MANHATTAN, Kan. – A day after claiming the 2012 Big 12 Conference title and the league’s automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series, Kansas State Athletics Director John Currie announced today that the fifth-ranked Wildcats have accepted an invitation to play No. 4 Oregon in the 2013 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on January 3 in Glendale, Ariz.
The game, which will be K-State’s second ever appearance in a BCS bowl, will be played at University of Phoenix Stadium, one of the top sports facilities in the world, at 7:30 p.m. CT, with a nationwide television audience watching on ESPN.
"After capturing the 2012 Big 12 Championship and a BCS berth in front of our terrific home crowd, we couldn't be more proud to represent the Big 12 Conference in Glendale following a memorable season for our football program, fans and university community," said Currie. "The opportunity for our university and football brands to be showcased on a primetime national stage in one of the nation's marquee bowl games is a tremendous opportunity, and the experience our student-athletes, band members, cheerleaders and fans will have in Arizona will be world-class."
K-State's trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be its third in program history with the last appearance being in 2003 following the school’s last Big 12 title. The Wildcats (11-1) will be playing in their 16th bowl game in school history and 14th under Bill Snyder as the Cats are 6-7 all-time in bowls under the legendary head coach. Following 11 straight bowls from 1993-2003 under Snyder, the Cats have now gone bowling in each of the last three seasons following last year's berth in the AT&T Cotton Bowl and the inaugural New Era Pinstripe Bowl in 2010.
"On behalf of the Kansas State University community, we are extremely proud of Coach Snyder and our football team on a championship season," said K-State President Kirk Schulz. "We could not be more excited to head to Arizona and participate in such a first-class event as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. We appreciate Chairman Steve Whiteman, President/CEO Dr. Robert Shelton and the entire Fiesta Bowl staff for annually putting on one of the best bowls in the country, and we are looking forward to a terrific week in the Valley of the Sun."
K-State has tied a school record with 11 wins so far in 2012 while bringing home the school’s third conference title – the second since the inception of the Big 12. The Wildcats, who went 8-1 this season against BCS AQ bowl-eligible teams, reeled off 10 straight wins to open the season and ascend to the No. 1 ranking in the BCS standings before Saturday’s win over Texas clinched the 2012 Big 12 Championship.
In addition to sporting the Big 12's No. 1 football graduation rate in four of the last five seasons, excitement in Wildcat football was also evidenced by six sell-out crowds at Bill Snyder Family Stadium this season and a No. 15 national ranking in percent of capacity at 100.5-percent.
"We are so very proud of the young men in our program we are very pleased to represent the Big 12 Conference in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl," said Snyder. "We had over 40,000 K-Staters in attendance the last time we played in Arizona and know that the K-State family will once again show their support. The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is a first-class organization and we appreciate Steve Whiteman and the entire bowl staff for their efforts and support of our student-athletes, coaches and fans."
The Cats will take on an Oregon team that also finished 11-1 on the season and suffered its only loss on the season November 17 against Stanford. The Ducks have one of the most dynamic offenses in the country and are led by quarterback Marcus Mariota, running back Kenjon Barner and wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas.
K-State and Oregon have never met previously on the football field, while the Ducks and Wildcats will both be making their third appearance in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
K-State officials have worked with the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl to acquire a total ticket allotment of 21,500 seats, 4,000 more than the allotted amount. All fans who placed a pre-order will receive the number of tickets that were requested. The K-State Ticket Office will work over the next two weeks to assign specific seats based on the athletic department priority points. Detailed information regarding bowl ticket order fulfillment has been emailed to fans who placed a pre-order.
Fans who did not pre-order through K-State should purchase tickets directly through the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at www.fiestabowl.org or by calling (800) 635-5748.
A student ticket allotment of 1,000 reserved lower level tickets is available with tickets priced at $105 each. These tickets will be available to current ICAT pass-holders beginning Wednesday, December 5 at 8:30 a.m. at the K-State Ticket Office located on the southwest corner of Bramlage Coliseum. In order to ensure fair access to tickets for K-State students and to maintain a students-only section, K-State Athletics consulted with the Student Governing Association to determine that students must bring their own student pass card and Wildcat ID and are limited to one ticket. Reserved ticket purchasers will be provided a voucher which, with a valid student ID, can be picked up at the Fiesta Bowl on the day of the game. Any remaining reserved ticket vouchers will be made available to all K-State students on Thursday, December 6 at 8:30 a.m.