Collin Klein [Kansas State] Klein was putting in his typical performance before an injury felled him against Oklahoma State. He’s still the leader, though missing time with an injury could knock him and Kansas State out of the national spotlight. The Wildcats also have no marquee games left, with Texas the possible exception.
Kenjon Barner [Oregon] Barner needed a strong performance in a huge spot to climb. He gave one, posting 347 yards and five touchdowns on USC. He will play full games in at least three of the four remaining games. He will have national attention. Oregon should pass Kansas State. With some strong, flashy performances, Barner could pass Klein.
A.J. McCarron [Alabama] McCarron did not help himself, with the pedestrian performance against LSU. However, after leading Alabama on a late touchdown drive when it counted, he did not hurt himself. He still quarterbacks the nation’s best team. He still has not thrown an interception. Aaron Murray has not been consistent enough to dislodge him as the SEC candidate.
Manti Te’o [Notre Dame] The overtime Pitt win soured much of the voting public on Notre Dame. Despite that Te’o still has name value and a sympathetic story. He has made iconic plays when it counted. Unless Notre Dame’s defense gets dismantled by USC, it is hard to see him missing out on a trip to New York.
Johnny Manziel [Texas A&M] He’s not consistent enough of a passer, yet, to put up huge numbers on Alabama/LSU type defenses. That said, completing 83 percent of his passes, throwing for 300 yards and running for another 100 against a decent SEC opponent remains pretty damn awesome. He’s exciting. He racks up ridiculous numbers and that could be enough for him to sneak into the top five.
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