2012 Heisman Watch: Announcement time, TV schedule, preview and more

Al Messerschmidt

The 2012 Heisman trophy will be given out on Saturday, and Loveland, Colo., native Collin Klein is a finalist for the most prestigious award in college football.

The 2012 Heisman trophy ceremony in New York City features just three finalist this year, and they are Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein. Klein is a native of Loveland, Colo.

The 2012 finalists are a bit of a different group as their is a redshirt freshman, a linebacker and a more traditional senior quarterback. The Heisman has never been awarded to a pure defensive player or to a freshman. So, this could be Klein's year to win the award if voters stick to more traditional ways of voting.

Klein had an excellent season for Kansas State as he led the Wildcats to their first Big 12 title since 2003, and that was also the last time they went to the Fiesta Bowl. This year, Klein threw for 2,495 yards, 15 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 895 yards and another 22 touchdowns.

The only issue with Klein winning the Heisman is that he does not have a big time win late in the season. His best win was a 25-19 victory over Oklahoma in late September, and in that game, Klein did not perform like a Heisman trophy candidate. Klein threw for just 154 yards, rushed for 85 yards and had one touchdown.

Klein did have big games in wins over West Virginia and Texas Tech, two teams that were ranked in the top 15 at the time, but they faltered at the end of the season and are no longer ranked. With those teams falling off the map, that left Kansas State with really just that Oklahoma game as a marquee win.

Manziel has the stats over Klein with 3,419 passing yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 1,181 and another 11 touchdowns. The one big thing going for Manziel is that he had a big game in upsetting then-No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala. However, against Florida and LSU, Manziel had just one total touchdown.

Te'o gets the benefit of being the best defender, and possibly the best player, on the No. 1 team in the nation. His stats are very good, but not mind boggling, with 103 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, seven interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.

The Heisman trophy ceremony begins at 6 p.m. MT and can be seen on ESPN.

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