For nearly two weeks, both Kansas State and Oregon sat No. 1 and No. 2 in the BCS standings. Now, those dreams are over, and it's time to see who's done pouting and who's going to step up to the challenge.
The challenge, of course, being the 2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
1. Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas
Kenjon Barner had to wait two seasons to get out of the shadow of former Oregon running back LaMichael James.
Now, in 2012, it's officially Barner's turn. The senior ran for 1,624 yards and 21 touchdowns. He only has 248 carries, though, far less than many of the other leading rushers in the nation.
Why? De'Anthony Thomas. This kid can absolutely fly. The sophomore is blessed with Olympic-like speed and insane quickness.
Thomas has racked up 15 total touchdowns out of the backup role, and will surely be 'the guy' next season in Eugene. Look out for huge, explosive plays from these two all night.
2. Collin Klein
Klein has NFL size (6'5'', 225 pounds), but isn't your prototypical pro quarterback. That's great for viewers, because he's still in college, and will play in a Fiesta Bowl for the ages.
Collin Klein was everybody's Heisman favorite until his Kansas State team lost on Nov. 17 to Baylor. This ended any hopes of Klein's Heisman, and a Wildcats' title. Still, the senior standout amassed 3,380 total yards and 37 total touchdowns.
Klein is a bonafide stud, and unquestioned leader of the Wildcats' offense and locker room. Keep your eye on No. 7 for KSU on Thursday.
3. The Matchup
As most BCS games should be, the 2012 Fiesta Bowl is a fantastic matchup.
Oregon averages a shade under 51 points per game, and KSU averages nearly 41. Without a doubt, this has the looks to be a ridiculous shootout.
But the thing is, both defenses are better than you think. In scoring defense, the Wildcats are 24th, and the Ducks are 26th.
For about two weeks, this was the National Championship matchup. But on the same night, both teams lost. Now, Oregon and Kansas State will compete for their own championship game.
4. Chip Kelly's Last Game at Oregon
Oregon coach Chip Kelly (above), is pointing. Not to his team, or an official, or anything else, but to the NFL.
Kelly has brought the Ducks to four BCS games in his four seasons, including a loss to Auburn in the 2010 national title.
Like most recent years, NFL teams with head coach openings are looking at Kelly. But now, Chip is listening.
He already has interviews lined up with the Bills, Browns, and Eagles.
Chip Kelly is one of the NCAA's most creative and successful offensive innovators. Everyone knows he wants to bring this flashy scheme to the pros. My bet is, he will.
5. Bill Snyder & Prediction
Bill Snyder is the greatest college football coach that you don't know about. He's under contract through 2013, but this could be his last hurrah.
Snyder was Kansas State's coach from 1989-2005, and then was re-hired in 2009. Bill Snyder is 73, and may not ever have a team this good again.
While the Wildcats have back-to-back 10-win seasons, and were ranked No. 1 this year, KSU is losing a lot. Star quarterback Collin Klein is gone, along with leading receiver Chris Harper. This might be a good chance for Snyder to leave, especially if he gets a win.
My prediction for this game: Oregon 44, Kansas State 31.