The latest results of the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll asked the question if college football fans would rather receive gifts this Holiday season as per usual, or if they would forego receiving presents in order to watch their favorite team win the BCS Championship. In a very close vote, 46 percent of fans opted for presents, while 42 percent said they would trade in all of their Holiday gifts in order to witness their favorite team hoist the crystal ball trophy after winning the BCS Championship. But while only the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Alabama Crimson Tide can play for the BCS Championship, that does not mean that we should ignore other exciting bowl games this season, including the Fiesta Bowl matchup between the Oregon Ducks and Kansas State Wildcats.
While I told you all not to count out Alabama after its loss to the Texas A&M Aggies and Johnny Heisman, as well as Notre Dame and its struggling offense, many people felt as if the matchup between Oregon and Kansas State would take place in the BCS Championship Game. They were the top two teams in the country for a while, only to both duffer their only defeats within hours of each other on a Saturday night that forced them both into the Fiesta Bowl instead.
Much like last season, the Fiesta Bowl got the best matchup outside of the BCS Championship Game. The Ducks and Wildcats feature a number of outstanding offensive players, led by Ducks running back Kenjon Barner and Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein. The Ducks are an offensive juggernaut, ranking second in the nation in scoring offense, as they average over 50 points per game. That is helped by the fact that they also rank second in the country with over 323 rushing yards per game with Barner and DeAnthony Thomas. This team can flat out score.
But the Wildcats are no slouch either, led by Klein, who runs an offense who scores over 40 points per game. They do not run or throw or as many yards per game as Oregon, but that does not prevent them from getting into more than their fair share of shoot outs. But what may surprise people about both teams is their ability to play defense. Sure, they have no problem getting into an offensive explosion with the best teams in the country, but both teams allow less than 22 points per game defensively. Kansas State ranks 24th in scoring defense, while Oregon checks in at 26th.
Before we take a further look into this game, take a look at the latest results from the Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. College football fans across the country were not only asked whether they would rather receive gifts this Holiday season or watch their favorite team win this year’s BCS Championship, but they were also asked which team had the best chance to win the national championship, as well as which ones were truly the best in the country. After checking out the following infograph with the complete results, make sure to let us know how you feel. Who is the best team in 2012? Who will win this year’s BCS Championship Game? Would you trade in all of your gifts for the chance to watch your favorite team hoist the crystal ball trophy after winning the BCS Championship Game?
As I mentioned earlier, both of these teams dropped just one game in 2012. The Ducks dropped a tough overtime loss to the Stanford Cardinal, who wound up getting the Pac 12 Championship nod, while the Wildcats were blown out against the Baylor Bears. Aside from those two games, these two teams were nearly unstoppable.
Oregon holds six wins over other bowl teams from this season, while Kansas State holds seven. The Ducks defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs, Arizona State Sun Devils, Arizona Wildcats, Washington Huskies, USC Trojans and Oregon State Beavers. The Wildcats knocked off the Oklahoma Sooners, Iowa State Cyclones, West Virginia Mountaineers, Texas Tech Red Raiders, Oklahoma State Cowboys, TCU Horned Frogs and Texas Longhorns.
But it is not just that Oregon and Kansas State defeated these teams, it is how they defeated them. Especially when it comes to the Ducks.
Oregon shut out Arizona 49-0. They hung 62 on USC. Aside from their loss to the Cardinal, the Ducks never failed to score less than 42 points in a single game in 2012.
That is not to say that Kansas State was not as impressive in its victories this season. They dropped 55 points in consecutive weeks against West Virginia and Texas Tech. They may have had a few more games with lower scoring totals, but that was also in part because their defense limited teams such as Oklahoma to 19 points and held TCU to just 10 points.
As of today, Oregon is a 9.5 point favorite, with an Over/Under set at a whopping 76 point total. It is one of the highest ones of the upcoming bowl season. While it is awfully difficult to bet against either team, the Ducks clearly have more weapons.
Stay tuned to The Pigskin Report for the most complete coverage of the entire 2012-2013 college football season, as well as the results from each week’s Discover Fan Loyalty Poll. Make sure to Like Discover on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, as they have done a fantastic job at providing us with the most entertaining results from and poll throughout the 2012 college football season!
* The 15-week Discover Fan Loyalty Poll is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, a nationally recognized leader in polling, who gathers sentiment by phone from 800 college football fans who follow games at least once per week on television, radio, in person or online.
Discover launched the Fan Loyalty Poll to give die-hard fans a platform to showcase their dedication and love for their favorite college football team leading up to the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl. Each week the poll will offer new questions about what college football fans are thinking this season.
Beyond title sponsorship of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game and 2013 Discover Orange Bowl, Discover’s commitment to college football includes relationships with ESPN and Notre Dame Football on NBC.