With college football cruising into week 12, bowl games are being announced, conference championship games are being established and everyone is paying close attention to the top Heisman Trophy candidates.
The Heisman Trophy is considered to be one of the most prestigious awards in collegiate athletics. On Dec. 8 it will be awarded for the 78th time to the most outstanding college football player.
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein is at the top of the list, and his team is at the top of the BCS rankings. Klein has led his team to its eighth ten-win season in program history, and the Wildcats were only the fourth undefeated team in college football before their loss to Baylor on Saturday. Klein has surpassed 2,000 yards passing this season and is a 2012 All-American and Big 12 candidate. It will be a test for his team to bypass No. 15 Texas, but if they can they should still have a legitimate chance to make it to the BCS National Championship.
Johnny Manziel, freshman quarterback at Texas A&M, has taken the second spot on the Heisman Trophy watch list. He is just the second freshman quarterback in FBS history to have already surpassed 2,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in a season. Manziel and his team did the unthinkable last week by beating No. 1 Alabama. A freshman quarterback hasn’t led his team over a ranked team since 1972, and Manziel did it against the best team in the country. Johnny Football, as they call him in Texas, could take his team as far as the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in January.
Oregon running back Kenjon Barner has rushed for over 1,300 yards this season and is third on the Heisman Trophy watch list. The Ducks have outscored their opponents 589-237 this season, and Barner has contributed with 19 career-high touchdowns. His team was on a 13-game winning streak before its loss to Stanford on Saturday.
Manti Te’o is the only defensive player on the list as a linebacker at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are also the only undefeated team this season who are bowl-eligible (Ohio State is also undefeated, but they cannot play in a bowl due to NCAA sanctions), and Te’o has had his part in that. This year he set a record for interceptions by a linebacker at Notre Dame with six. Te’o has become a legend at Notre Dame and hopes to become the eighth Heisman Trophy winner for the Fighting Irish and the first since 1987.
Make sure to watch the selection show on Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. ET to see which player takes the top spot.