Week 12 RankingsThursday, November 17, 2011
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Ryan Tannehill — Texas A&M vs. Kansas. The Kansas secondary continues to be exploited this season, where the Jayhawks have given up an average of 286.8 passing yards and 44.0 points over an eight game losing streak in Turner Gill’s second year as head coach. Of Texas A&M’s five losses, their only uncontested game was on the road at Oklahoma in Week 9, and Tannehill is playing like the college equivalent of Brett Favre in Mike Sherman’s pro-style West Coast offense, where he’s combined for 3,184 all-purpose yards and 27 touchdowns while averaging 7.0 yards per attempt. The Aggies are scoring 38.9 points per game and generate 516.7 yards of total offense. Kansas ranks dead last in points against and total defense, and bottom-ten in turnovers and time of possession.
Case Keenum — Houston vs SMU. Keenum is the FBS career leader in total offense, all-time leader in touchdown passes, and the major college football career leader in passing yards. The sixth-year senior has proven to be a legitimate Heisman contender, averaging 395 passing yards per game and 37 touchdowns in Houston’s high-powered spread attack that ranks second nationally in efficiency. SMU is bowl eligible for the third consecutive season under June Jones, but the Mustangs have one win over their last four weeks after nearly reaching the Top 25 with a 5-1 start.
Collin Klein — Kansas State at Texas. Klein rushed for a school-record five touchdowns in last week’s four-overtime win against Texas A&M and threw for a career best 281 yards on 17 of 27 passing. KSU runs an option based offense with a 78:32 run-to-pass ratio, where Klein’s 241 carries rank first in the Big 12 and third nationally. Klein’s 2011 numbers compare favorably to former Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch, who ran an option-style offense when he won the Heisman in 2001. Crouch would go on to rush for 1,115 yards and 18 touchdowns while throwing for just 1,510 yards and seven touchdowns, whereas Klein has 1,504 yards and 10 touchdowns, while rushing for 1,009 yards and 24 TDs.
Brandon Weeden — Oklahoma State at Iowa State. Oklahoma State is averaging 52 points per game and Weeden has 3,635 total yards and a 31:9 TD-to-INT ratio in 10 appearances this season. Iowa State ranks last in the Big 12 in scoring defense and the task of covering Justin Blackmon will likely fall on cornerback Leonard Johnson, who will be giving away at least three inches to the reigning Biletnikoff winner. Blackmon is running circles around Big 12 opponents this season with 32 catches for 480 yards and six touchdowns in his last three games. Florida State’s Chris Weinke set the precedent for an older player winning the Heisman in 2000 and Weeden is looking to repeat that trend this year in leading OSU to an undefeated season.
Brett Smith — Wyoming vs New Mexico. Smith has four consecutive games of at least two touchdowns and is a mismatch for the New Mexico defense because of his ability to scramble and make plays on the perimeter. UNM has produced only eight sacks on the season and their defensive backs are used primarily in deep, cover-two type packages that allow opposing offenses to exploit “soft spots” on short to intermediate routes. As long as they can limit their turnovers, Wyoming should be able to march up and down the field without resistance. The Lobos rank last in the Western Atlantic in total defense and yield an average of 466.3 total yards per game.
Mid-to-Low End Options
Robert Griffin — Baylor vs Oklahoma
James Franklin — Missouri vs Texas Tech
Landry Jones — Oklahoma at Baylor
Kain Colter — Northwestern vs Minnesota
Aaron Murray — Georgia vs Kentucky
Tyler Tettleton — Ohio at Bowling Green
Ryan Radcliff — Central Michigan vs Toledo
Logan Thomas — Virginia Tech vs. North Carolina
Derek Carr — Fresno State at Hawaii
Kriss Proctor — Navy at San Jose State