Kansas State Wildcats: Big 12 Champions

By Mike Atkinson

The Kansas State Wildcats defeated the Texas Longhorns last night and clinched the Big 12 championship.

With the win, the Wildcats have also assured themselves a spot in the 2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, AZ.

After struggling early in the game, the Wildcats came back to win 42-24.

Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein had a solid game, increasing his Heisman stock yet again. Klein was the front-runner for the trophy a few weeks ago, until his team lost to the Baylor Bears.

I had originally thought Klein was a bit overrated. However, after watching this game, I think Klein is more than worthy to receive the Heisman. He threw beautiful deep balls across the middle of the field and also read blocks on runs better than some running backs. Klein is for real. If you were like me, and haven’t jumped on this kid’s bandwagon yet, now is a great time to get on.

Texas quarterback Case McCoy also had a great performance in the losing effort. He completed 17 straight passes at one point in the game and helped keep his team stay in it early.

McCoy showed great promise, but couldn’t get the job done. He had a costly interception late in the game and looked rattled after the Wildcats jumped ahead.

What this game shows me is how competitive the Big 12 really is.

It seems like every team in the Big 12 has beaten any other team in the conference at least once. Obviously that’s not the case, but 50 percent of the conference is 7-5. Any team is capable of beating any other team on any given Saturday.

For example, the West Virginia Mountaineers beat Baylor early in the season. The Mountaineers then later in the season, lost to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Baylor went on to beat No. 1 Kansas State and OSU. This has happened at some point to almost every team in the conference. The Texas Christian Horned Frogs had a few upsets as well.

The Big 12 is as stable a conference as ever, and had more ranked teams at one point in the season than the SEC. The Big 12 has been more competitive this season than it has in quite a while. Look for continued success from this conference in the future.

In the midst of conference realignment, the Big 12 is a great place to be.

Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeAtkinsonRS or visit his Rant Sports Author Page.

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