NCAA's Kansas State looking good at No. 3

Collin Klein. (MIKE STONE/Reuters file photo)

Collin Klein. (MIKE STONE/Reuters file photo)

TODD SAELHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:44 AM ET

K-State, eh?

OK. Let’s go there, then.

The Kansas State Wildcats are sitting pretty at No. 3 in the BCS Standings. If it sounds too good to be true, well … shame on you.

The ’Cats are full measure for their lofty spot in the NCAA football world.

It begins with quarterback Collin Klein and his Heisman Trophy effort this season. Klein, with his 1,397 passing yards to go along with 551 rushing yards, is a dynamic dual threat — and he’s got the offence clicking on all cylinders.

Where their championship hopes are ultimately propped up is in a defence that’s 14th best in the nation, allowing them to average a 43-16 score and to post a 7-0 start to the campaign.

Along the way, the ’Cats have clawed past a couple of bigtime contenders — both key wins on the road, to boot — the No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners 24-19 back on Sept. 22 and the No. 13 West Virginia Mountaineers last Saturday.

Both results are positive proof of K-State’s true power. A solid 27-21 win over a tough out in Iowa State in a prime-time trap tilt two weeks ago further proves the Wildcats are firmly focused on a legitimate title shot.

But it’ll take another dose of focus this Saturday when the upset-special Texas Tech Red Raiders come a callin’ to Manhattan, Kan. Remember the Red Raiders? The host Sooners ran into them last season, tripping them up in their bid to top the BCS charts and putting a screeching halt to OK’s 39-game home-winning streak. And two weeks ago, super-QB Geno Smith and the Mountaineers, then climbing the polls at No. 5, went into Lubbock, Texas, and took it on the chin 49-14.

In the same way, the Red Raiders might consider K-State prime for the picking.

But these ’Cats are proving to be tough to KO.

FIRST & GOAL

So who’s the frontrunner for the Heisman now? Is it Klein or Smith? Gotta believe the Massacre in Morgantown last Saturday had major implications on that race just as it did on the BCS poll. Klein and No. 4 Kansas State’s destruction of Heisman frontrunner Smith and No. 13 West Virginia pushed the Wildcats ahead of No. 3 Oregon in the BCS Standings, and how can Heisman voters ignore Klein’s performance, one-upping Smith in the

Week 8 no-contest? … From the no-brainer files, No. 5 Notre Dame will start

QB Everett Golson vs. No. 8 Oklahoma. A concussion knocked him from the game against Stanford two weeks ago, and with QB Tommy Rees at the controls, the Fighting Irish offence has been pedestrian at best. The Irish have won squeakers over Stanford and BYU, two teams they should have dominated at home … Cody Vaz provided perfect two-game relief for No. 8 Oregon State, but the young pivot moves over to welcome back QB Sean Mannion, fresh off knee surgery. The way the Beavers are busy knocking down foes, pretty sure head coach Mike Riley can do no wrong.

FOURTH & INCHES

Guess who’s in trouble — again — in LSU? Tyrann ‘Honey Badger’ Mathieu was arrested Thursday with three former Tigers teammates, including ex-starting QB Jordan Jefferson, on marijuana-related charges. Mathieu was booted from the Tigers prior to the season for drug issues … How’s No. 10 Georgia feelin’ these days going in against No. 2 Florida? Maybe ask Bulldogs QB Aaron Murray where his head’s at. He’s never beaten a top 20 team … Florida State’s title hopes took a major hit with the loss of stud RB Chris Thompson. The Seminoles star is done for the year with a torn ACL … With Wisconsin RB Rex Burkhead’s status (knee) for Saturday up in the air against Michigan, the Badgers might lean heavily on Ameer Abdullah as the feature back. They should anyway, since the sophomore is a game-breaker extraordinaire … Maryland QB Perry Hills is out for the year with a torn ACL, and Missouri QB James Franklin will miss a second straight start with a sprained MCL … North Carolina-Chapel Hill WR Erik Highsmith is doing little to dispel the reputation that football players aren’t smart. Says the Charlotte News & Observer, Highsmith is accused of plagiarizing 11-year-olds in class essays. Brilliant.

BCS STANDINGS

Rank | Team | Last week's rank | Record

1. Alabama (1), 7-0
2. Florida (2), 7-0
3. Kansas State (4), 7-0
4. Oregon (3), 7-0
5. Notre Dame (5), 7-0
6. LSU (6), 7-1
7. Oregon State (8), 6-0
8. Oklahoma (9), 5-1
9. USC (10), 6-1
10. Georgia (11), 6-1
11. Mississippi St. (12), 7-0
12. Florida State (14), 7-1
13. South Carolina (7), 6-2
14. Texas Tech (17), 6-1
15. Rutgers (15), 7-0
16. Louisville (16),7-0
17. Stanford (20), 5-2
18. Clemson (19), 6-1
19. West Virginia (13), 5-2
20. Texas A&M (18), 5-2
21. Boise State (22), 6-1
22. Michigan (NR), 5-2
23. Texas (25), 5-2
24. Ohio (NR), 7-0
25. Wisconsin (NR), 6-2

todd.saelhof@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNToddSaelhof


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