Geno Smith owned the first half of the college football season. From the first whistle against Marshall on September 1 through the final whistle against Texas Tech last weekend, Smith has been the statistical Heisman frontrunner. It’s hard to argue against his numbers, 2,271 yards passing with 25 touchdowns and no interceptions. Last year only 24 quarterbacks in the nation threw for more than 25 touchdowns in the entire season.
This week when Smith faces of against Kansas State the statistics may not matter. There will only be one number that matters at the end of the day on Saturday, the final score. Smith must win this game to stay the Heisman favorite.
Collin Klein knows this, he knows that winning ugly is his thing. He knows that if he can scrape out a win in Morgantown against the frontrunner in the race for the Heisman, he can take his spot. Klein knows that he doesn’t need to throw for 300 yards and three scores, he just needs to score one more point than West Virginia. Klein’s candidacy doesn’t rely on gaudy numbers and flash, it relies on his perceived leadership and his ability to win.
If (and when?) Kansas State wins this game Smith will take a considerable step back. Depending on how he plays he could realistically fall below Braxton Miller (who plays Purdue) for the time being.
Don’t go tearing up your Smith to win the Heisman at 7/1 betting slips just yet. Sure, he’ll fall to second temporarily but just as the Heisman isn’t won in September, it won’t be won on Ocotober 20, 2012.
Smith will have multiple opportunities to redeem himself in the five remaining games of the season, against Oklahoma most notably. We’ve said all season that Smith could lose a game or three if his numbers stayed phenomenal and we still believe that, but there will be a recourse for losing back to back games.
Games to watch
Kansas State at West Virginia: See above.
Stanford at California: The Big Game.
Games to watch SEC edition!
South Carolina at Florida: South Carolina, Florida and Georgia don’t get to play against Alabama this year in the regular season so they are all clamoring to play them in the post season. I can’t for the life of me figure out why. This game helps decide who gets to be rolled by the Tide (apologies).
LSU at Texas A&M: HP thinks that this game could be the launching point for a feverish run at the Heisman for Johnny Manziel. I think this game is going to be entertaining as hell.
Alabama at Tennessee: Derek Dooley needs to win eight games to have any kind of prayer of staying at Tennessee. Currently at 3-3 with seven games left he has to win five. That means the Volunteers have to either beat Alabama or South Carolina. You can get the Volunteers at +800 to win. I’d take those odds.