Baylor stunned then No. 1-ranked Kansas State that night and ended the Wildcats' short-lived reign at No. 1 in the BCS, thus burying Klein under a mountain of insurmountable statistics racked up by Heisman front-runners Johnny Manziel and Manti Te'o. Both Manziel and Te'o have solid cases built on ridiculous numbers and team success.
With the winner to be announced on Dec. 8, here we break down how Klein's Heisman Trophy case stacks up against the other two finalists.
Collin Klein vs. Johnny Manziel
No, Klein can't compete with Johnny Football's 4,600 total yards and 43 total touchdowns in 2012, but his team did finish with a better record and a conference championship.
While Klein only had one bad outing this season—at Baylor on November 17—Manziel came up small in Texas A&M's two home losses to Florida and LSU, combining to score only one touchdown while throwing three interceptions in those two defeats.
Another overlooked statistic is yards per play. While Manziel's average (7.88) was slightly more than Klein's (7.27), it should also be noted that Manziel was featured in 118 more plays this season than Klein.
Therefore, Klein's production (3,390 total yards and 37 total touchdowns) should really be compared to what Manziel did through his first nine or 10 games—not all season long. Manziel had 3,794 total yards and 33 total touchdowns through 10 games this season.
All of a sudden, the battle between the two quarterbacks looks a whole lot tighter.
Collin Klein vs. Manti Te'o
It's much more difficult to compare Klein to Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, but it's hard to argue that Klein is as worthy of winning the award as the senior defender.
Notre Dame finished the regular season 12-0 and is headed to the BCS National Championship Game this coming January. Plus, Te'o was the driving force of the Irish's dominant front seven, which finished 2012 with the country's No. 1-ranked scoring defense and sixth-ranked defense in terms of yards allowed.
Te'o had 103 total tackles and seven interceptions, both more than any other Notre Dame player.
If you ask me, Klein's case stacks up much better against Manziel's than it does against Te'o's. We can't compare Klein and Te'o statistically, but Te'o's team is playing for the national championship. Plus, Te'o's numbers stand out for a defensive player, whereas Klein's have been amassed before by countless college quarterbacks, including Manziel.
That's not to say that Klein isn't worthy of the award. He's just not as qualified to win as Te'o in 2012.
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