The Norman Transcript

National Sports

January 3, 2013

Fiesta a reminder of what could have been

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Kansas State and Oregon were in perfect position at the start of Nov. 17, Nos. 1 and 2 in the BCS standings, seemingly on a crash course toward the national championship game.

By day’s end, the Wildcats had been run over by Baylor, the Ducks lost a heartbreaker to Stanford and both of their national title hopes were all but gone.

Disappointing? Certainly. Every team goes into the season hoping to play for a national championship and to have it snatched away so late in the season is unquestionably a letdown.

Unlike many teams in college football, Kansas State and Oregon ended up with a nice consolation prize: A trip to the Valley of the Sun to face each in the Fiesta Bowl.

“This game could have been for the national championship,” Oregon linebacker Boseko Lokombo said. “A couple weeks ago, that’s where we were both headed.”

They’re headed to the desert instead, setting up one of the most anticipated games this bowl season.

A year ago, the Fiesta Bowl hit it big with Oklahoma State and Stanford, two high-profile programs that didn’t disappoint, putting on an offensive show won by the Cowboys 41-38 in overtime.

This year’s game, tonight at University of Phoenix Stadium, has the potential to be even better.

Oregon (11-1) is in its fourth straight BCS bowl game under coach Chip Kelly, following a trip to the 2011 BCS championship game and two Rose Bowls, including the program’s first win in the Granddaddy of Them All in 95 years last season.

The Ducks fly fast, overwhelming opponents with where-did-they-all-come-from speed, their touchdown drives measured not in minutes but seconds.

Oregon has one of the nation’s most explosive running back tandems in Kenjon Barner and DeAnthony Thomas, threats to score on every touch, and redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota played well beyond his years while proving to be a dynamic force in his own right.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Bucks owner Herb Kohl reaches deal to sell team

    MILWAUKEE — Bucks owner Herb Kohl has reached a deal to sell the franchise to New York investment firm executives Marc Lasry and Wesley Edens for about $550 million....

    April 17, 2014

  • Hopes high for Negro League stadium comeback

    PATERSON, N.J. — The light touch of a paint roller is enough to dislodge a chunk of plaster from the crumbling walls of Hinchliffe Stadium. Though silent for decades, the former home of several Negro League teams is getting another chance ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Ryu takes early lead in LPGA LOTTE

    KAPOLEI, Hawaii — So Yeon Ryu shot a 4-under 68 on Wednesday to take the lead halfway through a windy first round of the LPGA LOTTE Championship. Japan’s Ayako Uehara was one stroke back....

    April 17, 2014

  • Captain Tom teeing it up at RBC Heritage

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — Tom Watson wants to take a closer look at American prospects for the Ryder Cup, so the U.S. captain is playing in the RBC Heritage this week....

    April 17, 2014

  • Rangers rally past Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Leonys Martin had a game-winning RBI single in the ninth inning as the Texas Rangers scored two unearned runs in a two-out rally against Fernando Rodney, beating the Seattle Mariners 3-2 on Wednesday night in a game that ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Joe Kelly hurt as Brewers top Cards

    MILWAUKEE — The St. Louis Cardinals’ 5-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday may prove more costly than one defeat in the NL Central standings....

    April 17, 2014

  • Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again

    MILWAUKEE — Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioner calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks....

    April 16, 2014

  • Fielder finally goes deep as Rangers shut out Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Warriors trying to move on without Bogut

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Go small or go home....

    April 16, 2014