Heisman Trophy Watch: Collin Klein Leaves Door Open for Johnny Manziel

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterNovember 10, 2012

Kansas State went on the road to Fort Worth, TX to play a 6-3 TCU team bent on being the spoiler and ending the No. 2 Wildcats' BCS Championship Game hopes. While Kansas State came out on top, 23-10, and remained perfect at 10-0, Heisman candidate quarterback Collin Klein wasn't perfect. 

Normally, this wouldn't be an issue, but a funny thing happened in Tuscaloosa, AL.

Johnny Football. 

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel had a Heisman-worthy day against, of all teams, No. 1 Alabama. The Aggies won, 29-24, and in the process, moved Manziel's Heisman race status up.

Way up.

Klein has had a superb season and has been consistent in every game. This week, his status was iffy after he left last week's game against Oklahoma State with an undisclosed injury. Klein, as usual, came in banged up and delivered a solid—but not spectacular—performance, going 12-of-21 for 145 yards and one interception. Klein also had 15 carries for 50 yards and two touchdowns.

Those are solid stats, and they certainly don't downgrade his Heisman status. 

But Manziel beat the No. 1 team in the nation in Tuscaloosa, going 24-of-31, for 253 yards and two touchdowns. Manziel also rushed for 92 yards including one 32-yard gallop.

Compared to Collin Klein's numbers, on paper, Manziel had the superior day against a superior defense.


But again, Klein was dinged up. Should that matter?

Yes, and no. Klein hasn't had any bad games while Manziel has had one subpar game while healthy. Against LSU, Manziel went 29-of-56 for 276 yards and three interceptions. 

Unfortunately for Klein, the one day he had a mediocre day was the day Johnny Manziel had an absolutely ridiculous game against one of the best teams in the country. Manziel was in a zone, and the Tide's stout defense couldn't stop him. 

Unknowingly, Manziel struck the pose, and while he didn't even realize the significance, the world was already nodding its head in approval. 

Klein should still remain the front-runner in the Heisman race, but what once was his to lose is no longer. 

Klein left the door ajar.

And Johnny Manziel kicked it open with a resounding "Hereeeeee's Johnny" behind him.