Early reaction to the BCS Bowl Games on this year's schedule has generated a lot of buzz about the 2012 Fiesta Bowl which features the first-ever meeting between the Oklahoma St. Cowboys and the Stanford Cardinal. The consensus seems to be that this will be a great college football game featuring two powerful offenses. The Vegas odds have been released and shows how close they think the game will be.
Oklahoma State is a 3.5-point favorite over the Stanford Cardinal in the opening line. A game total has not yet been posted for those over/under bettors but we'd be surprised if that came in below 70.
Both of these team's feature high-powered offenses, although the Cowboys at 49.3 points per game are even higher than the Oregon Ducks (46.2 ppg) and only slightly behind the Houston Cougars (50.8 ppg). The Cardinal are no slouch either with Andrew Luck at the helm. They average 43.6 points per game which is good for fifth in the nation among all FBS college football teams.
The defenses show a bit more separation with the Cardinal allowing 20.3 points per game which is good for 23rd in the nation. The Cowboys are known for high-scoring games and as such they allow 25.8 points per game which ranks them 60th.
Both of these teams are fantastic. Both have Heisman caliber quarterbacks and both only have one loss on their record. The Cardinal loss came to the Rose Bowl bound Oregon Ducks while the Cowboys dropped a game to unranked Iowa State in an emotional game played immediately following the tragic plane crash that took like lives of the Oklahoma State women's basketball coach and assistant coach.
Oklahoma State is considered to have the tougher schedule which is why they finished the season ranked third while Stanford is fourth. The winner of the Fiesta Bowl will likely be considered the third-best team in the nation for the 2011 college football season.
The quick stats favor the Cardinal but it would seem the line set by Vegas is more in recognition of bettor trends and popularity. A vast majority of the country would instinctively favor an Oklahoma football team over Stanford which probably explains this early line. We'll see how much it moves in the weeks and days leading up to the 2012 Fiesta Bowl on January 2.
Betting aside, we are excited Arizona is hosting this game and are glad we get the opportunity to cover it.