Ed. note: When this article was written on Sunday, Klein topped ESPN's Heisman Watch list. As of Tuesday, he had dropped to fourth on that list, with Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel now leading.
While Collin Klein's Heisman Trophy chances were hurt by Kansas State's stunning loss to Baylor Saturday night, he remains the frontrunner for college football's most prestigious award according to ESPN's Heisman Watch.
Klein had his second-highest passing yardage total of the season Saturday, completing 27 of 50 pass attempts for 286 yards and two touchdowns. However, Klein also threw three interceptions, doubling his season total, and ran for just 39 yards in Kansas State's 52-24 loss to Baylor. Klein's 39 rushing yards were a season low. Klein passed the 3000 yard mark in total offensive production Saturday, but has now struggled in two consecutive games.
Johnny Manziel, the freshman quarterback of the Texas A&M Aggies, is second in ESPN's rankings. Manziel threw for 267 yards and three scores against Sam Houston State Saturday. He added 100 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries. Manziel finishes his season next week against Missouri.
Oregon halfback Kenjon Barner was shut down in Oregon's first loss of the season Saturday night. Barner managed just 66 yards on 21 carries and failed to score for the second consecutive week. Since Barner vaulted into the Heisman conversation with a 321-yard, five-touchdown performance against USC, the senior running back has managed 65 yards against Cal and 66 against Stanford, effectively eliminating him from contention.
Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller round out ESPN's top five contenders.