion for the BCS title game and the Rose Bowl.
The results: 10 1/2 votes for the Fiesta (a couple of players split their votes), 4 1/2 for the Orange, 4 for the Sugar and 9 for "no preference."
They were unanimous, though, that the Fiesta turned out to be the right bowl because of the matchup with No. 3 Oklahoma State and the fun the players have had this week.
This story appeared to be overblown and there is no doubt that the Cardinal are happy and ready to take on the Cowboys next week for the Fiesta Bowl. A high scoring shootout is expected, and if this past season was any indication, there will be plenty of fireworks out of Glendale.
For more on Stanford, head on over to Rule Of Tree to discuss the team with other Cardinal fans.
Andrew Luck has been considered the top pick in the NFL draft for many months now and he has continually been hounded by the media to find which team he hopes to be selected by. Throughout the entire process Luck has continued to say he has no preference come draft day, and he maintained that belief as he talked after practice for the Fiesta Bowl, as Tom Fitzgerald reports.
"My preferences haven't changed," the Stanford quarterback said at a Fiesta Bowl news conference. "Wherever I land, it will be great. I am not rooting for one team to win or lose or whatever."
All of his attention is focused on Monday's game against Oklahoma State, he said. "I'm not going to say I don't care about (the draft) because I do care about football. Wherever I end up, I'm sure it will be the best spot for me."
The Colts and Rams are the two teams battling for the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft. Should Indianapolis lose to the Jaguars on Sunday (or if the Rams win on Sunday), they'll claim the top pick. If the Colts win and the Rams lose, it'll be St. Louis who has the first crack at Andrew Luck. It is unclear at this point if the Rams would take Luck, but that is a different story for another time.
A reporter offered to bet him a dollar that he would be the top pick. "I can't do that," Luck said with a laugh. "NCAA student-athlete."
Regardless of which team lands Andrew Luck, they are sure to receive a heck of a football player and an even better human being.
The Stanford Cardinal will play the Oklahoma St. Cowboys on a neutral field January 2nd, and it figures to be a fairly close matchup on paper. It provides an interest contrast between two offenses that both have proven to be equally potent.
Oklahoma State has a really potent offense with the veteran Brandon Weeden as their signal-caller. The Cowboys rely on a short quick passing game that's intent to use team speed and athleticism to overwhelm their opponents. It could present a difficult task for Stanford to deal with, considering how much their defense struggled to keep up with Oregon.
Stanford should present more variety with a balanced attack, but they have been somewhat constrained in their ability to stretch the field without deep threat receivers to complement Andrew Luck. So Stanford is probably not quite as able to get things going against what looks like a strong Oklahoma State defense. It's why the Cowboys are probably 3 to 3.5 point favorites according to Oddsshark, although it's hardly a referendum on their chances in this game.
The Stanford Cardinal won't win the Pac-12 with Andrew Luck, and they won't be going to the national championship game. But they will play in what amounts to a third place contest in their second straight return to the BCS.
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated reports that the BCS matchups are set. The LSU Tigers will play the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Title game. That means Stanford (4th in the BCS last week, likely 4th in the BCS this week) will play the Oklahoma St. Cowboys (3rd in the BCS last week, 3rd in the BCS this week), who apparently didn't impress the voters enough to go to the BCS National Championship game.
It'll be a fascinating matchup between two teams with two very balanced offenses. Can Andrew Luck keep Stanford's offense rolling with all his best receivers likely to return to action, and use their balance to overwhelm Oklahoma State's defense? Will Oklahoma State's spread give Stanford's slower defenders troubles like Oregon did?
Should be a good night-time matchup on January 2nd in Tempe.
The Stanford Cardinal wrapped up their 2011 regular season a week ago and spent this weekend waiting to see what various conference championship games would bring to the BCS. Stanford entered the weekend ranked fourth in the BCS, which would set them up as automatic qualifiers even without having won the Pac-12. The various title games were not going to have a huge impact on them, but there were still some possibilities.
The most pressing example was if Virginia Tech could beat Clemson. The Hokies entered the weekend ranked No. 5 but were unable to defeat Clemson in the ACC title game. The loss ensured Stanford would remain in the top four, thus qualifying for a BCS bowl berth.
The general belief is that Stanford will end up in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl. If that is the case, they would likely matchup against the Big 12 champion. Although the Big 12 did not have an official title game this year, Saturday night's Oklahoma-Oklahoma State game acted as such since the winner won the conference and accompanying BCS berth. Oklahoma State handled their business with ruthless efficiency.
The big question for Oklahoma State is if it will be enough to move them ahead of Alabama. The odds are slim, but the Cowboys thrashing of the Sooners gave the voters something to think about. Their best bet for movement would be if the two human polls moved them up sufficiently to leapfrog Alabama. They will climb at least one spot in each with Virginia Tech's loss, but it remains to be seen if they will move past Stanford or Alabama. Of course, conspiracy theorists will call shenanigans if Oklahoma State does climb further up, but we will just have to wait and see.
If Oklahoma State did somehow move up to No. 2, the BCS selection procedure dictates Alabama would get Stanford's automatic bid. Stanford would be added to the at-large pool of candidates and would suddenly have to wait until Sunday evening to find out if they get a BCS berth. They would seem a likely candidate given the ratings Andrew Luck could bring, but there are no guarantees.
The BCS No. 4 Stanford Cardinal took a solid step towards solidifying a BCS bowl bid Saturday evening thanks to the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers defeated the BCS No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies with relative ease and assured Stanford that Tech would not climb past them in the BCS rankings. If Oklahoma State remains third in the BCS, a fourth place BCS ranking for Stanford automatically qualifies them for a BCS Bowl bid.
Had Virginia Tech won, there was still a chance they might move ahead of Stanford if the computer ratings fell the right way. Instead, both BCS No. 5 Virginia Tech and No. 6 Houston lost. While crazy things could still happen with the BCS computers, it is safe to say Stanford will remain fourth.
The big question mark now is if Oklahoma State will be able to do enough against Oklahoma to convince voters to move them ahead of Alabama. It is unlikely, but possible that Oklahoma State could climb past Alabama into the number two spot. If that happens, Stanford would lose their automatic qualifying status as Alabama would grab that at No. 3 (see the BCS selection procedures).
If Oklahoma State remains third, Stanford would be looking at a spot in the Fiesta Bowl facing Oklahoma State. The Fiesta Bowl usually takes the Big 12 champ and an at-large candidate. Given Stanford's west coast location, it would make sense to get them there. At the same time, Stanford went east to the Orange Bowl last year, so it remains to be seen where exactly they will end up. Even if they lose that automatic qualifying status, they should still end up with one of the at-large bids.
The Stanford Cardinal find themselves in a tough position following their season finale win over Notre Dame as they await their bowl fate. Barring a UCLA upset of Oregon in the Pac-12 Title game, Stanford will be the No. 2 team in the Pac-12 when it comes to the bowl selection process. In the worst case scenario that would mean a trip to San Antonio for the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Big 12 No. 3 team.
Naturally, the Cardinal have their sites set on a slightly bigger bowl. Although Stanford was eliminated from Rose Bowl contention, they remain a strong contender for the Fiesta Bowl. The Cardinal are currently sixth in the BCS rankings with a chance to rise to No. 5 with Arkansas' loss this week. If Virginia Tech or Oklahoma State lose next week, Stanford would climb up to No. 4 and likely become an automatic qualifier.
The difference between the Alamo Bowl and a BCS bowl is huge. Winning a BCS bowl can result in a payout of upwards of $18 million. Winning the Alamo Bowl pays somewhere around $2 million. Even with some chunk of those payouts going to the team's conference, that is a fairly drastic difference.
A week after possibly seeing their BCS bowl chances go down the tubes, the Stanford Cardinal find themselves back in the thick of BCS possibilities. Their national title hopes are just about finished (barring an insane miracle of losses), but they have an excellent shot of getting back to a BCS bowl for the second consecutive season.
When the Week 13 BCS rankings are released later today, Stanford could climb as high as No. 5, depending on how the computers shake out with all the big losses this weekend. Oregon remains ahead of Stanford in the Pac-12 North by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, if Oregon were to lose to Oregon State in next weekend's Civil War, Stanford would clinch the Pac-12 North and a chance to play for a shot at the Rose Bowl.
Given the unlikely nature of an Oregon loss, Stanford's best shot might be at a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, likely against a team like Oklahoma State. The Big 12 generally seems to go to the Fiesta Bowl when they are not in the national title game. Oklahoma State blew that chance for now with their upset loss to Iowa State. Given all the other losses, Oklahoma State still has a shot if Alabama loses to Auburn, but otherwise the Cowboys are looking at one of the other BCS bowls.
Stanford could still end up out of the BCS loop given the desire to get teams that draw well, but Andrew Luck could bring sufficient TV ratings cache to get into the Fiesta Bowl. The Cardinal still have to beat Notre Dame next week, but things are shaping up for another BCS appearance.
The end of the college football regular season is rapidly approaching, and teams have two more regular season contests to make their cases for bowl games. The Stanford Cardinal's BCS aspirations took a hit this past week in a 53-30 loss to the Oregon Ducks, but the team still has a chance to make a BCS bowl game. According to SB Nation's very own Bill Connelly and the latest edition of his 2011 bowl projections, the Cardinal will play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners.
Connelly's projections have the Stanford finishing the season with wins over the Cal Golden Bears and Notre Dame Fighting Irish en route to an 11-1 overall record. He gives Stanford the final BCS at-large bid, after the 11-1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the 10-2 Sooners.
Stanford's place in the Fiesta Bowl would make the Cardinal one of two Pac-12 teams to play in BCS bowl games, alongside Oregon. The Ducks are projected to finish as Pac-12 champions on their way to a Rose Bowl appearance.
For more information on the upcoming college football bowl season, check out the 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule.
The Stanford Cardinal saw their dream season trip and fall Saturday evening as they were whipped by the Oregon Ducks 53-30. The loss knocked Stanford out of consideration for the BCS National Championship Game and the Rose Bowl. That immediately had folks considering the Alamo Bowl or Holiday Bowl as the next destination for Stanford.
However, they are not entirely out of the picture for BCS consideration as an at-large team. Boise State's loss to TCU was a big help for that as it likely dropped them out of BCS consideration entirely. They still have a shot at an at-large spot but it's a fairly limited one.
To qualify as an at-large team, Stanford would need to finish in the Top 14 of the BCS and get nine wins. The Cardinal have nine wins and now await Sunday's BCS standings. Although nothing is guaranteed, given Oregon's status, it would be somewhat surprising to see Stanford fall out of the top ten. If they remain inside the top 14, their remaining games against California and Notre Dame should not drop them further (so long as they win).
Of course, bowls select at-large teams in part based on how well they travel. Stanford does not always travel as well as some teams, so that could work against them. It will be interesting to see what happens if they finish in the top ten of the BCS.
Head over to SB Nation to view the entire 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule.
Week ten of the 2011 college football season is in the books and we are getting a bit better idea of the structure for the BCS bowls that are at stake. Oklahoma State has moved into the number two position, but faces a tough remaining stretch including games on the road against Texas Tech and home against Oklahoma. If they can run the table they will head to New Orleans for the BCS national championship game, but that remains a tall order.
For the Stanford Cardinal, this coming weekend against Oregon could make or break their BCS dreams. The Cardinal continue to battle for a shot at the national title game, but they also have the Rose Bowl in their sights as a fall-back option. A win over Oregon locks up the Pac-12 North Division and home field advantage in the inaugural Pac-12 conference championship game.
More importantly for Stanford, a win over Oregon potentially vaults them ahead of Alabama into third in the country and keeps them in lock-step with the Oklahoma State Cowboys for that second spot in the national championship game in New Orleans. All Stanford can control is the games in front of them. As long as they can keep winning, good things can happen.
LSU has a tough schedule ahead of them as well, but is looking like one half of the national championship game. The Rose Bowl would likely take the winner of the inaugural Big Ten championship game for one half of the Rose Bowl. Penn State holds a solid two game lead in the Leaders Division, while Michigan State holds a slim lead with a huge game this weekend against Iowa.
As the NCAA football season counts down it's last few weeks of game action, the focus has shifted a bit to where all these top teams will be playing this bowl season that just so happens to coincide with the holidays. SB Nation's Bill Connelly took some time to come up with this 2011 bowl projections piece, Slating the Stanford Cardinal against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the National Championship Game on January 9, 2012.
To have this meeting go down, both teams would have to win out the rest of the way, meaning that Stanford would have to beat No. 8 Oregon Ducks in Palo Alto on November 12, and Alabama taking out LSU this upcoming weekend at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Stanford would continue on to take the Pac-12 title, while Alabama would be SEC Champions, setting up a hard hitting game of smash mouth football.
Here's Connelly's take on how the National Championship Game would go down:
And for what it is worth, Alabama is currently so far ahead of everybody else that they are given a 93-percent chance of beating Stanford. Ouch. Go ahead and begin mentally preparing yourself for that 28-13 bearhug.
Hopefully it'll be a bit better of a game than that.
For more on Stanford Football, head over to Rule of Tree to get your fix.
The Stanford Cardinal have climbed up to the No. 4 position in the week ten BCS rankings and they cannot help but salivate at the possibilities in front of them when it comes to possible January bowl plans. If the season ended today, Stanford would project into the Rose Bowl where they would face the winner of the Big Ten. Right now that would be one of Penn State, Michigan and Nebraska.
The more enticing option for Stanford is a shot at the BCS National Championship Game on January 9 in New Orleans. The Cardinal currently sit fourth in the BCS, which means they have to leap two more teams to get that coveted number two spot in the rankings. LSU is first, Alabama is second and Oklahoma State is third. The Tigers and Crimson Tide square off next Saturday in Tuscaloosa, in a game that will solidify the chances of one of the two SEC teams. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State will host Kansas State looking to continue the best run in Cowboys history.
All of this could be for naught if Stanford does not handle their business in the coming weeks. Most notably they face the Oregon Ducks in two weeks, but they have plenty of other matchups to deal with along the way. If Stanford were to lose to Oregon, they would still have a shot at the Rose Bowl if the committee wants to maintain the traditional Pac-12-Big Ten matchup.
Head over to SBNation.com to view the 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule.
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