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Updated: Collin Klein hurdles Geno Smith in Heisman conversation

Kansas State v West Virginia Getty Images

Updated 10:07 p.m. ETThere wasn’t much Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein needed to do after halftime to further ensure that he would be the new Heisman frontrunner once Sunday morning rolls around. 

Optimus Klein was lethal in a 55-14 thrashing of West Virginia Saturday night, going 19-of-21 for 323 yards and three touchdowns. He also scored another four touchdowns on the ground. The Mountaineer defense is beyond horrid, but if Geno Smith is going to get hype for putting up gaudy stats against terrible defenses, Klein should too.

Make no mistake, though. Klein’s earned his place in the Heisman conversation. He’s a touchdown machine and he’s going to have the opportunity to continue to put up huge numbers in the back half of the season against defenses from Baylor and Texas. And the more K-State keeps winning, the more exposure he’s going to get.

Meanwhile, Smith has been shuffled into the Heisman pack — if he’s still there. Smith’s a great talent, but the WVU offense has been shut down in the past two weeks, scoring just 14 points in each of the two losses.

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Okay, maybe we overestimated West Virginia a little bit. The first step is admitting.

That said, things don’t seem like they can get much worse for the No. 17 Mountaineers, who trail No. 4 Kansas State 31-7 at the half. At home. And WVU’s lone score was a kickoff return for a touchdown by Tavon Austin.

Kansas State, the hipster Big 12 team, is playing vintage Snyderball. Time of possession: 20 minutes for K-State. Total yards: 346-74. No turnovers. And tackling. Beautiful, open field tackling. WVU? Not so much. The Mountaineer defense is so bad it’s not even worth picking on.  The Heisman? Not Geno Smith‘s for the taking anymore. Collin Klein is making his case to take home the hardware.

But it’s a long season, which is what we should have been saying all along about WVU. The first month of Mountaineer football now seems like a mirage, and it’s only going to get tougher.

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20 Responses to “Updated: Collin Klein hurdles Geno Smith in Heisman conversation”
  1. blitz4848 says: Oct 20, 2012 9:00 PM

    Bill Snyder and K-State would be a great story.
    Hard to root against them.
    K-State already beat OU so they totally control their own destiny.

    K-State could run the table and with no conference championship game to worry about
    could be a real player to be in the BCS championship game.

  2. Deb says: Oct 20, 2012 9:04 PM

    @blitz4848 …

    I keep thinking about Oklahoma and completely forgot K-State would have the edge there. Tennessee is playing us relatively close right now, and Florida just bowled over South Carolina (congrats on that–I’m banned from commenting on John Taylor’s threads because I criticized him last week). Right now, it’s still anyone’s title game.

  3. vanmorrissey says: Oct 20, 2012 9:40 PM

    Yes, they could play in a BCS game, not THE championship. If Oregon and Alabama both run the table, sorry Big 12, you lose. No conference championship game, no national championship if Oregon and ‘bama go undefeated. Will never happen.

  4. ndnut says: Oct 20, 2012 10:01 PM

    ‘Bama can lose to LSU or whoever comes out of the SEC East in the title game (or both) and Oregon will need to beat Oregon St and USC (twice), so K-State, Oklahoma, LSU, Florida, and ND all still have legitimate shots to take one or both spots in the title game.

  5. Deb says: Oct 20, 2012 10:03 PM

    vanmorrissey, are you a Bama fan? I’m a Bama fan, and nowhere near that confident. Like ndnut says, we still have to face LSU. And it looks like Florida in the SEC Championship. We’re still a long way from a title game.

  6. hungbob says: Oct 20, 2012 10:49 PM

    All that early hype for Smith was ridiculous.
    The king has got no clothes.
    Meanwhile Barkley continues to win with very good stats and yet is now considered out of Heisman contention?
    Who says east coast bias is dead.

  7. huskersrock1 says: Oct 20, 2012 10:54 PM

    Not surprised at all, I knew WVU was going to lose games badly in the Big 12, and you can’t win the Heisman when you lose games BIG. TCU will probably beatWVU and Oklahoma will for sure, then they still have Okie-State.

  8. ningenito78 says: Oct 20, 2012 11:56 PM

    Agreed IF Alabama and Oregon run the table they will be in the big game. But that won’t happen. Of all the true National Title contenders I think Kansas State has the easiest road.

  9. panayoti says: Oct 20, 2012 11:58 PM

    Good ole fashioned ass-whoopin the last two weeks. WV is not ready for Prime Time or this league. It’s one thing to be the Big Dog in the Big Least, but quite another trying to compete here. Say what you want WVU fans, and I am one, but we have serious deficiencies that are obvious to the whole world now.

    It was easy to blow off the defensive inadequacies against Baylor and Texas because, somehow, we managed to win. The last two games however, exposed the offense as lacking in more than one area. I’m no coach but it is quite obvious to anyone who has eyes what many of the problems are. I’m listening to the post game as I type and the head ball coach says there is nothing wrong with the scheme, that the coaches haven’t forgot how to coach. He did everything buy say, “our guys stink”. He played 9 freshman today, 6 of our regulars were out or playing hurt, but that’s no excuse for our lack of quality depth. That’s a problem when you come to a league that goes non stop with offense.

    Geno put the offensive woes on himself trying to deflect criticism of the team, after making an ass of himself last week calling a reporter’s question as “stupid”. He is now out of the Heisman conversation and now maybe can concentrate on rallying the team for what might be a decent finish and a minor bowl. I really feel badly for the die hard and loyal fans of this team because they live and die with the team. It is embarrassing to be in the limelight and do well for the first several weeks only to fall flat on your duffs in front of a national TV audience. I predicted an 8-4 season and can only hope that there is enough character is this team to achieve that.

  10. Deb says: Oct 21, 2012 12:01 AM

    @ningenito78 …

    Everyone’s also overlooking Mississippi State. They’re undefeated, and ranked 12th as of now. Bama has them next week, and they could be one of those teams that sneaks up and plays spoiler.

  11. manchestermiracle says: Oct 21, 2012 12:27 AM

    Smith was hyped for his great game against a poor defense (Baylor). Klein was great today, but against a poor defense (West Virginia). Barkley was great today, but against a poor defense (Colorado). I think I see a bit of a pattern here.

    Klein looks to have the inside track based on performance to date and remaining schedule. Smith has already been shut down by a couple of good defenses and Barkley still has Arizona State, Oregon, and Notre Dame.

    That doesn’t take into account the simple fact that another great athlete could easily step up in the second half of the season and make the “front runners” irrelevant. This award is still wide open, but some of the favorites did nothing to separate themselves.

    Manti Te’o (Notre Dame) didn’t help his chances by getting zero tackles against BYU. BYU?

    Braxton Miller (Ohio State) didn’t play very well against Purdue and left the game in the 3rd quarter.

    De’Anthony Thomas (Oregon) had 29 total yards of offense and was overshadowed by teammates in the blowout of Arizona State.

    Just for fun: Smith’s QB rating of 248 in the ‘eers shootout against Baylor seemed ridiculous at the time. In USC’s rout of Colorado Barkley’s QB rating was 319. In 2 1/2 quarters of play. Shows what a good QB can do when the competition isn’t very good and means very little.

    BTW, the “experts” at ESPN still have Smith as the front runner, Miller 2nd, and Klein a distant 3rd. The preseason favorite Barkley? He’s 8th.

  12. tuckfexas says: Oct 21, 2012 12:29 AM

    WVU was so overrated, you have to laugh. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a fraud exposed so badly in 2 consecutive weeks.

  13. frank booth says: Oct 21, 2012 12:42 AM

    Barkley is terrific against subpar teams. When it comes to the tougher teams, he plays poorly.

    And let’s not forget that he’s throwing to two top wide receivers (a 1st and 2nd team preseason All-American) who do most of the damage after the catch and can turn a 5-yard pass into a 50 yard touchdown. For instance, in week 1 against Hawaii, USC had 224 yards after the catch, and 138 of those were by Marquise Lee.

    Barkley is good. He’s not great, and is more of a product of those great wide receivers.

    I’m not impressed. You shouldn’t be, either.

  14. phreakin says: Oct 21, 2012 1:47 AM

    K-State won’t survive the year undefeated. Klein has been ridiculous but this is really his first dominant game. Even if it came against a highly overrated WVU

  15. phreakin says: Oct 21, 2012 1:50 AM

    For the people saying ND still has a shot for the BCS title I say no chance at all. There are PLENTY of writers and coaches who can’t stand ND, like it or not. And I think they’re running on borrowed time at QB as well. I will say the one thing they do have is the coach of the year. He’s parlayed the Notre Dame gets no respect and made his kids play out of their mind. That and they have the best defensive player in the country on their team, arguably of course. Props to them but I just don’t see them staying undefeated.

  16. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Oct 21, 2012 3:26 AM

    @panayoti
    Nicely said

  17. thecrazyasianinseccountry says: Oct 21, 2012 3:37 AM

    I see Notre Dame losing to both USC and Oklahoma..

  18. inconsonance says: Oct 21, 2012 5:05 AM

    Preseason rankings had WVU ranked way, way too high, and the media jumped on the Smith for Heisman bandwagon before he’d been truly tested. WVU has potential, but the defense is a fucking sieve and the offense is worn down from trying to cover for the defensive ineptitude. That’s not to mention that they just up and quit trying the moment things look bad. Holgo’s gonna leave for a “better” job (which, at this point, could include a Sun Belt team), and I don’t blame him.

  19. dkhhuey says: Oct 21, 2012 8:49 AM

    Optimus Klein – priceless! Thanks for the morning chuckle Ben!

  20. inconsonance says: Oct 21, 2012 3:34 PM

    @dkhhuey – You don’t watch ESPN, do you? They’ve been doing this Optimus Klein thing since the season started.

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