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Fiesta Bowl 2013: Oregon and KSU meet in unexpected fashion

The Kansas State Wildcats and Oregon Ducks thought they might play one another this season, but after two changes of destiny, their game in the Fiesta Bowl comes in unexpected fashion.

Steve Dykes

Oregon and Kansas State thought they'd see one another across the field this season. But after two surprises, that didn't appear to be in the cards, according to Fox Sports Arizona's Jack MaGruder.

The story begins in 2010, when the Ducks and Wildcats were on the verge of playing a home-and-home series against one another. KSU head coach Bill Snyder said the scheduling didn't fit with their philosophy, and both schools agreed to cancel the matchup in August of 2010.

Then came each school's run this year. Oregon rolled to a perfect record heading into their second-to-last game, as did Kansas State. The Alabama Crimson Tide fell to Texas A&M, and that jumped the Wildcats atop the BCS standings, while Oregon moved up to No. 2. With destiny in their own hands and having two games left, winning out would lead to the teams matching up for a BCS National Championship.

That didn't happen. Stanford upset Oregon, and Baylor beat KSU on Nov. 17 -- so much for a meeting in the national championship game.

"We always have a 24-hour policy - it was a long 24 hours for some of us," Oregon redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota told Fox Sports Arizona.

"To have that loss, I think, not only helped us grow as a team but really kind of built this team up. We always understand that it's not one loss, it's a whole body of what you've done."

But as destiny would have it, the Fiesta Bowl picked the two offensive juggernauts to face off Thursday night.