Via kstatefans on YouTube

K-State quarterback Collin Klein tied the NCAA record first set by Navy's Ricky Dobbs for most rushing touchdowns (27) in a single season in 2011. Klein accounted for more touchdowns (40) by himself than Iowa State, Kansas and 41 other FBS programs. 

Yet when the preseason All-Big 12 team came out this year, Klein was behind the Big 12's more accomplished passers -- emphasis on passer.

Give him a PR team, move him from the Little Apple to the college football equivalent of the Big Apple (Alabama or Oklahoma perhaps?) and Klein would likely be every bit the sensation of a running quarterback you might have heard of named Tim Tebow.

That probably wouldn't suit Klein, who has just 7,296 Twitter followers compared to the 1.8 million-plus of Tebow, but it's difficult to ignore the similarities. Both are open about their faith; both have unorthodox throwing motions and both have won a lot of games with their legs. Only Klein has received much less attention. 

Now, here's the part where K-State fans might want to turn away. After Tebow won the Heisman trophy in his first year as a starter in his sophomore season, his numbers regressed as a junior. 

Sophomore: 210 rushing attempts, 895 rushing yards, 23 rushing TDs, completed 234 of 350 passes (66.9 percent), 3,286 passing yards, 32 passing TDs/6 INTs.

Junior: 176 rushing attempts, 673 rushing yards, 12 rushing TDs, completed 192 of 298 passes (64.4 percent), 2,746 yards passing yards, 30 TDs/4 INTs.

It wasn't a big drop off, but it was a drop off. SEC defenses were not ready for a running QB like Tebow his first go-around in the league, similar to what happened last year in the Big 12. 

What makes a quarterback like Klein difficult to prepare for is that he's like a knuckleballer. Each week Big 12 defenses go up against spread offenses and lots and lots of passing, then Klein and K-State try to run them over, similar to the way Nebraska won many years with its option attack. 

If Klein is going to regress, it's simply because Big 12 defenses will at least have an idea of what to expect. Unlike Tebow who was a known commodity before he ever put on the Florida jersey, Klein entered the 2011 season as a fourth-year junior who had started two games at quarterback and two at receiver in his career. In K-State's opener, the Wildcats put up only 10 points against Eastern Kentucky, an FCS program

No one predicted what followed. The Wildcats averaged 33.6 points per game the rest of the season and won 10 games on their way to the Cotton Bowl. 

Klein might be a longshot to win the Heisman or even make the All-Big 12 first-team, but he should at least be in consideration, especially if he makes another run at the record books. If Klein duplicated his junior season, he would pass former Nebraska QB Eric Crouch for the most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a career. Crouch scored 59 TDs; Klein has 33. If Klein is able to up his passing TDs -- he has 14 -- he could join Tebow as one of only eight quarterbacks to pass for 40 touchdowns and throw for 40 touchdowns in a career. Those numbers will be tough to reach, especially if Klein's TDs drop, which has to be expected. 

The good news for K-State fans: Even though Tebow couldn't duplicate his sophomore numbers, Florida went from nine wins to 13 and a national championship.

K-State went from seven wins in 2010 to 10 in 2011. Eight of those wins came by a touchdown or less, so the expectation is that K-State will not be able to duplicate that success. Of course, when it comes to the Tebows and Kleins of the world, it's typically safe to ignore expectations.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from Big 12 bloggers C.J. Moore and Patrick Southern, follow @CBSSportsBig12 on Twitter.