It is most certainly his to lose. It will be tough for any player to overtake K-State’s Collin Klein. The senior is second in the nation in quarterback rating. The passing numbers are nothing special, but Klein’s execution when he puts it in the air has been. He is completing over 70% of his passes and has 12 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. It is the area of his game he has improved most. Truth is that he is a tremendous runner, but won’t match his near record quarterback rushing numbers a season ago. I thought he should have been a Heisman finalist, but wasn’t selected as such.
Reality is the Wildcats are better for a couple reasons. One, their defense is improved from good to great, and two, Klein is a more effective passer making life difficult for defenses. Why is he the runaway favorite at this point? It’s not because he is so great (no offense), but really more because the field is so poor. This was a year with no real strong options coming into the season, and many of those that were, got off to terrible starts and are no longer really a major part of the conversation. There are a number of viable candidates, as you’ll see below, but it’s hard to make a strong argument for anyone but Klein as the best player this season. And that is what he is, K-State’s best player, and the driving force behind their unbeaten season.
Unbeaten count: 6. Wow, what a week. Florida, Oregon State, Mississippi State, Rutgers, and Ohio all go down. Good thing I did last weeks column when I did.
Winless count: 2. UMass and Southern Miss still searching.
My top 25 represents my thoughts today on what we’ve seen so far, and the schedules that have been played, not what will be played. If the top 4 somehow all stayed that way, we’d have quite the debate, and as difficult a decision as we’ve ever had. We will cross that bridge when we have to though.
1. Kansas State 2. Notre Dame 3. Alabama 4. Oregon 5. Ohio State 6. Florida State 7. Georgia 8. Florida 9. LSU 10. Oregon State 11. Clemson 12. Louisville 13. Stanford 14. South Carolina 15. UCLA 16. Nebraska 17. Arizona 18. USC 19. Oklahoma 20. Texas A&M 21. Texas Tech 22. Louisiana Tech 23. Mississippi State 24. West Virginia 25. Toledo
STIFF-ARMING TROPHY RACE: Okay, here is the top ten. Klein feels comfortably out in front both because of his team and his role for it, which consists of everything. There are still a few names I left off that could easily find there way on this list next week, or eventually.
1. QB Colin Klein, Kansas State
2. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
3. LB Manti Te’o, Notre Dame
4. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State
5. WR Marqise Lee, USC
6. DE Jadeveon Clowny, South Carolina
7. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia
8. QB AJ McCarron, Alabama
9. WR Terrance Williams, Baylor
10. RB Kenjon Barner, Oregon