K-State Q&A: When will Netflix make a documentary on Heisman finalist Collin Klein?

It would be interesting to know how much differently the 2012 Heisman Trophy race might have turned out had voters been given access to “Minority Report” technology that allowed them to peer into the future and see what the three finalists would go on to do with their lives.
Johnny Manziel (474 first-place votes) was a runaway winner at the time, because he put up gaudy stats and he had an unforgettable Heisman moment during a Texas A&M victory at Alabama. But he turned out to be a loose cannon off the field and he is now recognized more as a party animal than a quarterback.
His fall from grace was so fascinating that Netflix made a documentary about him.
Manti Te’o (321 first-place votes) was chosen as the runner-up after he had a stellar senior season at Notre Dame and dedicated his play to his girlfriend, who had reportedly died tragically earlier that year. But he turned out to be the victim of a Catfish scheme and his girlfriend was nothing more than a figment of his imagination.
His story was so bizarre that it dominated national news. Netflix made a documentary about him, too.
That brings us to Collin Klein, the other Heisman finalist from that season. He only received 60 first-place votes and finished a distant third behind Manziel and Te’o.
Klein did some amazing things in a K-State football uniform, including leading the Wildcats to 11 wins as a senior while throwing for 2,641 yards and 16 touchdowns, along with 920 yards and 23 touchdowns as a rusher. He also played through dozens of injuries and gave everything he had to the Wildcats.
He was one of the best quarterbacks in school history. His name has since been immortalized at Bill Snyder Family Stadium as a member of the football program’s ring of honor.
None of that was enough for him to impress voters, but maybe they would have given him another look had they known he would later become a family man and a successful football coach. Character is important for some voters.
Klein has never encountered off-field problems. He is now the offensive coordinator at his alma mater. It probably won’t be long before he becomes a head coach.
Netflix has not made a documentary about him. It probably never will.
But Klein is the only one of the three who remains on an upward trajectory when it comes to football.
Looking back, has there ever been a stranger mix of three Heisman finalists? I wonder what they talked about during their limited time together in New York before the ceremony.
Some K-State fans have pounced on all the developments listed above to insist that Klein was robbed of a Heisman Trophy more than a decade ago.
I wouldn’t go quite that far. K-State and Texas A&M both finished 11-2 that season and Manziel had better stats. The Aggies finished No. 5 in the national rankings. The Wildcats ended up at No. 12. Klein made impressive plays, but he beat opponents with power and consistency. His robotic play earned him the nickname Optimus Klein. He was outstanding. But Johnny Manziel played with a more exciting, gunslinger style that got him more love on “SportsCenter” and appealed to voters.
It’s not hard to see why Manziel won the Heisman that year or why Te’o finished second. But Klein has kicked their butts in the game of life ever since.
His story is still being written. Maybe he will be worthy of a Netflix documentary in another 10 years.
Now, let’s dive into your questions about the Wildcats. Thanks, as always, for providing them.
There are a few contenders for this honor.
Will Howard: The K-State quarterback could run for a bunch of touchdowns this season if Klein, as offensive coordinator, lets him run near the goal line. The only problem with Howard is that he was a pass-dominant QB last season. K-State could look elsewhere for rushing touchdowns.
DJ Giddens: This seems like the most logical choice. The Junction City running back is a bruising runner, and he does most of his damage between the tackles. K-State coaches started using him as a short-yardage specialist late last year. It won’t be a surprise if he scores in bunches now that Deuce Vaughn is in the NFL.
Treshaun Ward: If the Wildcats don’t use Giddens as their main running back at the goal line then Ward could handle that role. He’s going to get a lot of work, so he is also a strong option.
Ben Sinnott: Most of the highlight passes that K-State has shared on social media from training camp this month have been of Howard throwing touchdowns to tight ends and fullbacks in the middle of the end zone. If that trend carries over into the season, Sinnott could be the college equivalent of Travis Kelce. It’s unlikely that a pass-catcher ends up with more touchdowns than a running back. But if anyone can make that happen it’s Sinnott.
Keagan Johnson: Let’s say Howard has a Heisman-level season and throws for way more touchdowns than any of us suspect. If that happens, Johnson is going to catch a ton of passes after transferring in from Iowa.
My pick: DJ Giddens. He rushed for six touchdowns last season as a backup. Howard only rushed for three touchdowns as the starting quarterback. This seems like his year to lead the Wildcats with touchdown spikes.
Oh, I much prefer the current setup with Oklahoma and Texas.
There will definitely be something fun about the new Big 12 after it expands to 16 teams. No conference will have more parity in football or be more dominant in men’s basketball.
Every season, experts will find a way to argue for five different teams as the preseason favorite in football. I could see Baylor, Houston, K-State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, UCF and Utah all potentially emerging as heavyweights in that wide open of a conference.
It will be fun to watch every single year, a lot like the NFL where every team seemingly has a chance.
Basketball will be epic with Arizona, Baylor and Kansas slugging it out each season.
But there won’t be any national powers or villains for most of the conference to try and beat. Love them or hate them, Oklahoma and Texas made the Big 12 a stronger conference, much like Alabama and Georgia boost the SEC and Michigan and Ohio State lead the way for the Big Ten.
Any time K-State beat Oklahoma or Texas, it was a big deal. Even when they weren’t very good, those wins still meant the world to the Wildcats. It may be a while before new teams emerge and replace them in the Big 12.
That is why I will miss the Longhorns and the Sooners after they leave for the SEC.
To be clear, this splits the Big 12 into two divisions.
Hateful Eight: Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, K-State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia.
Grateful Eight: Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, Cincinnati, Colorado, Houston, UCF, Utah.
Those are two great division names, by the way. Much better than legends and leaders.
I favor the Hateful Eight in this scenario. That group has more depth to it than the new and incoming teams to the Big 12. K-State and Texas Tech are ready to win now. TCU was just in the national championship game. Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas and Oklahoma State all have quality coaches.
More often than not, I like that group better than the eight teams that are grateful to be here.
But it’s no slam dunk. The Grateful Eight has some programs with extraordinarily high ceilings. People are sleeping on UCF in this league. The Knights have much easier entry guidelines for recruits than any other power-conference team in Florida. And now the Knights are in a power conference. I think they will be able to compete with Florida and Florida State for local recruits and be a kingpin in the Big 12.
Utah is coming off back-to-back championships in the Pac-12. The Utes are going to be hard to beat in their new league, too. Houston is also loaded with potential.
I won’t hold my breath until it happens, but Arizona State is also just waiting to be great at sports. The Sun Devils are the ultimate sleeping giants in college sports. Phoenix is loaded with recruits and a destination city for many college football players. I’m not really sure how they have been so consistently bad. There’s no excuse for it. Maybe they finally get their act together in the Big 12.
There are far less caveats in the Hateful Eight. So I favor them.
E-MAIL QUESTION: I know no one from K-State or the Big 12 is gloating publicly over the demise and irony of the PAC 12 (the irony being that they wanted to blow-up the Big 12 not all that many years ago) falling apart. But to the point: are any of these people quietly gloating to themselves? Not going to lie, I sorta kinda am! - Stan K.
I would wager a large sum of money that athletic directors from all across the Big 12 lit cigars when they delivered a knockout punch to the Pac-12 by poaching Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah.
The Big 12 seemed to be on the wrong end of conference realignment for a dozen years, and yet it somehow turned into a hunter and survived.
Do I feel bad for the Pac-12? Yes, of course. When the Big 12 was on death watch it was no fun thinking about the conference dissolving and some teams getting lost behind in the shuffle ... especially KU and K-State. I hate that schools like Oregon State and Washington State may get kicked out of the P5 ranks.
But no one has ever thrown a pity party for the Big 12. Many national writers seemed to celebrate its apparent demise. I always thought that was weird. So I don’t feel all that bad that it happened to someone else. This, sadly, is just part of college athletics.
The Big 12 seems content to stay at 16 teams for the foreseeable future.
Nothing would surprise me with Brett Yormark as the commissioner, but I don’t see where four more expansion candidates are going to emerge. He would probably push something like Connecticut and Syracuse to secure the New York market. But, boy, I hope that doesn’t happen.
Florida State or Clemson asking for a Big 12 invite is about the only thing that would make sense right now.
As for your question about the Wildcat QB outside of Will Howard, I am going to shine my light on the defensive side of the ball. Let’s go with Austin Moore. The linebacker led K-State with 87 tackles last season and could very easily push for 100 or more this year.
With Daniel Green back, it will make it difficult for offenses to scheme around him. I am excited to see what “The Machine” can do.
I will say, it seems like too many people are sleeping on Troy.
One of my editors recently told me he thought K-State had a particularly easy football schedule this year. Let’s call him Scott C. No, that’s too obvious. Let’s go with S. Chasen.
First off, he isn’t showing much respect to a road game against Missouri. Then again, the Wildcats beat the Tigers 40-12 last season. So maybe that’s fair.
But I won’t stand for any Troy slander.
Some experts have the Trojans ranked in the top 40 of their national preseason rankings. They won 12 games a year ago and had an absolutely salty defense. Their only losses came 28-10 at Ole Miss and 32-28 on a last-second Hail Mary against Appalachian State. They weren’t far away from being undefeated.
Troy will provide K-State with an early test, and it should be a game that even casual fans want to watch.
But not everyone is a total football nerd like me and realizes that Troy is one of the best Group of Five teams out there. So it’s really not that surprising that it got a morning kickoff.
Yes, it is very easy to fly to the DFW Metroplex from Denver, Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Tucson.
Colorado is probably the hardest location to reach, simply because you have to drive there after flying into Denver.
Still, travel won’t be a problem for any of the new members. The only hard travel destination is West Virginia.
If there was a way for all of us in the media world to both give away our product for free and make good money we would happily do it.
Personally, I would love it if Dillons let me shop at their grocery stores for free instead of asking me to pay for delicious food. Would be even better if they profited off such a transaction.
We will make it happen whenever that day arrives.
Volleyball?
I would say baseball, but the College World Series happens in the summer when most of the students are gone. Hard to see Aggieville getting too rowdy on a random Tuesday night in June.
Golf, tennis and track encounter the same problem.
That leaves us with volleyball or soccer. I lean volleyball here. Fans could watch the matches at a bar and then celebrate on Moro afterward.
Depending on when you read this mailbag, the countdown clock to Kansas State’s first football game against SEMO should be around 22 days.
If you can’t wait that long, Navy plays Notre Dame at 1:30 p.m. a week earlier.
There are also preseason NFL games. It won’t be long before you can find high school games.
Hang in there!

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