In the first three weeks of the college football season, the Heisman Trophy chances for WVU’s Geno Smith have improved. And, he really has nothing to do with it.
Sure, Smith has played well. However, he has only played two games and only one of those was against an FBS opponent.
Some of his preseason competition for the Heisman has not fared well. USC quarterback Matt Barkley saw his team lose at Stanford this past weekend. Michigan’s Denard Robinson was knocked around by Alabama, the best defense in the country, and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball has not had much room to run. It is safe to say that three of the top contenders have had very nonHeisman-like moments.
Smith is positioned well. He is winning easily against his nonconference schedule and he plays a struggling Maryland team this week. The Florida State game, originally scheduled for Sept. 8, was dropped by West Virginia and would have been a good measuring stick game for his Heisman resume.
There are some other names that could creep into the Heisman race as the season goes along. If Alabama continues to win, that will mean that Crimson Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron is having a good season. Some of the Heisman candidates at Oregon will gain momentum if the Ducks end up winning the Pac-12. And don’t count out South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore.
The Heisman race is about accomplishment. Early in the season, though, it is also about attrition. Thus far, some of the contenders have stubbed their toes. Geno Smith is still waiting his turn to shine in the national spotlight.