“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.”
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