Heisman Watch 2012: Week 12 Chaos Blows Race Wide Open

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2012

WACO, TX - NOVEMBER 17:  Collin Klein #7 of the Kansas State Wildcats throws the ball against the Baylor Bears at Floyd Casey Stadium on November 17, 2012 in Waco, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Winning the Heisman Trophy, unless you're Robert Griffin III, requires more than individual statistics. 

The player's team must win.

Collin Klein and Kenjon Barner entered Saturday night's contest as two favorites for this year's award, but left on the same par as everyone else with Kansas State and Oregon both falling victim to upset bids.

Klein still had three total touchdowns in Saturday's losing effort, but he also threw three critical interceptions. A quarterback, especially, is expected to lead his team through adversity, but that wasn't the case for Kansas State's signal-caller versus Baylor.

Barner was even worse. He only mustered 66 yards and didn't find the end zone in Oregon's overtime loss to Stanford.

So who wins it now?

Johnny Manziel is the obvious choice, but he's not alone. Suddenly, the hype surrounding Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o has some credence. The Fighting Irish are undefeated and are going to be ranked No. 1 on Sunday when the new BCS rankings are released. 

But, even though Teo's team is undefeated, can you really justify giving to a linebacker? it's never happened before, and while there's a first time for everything, that shouldn't happen unless there are no other possible candidates.

Johnny Football is more than just a candidate; he should be the favorite.

Not only is he putting up big numbers, but he's setting records. The Aggies are 6-0 on the road with him, and he's a first-year starter as a redshirt freshman. Without two losses to top-10 teams by a combined eight points, who knows where this team would be?

Because of his production and the hype surrounding him, Manziel will be chatted up as the favorite for the coming weeks. However, it wouldn't be the Heisman if he simply ran away with it. He's not Cam Newton.

Saturday night's games threw a wrench into the BCS picture and muddled the Heisman picture as well. Manziel looks like he's in the lead, but Te'o, Marqise Lee, Braxton Miller and others will come calling before this one is over.

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