For Oregon and Kansas State, Fiesta Bowl is nothing but a consolation game

Last year, Oklahoma State defeated Stanford, 41-38, in overtime.

This year's coaching matchup is also intriguing. Kelly appears on the fast track to the NFL, and venerable Bill Snyder, at 73, has most of his coaching hay in the barn.

Both are football geniuses, in completely different ways.

The buzz surrounding Kelly's seemingly imminent departure has permeated the Fiesta Bowl grounds. It's not for love of Kansas State or Oregon that news outlets from Philadelphia have made last-minute Fiesta Bowl credential requests.

Kelly has been targeted as a possible replacement for hours-ago fired Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid. There are also reports that the Cleveland Browns are in town waiting to pounce on Kelly the minute the Fiesta Bowl ends.

Kelly is one of the college game's best offensive minds and question deflectors.

Does he expect to field NFL offers?

"I don't expect anything," Kelly said Wednesday. "I said this a million times. I'm never surprised by anything. I do not know what the future holds. I do know we have a football game tomorrow night and I'm going to be there."

Kansas State's coach is closer to an easy chair than he is an NFL job. He had his chances in the 1990s when he was leading Kansas State football out of the dark ages.

"I responded to none of them other than to say 'No, thank you,' '' Snyder said.

Kelly is using Oregon as a steppingstone, and Snyder is happy being his school's Rock of Gibraltar.

Of the NFL, Snyder said: "I'm not sure I want to work in a workplace where the people you're supposed to have control over make more money than you do."