OTC: K-State Deserves BCS’ Top Spot Over Alabama / Collin Klein Is Heisman Ready Right Now

“Tide then who?”
Headline on ESPN.com

“Mel and Todd [McShay] agree on Alabama but not on who comes next in line.”
Sub Headline on ESPN.com

“Over the last six years, we’ve gotten so used to a SEC team playing for the national championship that it has come to feel automatic. But if Alabama and Florida each drop a game along the way, don’t be surprised to see no SEC teams in Miami. That’s right. As unfathomable as this sounds…”
Samuel Chi, writer, SBNation.com
GH: Unfathomable? Maybe to those drenched in SEC swagger and drunk on backwoods “whine.” The best college football team to date is the Kansas State Wildcats. There appears to be some viable contenders to that title but no team has the resume that Bill Snyder’s Cats have clawed through. Not Alabama. Not Oregon. Florida? Maybe. Read on.

“In case you haven’t noticed, and you very well may not have, the Kansas State Wildcats are a good football team. Very, very good. Yet, despite the fact that they are currently ranked No. 4 in college football polls, they seem to be absent from everyone’s minds as they discuss the best team in college football this year. Could that all change after this weekend? The Wildcats, at this point, are the most proven team in the country.”
Marian Hinton, writer, RnatSports.com
GH: It appears that almost every pundit, analyst and sports fan in the country believes Alabama deserves their number-one ranking without even a discussion. I am not in that camp. Alabama may be the best team in the country – but let’s not hand them their ranking because of last season’s success. What ‘Bama has accomplished in 2012 is pretty mundane stuff. They have beaten one ranked team – #22 Michigan. Compare that to K-State’s road wins at Oklahoma, at Iowa State and at West Virginia. 1A in my rankings is Florida – with wins at Texas A&M, at Tennessee and a huge win over LSU and a rout over South Carolina. The only reason I give KSU the nod over Florida is because of their win in Norman. If Notre Dame knocks off the Sooners this Saturday – Florida is my new number one.

“Six straight. Gotta beat the king to be the king. Until I see another conference beat their best, the best SEC team > everyone else.”
Carrington Harrison, @CDotharrison, on K-State’s claim to be number one in the polls, Twitter
GH: I treat every college sports season like the last one did not happen. While it might be fun to use past results to predict future gains, it really is futile when each season the former champion graduates. Alabama is very likely a great team – I just want to see them play and beat somebody in the top 10…or 20.

“I am getting closer and closer to saying [Kansas State] will go undefeated but I still think there are issues out there. I’d like to temper everyone’s excitement because it is hard to go undefeated.”
Todd Leabo, 810 AM
GH: Kansas State’s season could blow up and turn south faster than an Arkansas moonshiner being chased out of Branson. Texas Tech, Baylor, Texas, TCU and even Oklahoma State could all hand the Cats losses. I wrote before the season that it was conceivable that KSU could lose eight games. The comment was not met with much applause from the Purple People. But wild unpredictable stuff happens in college football and it is why I love the sport so dearly. But right now, K-State and Florida have proven on the field they deserve the top two spots in the BCS rankings.

“I think Texas Tech is very legitimate – and maybe more in line of what people thought West Virginia was. This is a dangerous team that Texas Tech is bringing.”
Stan Weber, on K-State’s next opponent, 810 AM

“I tried to tell everybody that West Virginia was grossly overrated but no one would listen to me.”
Nate Bukaty, 810 AM
GH: So are we then ready to declare the new and improved Big 12 football conference not quite so improved? There was a lot of chest beating going on about the Big 12 being the best it has ever been, (I may even have participated). But those Mountaineers look more like Baylor than Oklahoma.

“Yes, West Virginia is in the middle of nowhere – which is what people think when they come to Manhattan, Kansas.”
Soren Petro, responding to a caller who made fun of Morgantown’s remote status, 810 AM

“If you haven’t already done so, meet Collin Klein, the new Heisman Trophy frontrunner. Klein and Kansas State embarrassed West Virginia in Morgantown Saturday—and did so in ways no one saw coming.”
The Sporting News
GH: It may seem impossible to us here in corn country that any college football fan in the country could not be aware of Collin Klein’s greatness. But traveling about as I have the past two autumns, it is not always easy to find Klein and the Cats in the Big 10 or SEC towns’ media. That problem is beginning to fade though as of Klein’s invasion of Morgantown. Read on.

“Klein, once rated the 106th-best quarterback recruit in the country by Scout.com, is now a Heisman contender, delivering an astounding stat line here Saturday, completing 19 of 21 passes for 323 yards and three TDs while rushing for 41 yards and four TDs. His top receiver was Tyler Lockett, undersized and overlooked, who torched the Mountaineers for nine of those catches, 194 of those yards and two of those TDs.”
Dan Wetzel, YahooSports.com

“He doesn’t do anything wrong. He’s hard to tackle. He gets them in good plays. He doesn’t turn the ball over. You can say what you want to about the throwing motion, but it goes exactly where he wants it go. He’s a good football player.”
Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia head coach, on Klein, AP
GH: His throwing motion looks worse than maybe any D1 QB – including Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez. Klein looks like he is aiming his throws with a release that moves at the speed of word-of-mouth. But his rainbows often land in the hands of the right purple leprechaun.

“Collin Klein is the most efficient runner ever, by the way. He looks so slows and he just pulls away from people.
Nick Leckey, 810 AM

“He’s so patient – almost to the point where he comes to a stop. He’s able to get the most out of every single play. He uses blocks so well!”
Steven St. John, on Klein, 810 AM
GH: I do not recall any football player who ran with the patience Klein shows behind the line of scrimmage. He is a text book on how running backs and running quarterbacks should follow their blocking schemes. A text book that apparently only he reads.

“The Heisman Trophy race, like the college football season itself, is not a sprint but a marathon. To see how that clichéd but accurate point has been driven home, one need look no further than Morgantown, W.Va. Just two short weeks ago, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith was the runaway leader. There was another big performance Saturday in Morgantown, but it was the visitor from Kansas State putting up the big numbers. Wildcats quarterback Collin Klein now holds the top spot in the USA TODAY Sports Media Group survey of its 35 official Heisman voters, named first on 32 ballots and second on the remaining three for 102 total points.”
USA Today
GH: Geno Smith has fallen to fourth in the USA Today poll, trailing Klein, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and Ohio State’s brilliant but injured quarterback, Braxton Miller.

“Collin Klein is the leader [for the Heisman trophy]. I think he’s just got to make sure he doesn’t cough it up with a disaster game. But I don’t see a team on the schedule that can so that to Collin Klein.”
Soren Petro, 810 AM
GH: Kevin Kietzman claimed he would shave his head if Klein wins the Heisman. This is a threat I will not ask KK to follow up on.

“Bill Snyder just said ‘cyberspace.’ He also drives a Caddy.”
Dennis Dodd, @dennisdodd, tweeting while listening to the Big 12 coaches’ weekly conference call, Twitter
GH: I wonder what words we will use in 30 or forty years that the young folks of the day chuckle at and think are quaint. I am just hoping the over-used term “awesome” has expired by then.

[email protected] and Twitter / greghall24

About Greg Hall

Software guy who has been writing my Off The Couch column in KC newspapers, publications and websites since 1994. Has been bounced from some of the finest media establishments this side of State Line Road. Dad first and everything else second...and there are a lot of everything elses.
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43 Responses to OTC: K-State Deserves BCS’ Top Spot Over Alabama / Collin Klein Is Heisman Ready Right Now

  1. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    No doubt about it, Klein is a very good player. But KSU over Alabama as the best team in the nation? Come on Greg.

    • kc says:

      As a K-State alum, I am having the time of my life watching this team. One game at a time, of course. But, as the season goes on, I become more convinced that this is a very special team who can go as far as they want. Who really knows how good ‘Bama is. They really haven’t played anyone….time will tell. Oh, yeah, GO OU, beat Notre Dame!!

      • Brock says:

        This “SEC is great” without proving it on the field stuff is why we have a playoff coming, thank goodness.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Bama might be the best college team we have ever seen. I just want them to prove it on the field before we Denny Green “crown their ass.”

  2. Red says:

    Problem with the B12 is that it’s teams don’t schedule in a way that lets you judge them against other conferences. It is possible they are a bunch of decent teams that feed upon inflated in conference rankings to build their resumes. You just can’t tell. The SEC teams meanwhile generally maul every OOC BCS team they play. KState’s win against a middle of the pack ACC team is probably the signature OOC win to date for the entire B12. An example is WVU, who ducked FSU and that probably helped them stay undefeated until Texas Tech. They became a top 5 team on the sole basis of beating Baylor and a Texas team that could not even make a bowl last year. OU’s game against ND is a chance for the league to get a little uptick, and I think they should win handily. If they lose though, ND will have done more than KSU on the field.

    • Greg Hall says:

      I detest the soft non-con scheduling that so many of the Big 12 teams adhere to. Too many fans have bought into this line of thinking that is promoted so heavily by their coaches and ADs. Big 8 Nebraska used to play three or four BCS conference non-cons each season with at least one great opponent. Now the Huskers are down to scheduling UCLA and three nobodies. Mizzou and KSU ares even worse. Bowl-eligible is a dirty word when four of the winds come from the trash.

      • Chris says:

        SEC non-conference schedules:

        Alabama: Michigan, W. Kentucky, Fla Atlantic, Western Carolina
        Arkansas: Jacksonville St. La Monroe, Rutgers, Tulsa
        Auburn: Clemson, La Monroe, NM State, Ala A&M
        Florida: Bowling Green, LA Lafayette, Jacksonville St. Fla State
        Georgia: Buffalo, Fla Atlantic, Georgia Southern, GA Tech
        Kentucky: Louisville, Western Kentucky, Kent State, SaMford
        LSU: North Texas, Washington, Idaho, Towson
        Miss. State: Jacksonville St, Troy, South Alabama, M. Tenn. State
        Ole Miss: Central Arkansas, Texas, UTEP, Tulane
        Missouri: SE La, Central Fla, Arizona State, Syracuse
        South Carolina: East Carolina, UAB, Clemson, Wofford
        Tennessee: NC State, GA State, Akron, Troy
        A&M: La Tech, SMU, SC State, Sam Houston St
        Vanderbilt: Northwestern, Presbyterian, UMass, Wake Forrest

        That is 14 OOC games (out of 56, 25%) against BCS teams. So, basically SEC teams play one decent non con game and 8 conference games. You could argue that they trade in one conference game for an absolute gimme. And there are a lot of gimmes in the SEC schedules.

        By comparison, the Big 12 played 7 BCS OOC games (out of 30, 23%)

        So, very comparable OOC scheduling between the conferences, with the Big 12 playing 9 conference games, and the SEC 8.

        Also, I don’t see how much worse K-State’s scheduling is. It’s a 20 yr old argument to attack Snyder’s scheduling philosophy, which almost every team has adapted. Plus, we have played UCLA, Miami, Auburn, Iowa, USC, Louisville, within the last 12 years.

  3. KCMonarch says:

    Awesome OTC today Greg. Glad to see you keeping it real. That’s tight brah.

  4. MightyMo says:

    This reminds me a lot of the 1990’s. As a Mizzou guy, I would often cheer for Nebraska to whip upon the coastal teams in the big games just to prove up some midwest muscle. Now its the Wildcats. Nothing would make me happier than a KSU beat down of some SEC power in the title game. A good reminder that a national title is not inherited, it is won.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Mo, I do not think you are alone in adopting Kansas State this fall as “our” Midwest muscle. I do hear from other B12 fans who resent KSU’s success but I have to think the majority of fans can’t help but root for guys like Klein and Snyder.

  5. The Smartman says:

    I love the KSU and HCBS story but in the poll I conduct with my eyes no way are they better than Alabama and Oregon. Alabama and Oregon are just as if not more disciplined than KSU as well as a bit bigger and faster. I see KSU as a solid #3. I’d love to see KSU play either of them.

    After the ass whooping on Saturday when we talk about Geno’s in the future we shall forever mean pizza.

    Collin Klein’s best attribute is that he is coachable. He has the requisite size, strength and heart but more importantly the desire and mental ability to become a great NFL quarterback with the right coaching, in the right system. You don’t go from being rated 106th to being a Heisman contender with luck.

    • Greg Hall says:

      SM, I hear you, but that same poll likely said OU was going to beat Darren Sproles and KSU into plowshares in that 2003 Big 12 title game when the Sooners were supposed to be the greatest team of all time.

      • The Smartman says:

        I remember that 2003 team. They looked nothing like the 2012 Crimson Tide. The team Nick Saban has this year is very special. Like the Blues Brothers, they are on a mission from God.

  6. Brummy says:

    Btw, Alabama did beat a top 10 team – Michigan was ranked #8 when they played (not sure which poll).

  7. Joe Blow says:

    Alabama has dominated every team they’ve played so far, including a “#8” Michigan team at the time they played. You could call K-State’s win over West Virginia a victory over a higher ranked team, but only because WV hadn’t fallen way down in the standings to where they obviously belong. How can the original #1 team fall by clobbering everyone they’ve played so far? K-State had a close, hard-fought win against Oklahoma, but that’s the only tough game they’ve played. Texas Tech is as much paper tiger as they are. And what does Oregon have to do to climb in your rankings?

    Klein looks good due to great game-planning — hitting wide open receivers is pretty easy for most D1 QBs. Right guy, right place basically..

    • Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

      WVU is an absolute fraud. Especially on defense. What a total joke. Even Mike Leach is snickering at some of the “defense” being played in the B12. Teams are giving up 50 points a couple times a week. Texas, Baylor, WVU, KU…none of them play any defense at all.

      • Brock says:

        just like no one in the SEC plays offense, can’t wait for a bigtime matchup between the best of the best!

  8. Yael T. Abouhalkah says:


    Do not give up so easily on holding Kietzman to his word. As a balding guy myself, I wouldn’t mind seeing a shaved sportscaster.

    • Greg Hall says:

      Y, My stay in the barber chair for that service would be a short one as well.

    • Java Man says:

      “As a balding guy myself, I wouldn’t mind seeing a shaved sportscaster.”
      A sure sign that you’re getting old, when a shaved sportscaster causes excitement.

  9. nick says:

    Didn’t Snyder bail out of a scheduled Oregon game this year?

    K-Staters, yeah, yeah, I know, enjoy the ride and have fun, blah blah blah. But as expectations increase, so will the degree of pain in your crotch after that steel-toed boot of defeat kicks ya, if/when it kicks ya. Added to expectations of this year is that it’s likely Snyder’s last best chance. Hard to imagine him ever having a better QB for his style of coaching, and the way K-State won in Norman makes K-State seemed destined.

  10. Jimmy Pop says:

    Who cares where the teams are ranked now? The season is barely half over, plenty of ball yet to be played.

    If KSU wins out, I think they make the title game. One of Bama/Florida has to lose because they will play each other in the SEC title game. Oregon will have to be USC twice in a month to remain undefeated.

    • Greg Hall says:

      If ND beats OU this week in Norman, they will carry A LOT of national swag in hyping their BCS title hopes. Add an Irish win over USC later this season and they leap right over just about any non-SEC team. We need that Final Four format THIS year.

      • The Smartman says:

        The Baptists, Evangelicals and Presbyterians in Oklahoma will summon the rapture before the fish eaters leave with a victory. All Bob Stoops has to do link is link the Irish to the pedophiles in the Catholic clergy in his pep talk and the Sooners will open up a can of Old Testament Jesus wrath whupass on the dormers. Can I get an Amen?

  11. matt3579Matt says:

    Awesome story Greg. 😉

  12. tigerdan4 says:

    Greg, I gotta disagree with you. Nobody is as good as Alabama. Not Oregon, not KState, not Florida, nobody. The Tide is simply on a different plane than the rest of us. If KState gets into the BCS Title game (and only if Oregon trips up) Bama would beat them by at least 24. Klein is good at what he does. He plays smart, safe football. But if KState falls behind (and they certainly would against Bama) he’s not a comeback qb. The game would get out of hand similar to what happened to KSU against Oklahoma last year. So the thought of the Cats or anybody else being better than Alabama is laughable.

    • Greg Hall says:

      TD, I understand your thinking, but it is still not based on results we have seen this season. Bama might destroy KSU in a title game — but they also might get beat. As they sit today, I’d have to vote KSU over Bama in the polls.

    • Baghdad Robert says:

      not sure if you’ve seen any K-state games this year Dan, but the Cats offense is much better and able to strike quickly -even against defenses like OU’s.

  13. Joe Blow says:

    The likelihood those games would be played was thrown into doubt when Bill Snyder returned to Kansas State in 2008, given his reputation for favoring less challenging nonconference foes.

    It’s believed the Wildcats will instead face Eastern Kentucky to open the 2011 season.

    Oregon ended up playing LSU, and K-State played Eastern Kentucky..

    • Greg Hall says:

      Anyone surprised that Snyder would duck a tough non-con opponent hasn’t been paying attention the past 23 years. HCBS invented the soft non-con that is so prevalent today with BCS schools.

  14. Joe Blow says:

    Remember when West Virginia and TCU were way better replacements for Missouri because they won against a bunch of patsies and average teams? Now they’re playing regular competition and struggling..

  15. The Word says:

    But Brock…defense wins national titles…or do you remember those SEC beatdowsn Oklahoma and Texas got in the last 10 years?

  16. Merle Tagladucci says:

    The Heisman is usually a great indicator of future NFL futility. Or the first step toward being an insurance salesman.

  17. Art haynes says:

    More sec praise from tiger fans, surprise surprise. Almost like you get a share of any victory by the conferences elite. Thats adorable.

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