Johnson On The Fiesta - Weeden's Special Game
Posted Jan 2, 2012

Terry Johnson's thoughts on Oklahoma State win over Stanford in the Fiesta

By Terry Johnson
Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

Coming into the Fiesta Bowl, all of the talk centered on how the game would be a battle between Oklahoma State's high powered offense against Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal.

While the pregame media coverage painted an accurate picture of what the Fiesta Bowl game would be like - it neglected to mention that the game would also feature college football's most underrated QB in Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden.

No, Weeden did not finish in the Top 10 in the Heisman Trophy voting. Nor did he earn first team all Big-12 honors. In fact, he is not even the best player on Oklahoma State's offense, as Justin Blackmon is clearly the best pro prospect on the Cowboys' roster.

What Weeden did do was put together a solid season. He finished in the top ten nationally in passing yards, passing efficiency, and total offense. Weeden also stood out as a leader for the Cowboys this year, rallying the team back from double digit deficits against then-Top 10 opponents Texas A&M and Kansas State.

Few quarterbacks in America – including Andrew Luck – have a resume with that type of distinction.

Despite these credentials, critics will argue that he put up these numbers against suspect defenses in the Big 12, and that he could not put up big numbers against a good defense.

Monday night's performance should silence this debate for good, as Weeden continued to work his magic against a Stanford defense that came into the game ranked 5th in passing efficiency defense, and 6th in sacks.

The true metric of a great QB is how he performs with the game on the line. Weeden managed to rally the Cowboys back from four different deficits, including a two TD lead in the second quarter. More impressively, he hit 5 of 6 passes on the final drive in regulation, which allowed the Oklahoma State to knot the score at 38, and force overtime.

And he did all of this against Stanford – one of the few one-loss teams in the country.

When combining Weeden's regular season numbers with his MVP-type performance during the Fiesta Bowl, he has proved that he belongs in the same conversation as Andrew Luck, Kellen Moore, and Robert Griffin III.

Will he end up being drafted as high as those three individuals? No, probably not.

But based on his clutch performance in the Fiesta Bowl, he will end up on a NFL roster next season.