Hunting the Heisman: Just Give it to Geno
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith likely already has a seat in New York after his game-winning performance over then-No. 11 Texas last weekend, where he threw for 268 yards and four touchdowns.
His only knock? His incompletions exceeded his touchdowns. What a shame.
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Passing: 166-of-204 (81.4 percent), 1,996 yards, 24 TDs, 0 INTs
Rushing: 27 carries, 65 yards (2.4 ypc), TD
Why: There's no one near Smith's level right now. He proved to the nation that he can perform at the highest level in a hostile environment by picking apart the Texas defense. Now his next challenge is to keep a steady pace for the rest of the season. If he does so, the Heisman is his for the keeping.
2. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
Passing: 83-of-135 (61.5 percent), 1,060 yards, 9 TDs, 3 INTs
Rushing: 106 carries, 763 yards (7.2 ypc), 8 TDs
Why: Big games such as Michigan State and Nebraska were supposed to make or break Braxton Miller's Heisman legitimacy. Two wins and 628 yards later, and those questions have been answered. The sophomore is arguably the best dual-threat in the nation and is still developing, which is a scary thought.
3. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Passing: 63-of-94 (67.0 percent), 887 yards, 7 TDs, 2 INTs
Rushing: 73, 405 yards (5.5 ypc), 7 TDs
Why: Klein improved his Heisman candidacy with 245 total yards and four touchdowns in a 56-16 blowout win over Kansas last weekend. He's not your typical quarterback, averaging just 18.8 passing attempts per game, but he's undoubtedly worthy at this point.
4. Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
Receiving: 49 rec, 710 yards (14.5 ypr), 13 TDs
Why: Bailey has five more touchdown receptions than any other wide receiver in the NCAA. What's even more impressive about that statistic is the fact that his counterpart — Tavon Austin — is No. 2 in the nation with eight. Bailey is on pace to break Troy Edwards' single-season record for receiving touchdowns (27) and would be the first wideout to take home the trophy since Desmond Howard in 1991.
5. A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Passing: 73-of-111 (65.8 percent), 999 yards, 12 TDs, 0 INTs
Rushing: 19 carries, -41 yards (-2.2 ypc)
Why: Why shouldn't A.J. McCarron be on this list? He's one of the most consistent, efficient passers in the country and already has a national title under his belt (not to mention his team is once again the consensus No. 1 in the AP Poll). Sure, he isn't asked to do a whole lot in Nick Saban's run heavy offense — but he's smooth, a leader, and wins ball games.
Others to watch (in order)
6. Nick Florence, QB, Baylor
7. Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
8. De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
9. Johnanthan Franklin, RB, UCLA
10. David Ash, QB, Texas
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