Collin Klein: QB Was the Clear Choice for Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 5, 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

The Associated Press named Kansas State senior quarterback Collin Klein the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

And it should have been an easy decision.

While arguments can be made for West Virginia's Tavon Austin and Baylor's Terrance Williams, their accomplishments pale in comparison to those of Klein.

First of all, Klein played the most important position in football and generally excelled at it in 2012. He led the Wildcats to an 11-1 record (8-1 in the Big 12), a Big 12 title and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl against No. 4 Oregon.

The No. 5 Wildcats ranked 10th in the nation in points per game (40.7) and a large part of that had to do with Klein.

The dual-threat senior not only averaged 9.2 yards per pass attempt (sixth in the nation, via, he also tossed 15 touchdowns to seven interceptions while rushing for 895 yards and 22 touchdowns. An argument could be made that Klein was the favorite for the Heisman Trophy before the Nov. 17 disaster against Baylor.

You look at where Kansas State was before Klein took over in 2011 and it's eye-opening.

Prior to Klein emerging as the starter, the Wildcats hadn't won 10 games or more since 2003. They have gone a combined 21-4 in the past two years with the 23-year-old in charge and they were ranked No. 15 in the final BCS standings last season.

Klein's performances against ranked opponents Oklahoma, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Texas were key for the Wildcats this season. Whether the senior was tossing the pigskin down the field or breaking off long runs, he was an undeniable nightmare for defenses throughout the nation.

Want more proof how valuable he was to Kansas State? According to ESPN, the Heisman finalist accounted for 69 percent of the team's total yardage and 66 percent of its offensive touchdowns this season.

Some guy named Robert Griffin III had percentages of 66 percent and 61 percent respectively last season with Baylor.

While Kansas State's loss to Baylor this season makes it unlikely Klein wins the Heisman over Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel or Notre Dame's Manti Te'o, there is no doubt that he deserved to be a finalist for the award and he certainly deserved the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year honor.


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