Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein seemed poised to strike the Heisman pose.
Until last week, he was the sentimental favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, college football’s most coveted award.
Klein, the golden boy in the heartland, the blonde home-schooled Christian from Loveland, Colo., with his unrelenting running style, bulldozed Wildcats opponents during their 10-0 start, translating into Kansas State being ranked No. 1 in the Bowl Championship Series and No. 2 in The Associated Press poll.
Some of the swagger, the dazzle, the Heisman hype, took a hard hit last Saturday night in Waco, Texas, when one-conference-win Baylor ambushed Kansas State 52-24, intercepting Klein three times, sacking him twice and limiting him to a season-low 39 yards in 17 carries.
Whether Kansas State’s nosedive to No. 6 in the latest BCS standings and No. 7 in the latest rankings by The AP will be synonymous with Klein’s Heisman fate, it remains to be seen.
For the season, Klein has 2,306 passing yards on 66.7 percent completion accuracy with 14 scoring passes and six interceptions. He also has 787 yards on the ground and 20 rushing touchdowns.
• Johnny Heisman?
Some say Johnny Football’s legend in College Station, Texas, has grown to the point that Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is now the hands-down Heisman favorite for the ceremonies, which will be staged in New York City on Dec. 2.
Manziel, who engineered the Aggies’ upset of then-No. 1 Alabama a couple weeks back, has thrown for an eye-popping 3,047 yards and 21 touchdowns this season while getting picked off seven times. He also has accumulated 1,114 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns.
Manziel needs only 167 yards to break 2010 Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton’s SEC record for total offense.
There are also blemishes on Manziel’s young resume, including a pair of losses this season for the 9-2 Aggies, ranked No. 9 in the BCS.
No freshman has ever won the Heisman, and Johnny Football’s time isn’t now.
Or is it?
Johnny Football is a guy that has never spoken to the media because it’s Texas A&M’s policy to not allow freshmen to do so.
Johnny Football, at age 19, was arrested last summer and charged with three misdemeanors stemming from an altercation in College Station.
Maybe the character issue comes into play when the final votes are cast.
As far as other Heisman finalists on the radar, no linebacker has ever won the award, either, making Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o a sentimental longshot, even though Te’o is No. 2 on some mock Heisman lists.
You never know.
Oregon running back Kenjon Barner, meanwhile, seems to be in the same situation as Klein — his hopes taking a big shot after the previously No. 1-ranked team (by The AP) lost to Stanford last Saturday night, dropping the Ducks to No. 5 in the BCS.
For the season, Barner has 1,426 yards in 220 carries and has rushed for 19 touchdowns.
Bona fide longshots include linebacker Jarvis Jones of BCS No. 3 Georgia, along with Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.
Even a monumental game in Kansas State’s regular-season and home finale on Dec. 1 against the Texas Longhorns, a game that would clinch the Wildcats a share of the Big 12 championship, might not be enough for Klein.
Whatever the outcome, it figures to be intriguing all the way to the end.