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Can Kansas State's Collin Klein go from Manhattan, Kan., to Manhattan, N.Y.?

by Jenni Carlson Published: November 2, 2012

Collin Klein is the most unlikely of Heisman Trophy front runners.

He is a quarterback who throws the ball like he's heaving a spear through a plate glass window.

He is a runner who looks more like a plow mule than a sprinter.

And get this, he is playing in Manhattan, Kan.

This is the place that was home to the worst program in college football for nearly a century. Lore from the woeful days include a tale of Kansas State players going door to door trying to sell tickets; they rarely got any takers.

Now, with K-State sitting No. 2 in the BCS standings and Oklahoma State coming to town, you'd be hard pressed to find any tickets.

This will be a prime-time matchup on ABC seen by the entire country.

Which brings us back to Klein.

Saturday night is one of his greatest opportunities to prove his Heisman worthiness. He'll be facing a team that handed his Wildcats one of only two regular-season losses a year ago, he'll be going against a defense that has grown fangs in recent weeks, and he'll be doing it for all the college football world to see.

The Cowboys could end the Wildcats' title talk and Heisman hopes.

Or Klein and the Cats could make another big statement.

He has already made plenty of believers. Track down any straw poll of Heisman voters, and you're sure to find Klein at the top. He's such a clear frontrunner at this point that the race is his to lose.

The past two weeks have solidified that.

In blowouts of West Virginia and Texas Tech, Klein accounted for 11 touchdowns. No other K-State quarterback has ever managed such a feat in a two-game stretch. And Klein did it against two ranked teams led by quarterbacks that were once thought of as Heisman contenders themselves.

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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