It is usually clear who the front runners for the Heisman trophy are in just the first few weeks of the season.
By the time the presentation rolls around, you can look back to the beginning of the season and see that the winner’s name was among those who were categorized as the “front runner.”
Commonly, the winner is the best player on the best team in the country that is usually playing in the National Title game. But every now and then, the trophy winner won’t actually be on the best team in the country.
One of the front runners for this season is West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, the 6-3 senior who has been lighting up the scoreboard this season.
Currently, the Mountaineers are ranked 9th in the country and steadily rising up the ranks.
They are 4-0 and just won their first game in the Big 12 after their move from the Big East this past offseason.
It is too early to tell whether or not West Virginia as a team could be the best team in the country and compete for a National Title, but it is very clear that Smith is one of — if not the best — player in the country and certainly deserving of having his name among the front runners.
In four games this season, Smith has thrown for 1728 yards and 20 touchdowns. The Mountaineers beat Baylor this week 70-63, aided of course by Smith’s amazing performance of 656 yards through the air and eight touchdowns.
Eight touchdowns, eight touchdowns in one game. Smith had the performance of his life, spring boarding him into the top position in the Heisman chase.
Last season the Heisman trophy winner came from Baylor, Robert Griffin III was also an exciting multi-threat quarterback. RG3 was one of the few Heisman winners that did not play for the best team in the country.
Griffin wasn’t playing for a great team, but he made that team very good. Smith has the ability to make West Virginia one of the best teams in the country.
We will know much more about West Virginia once they get into the tougher stretches of their Big 12 schedule. This weekend they head into Texas to face off against the Longhorns who are a much stronger opponent than Marshall and Baylor.
If Smith is able to have similar success against the Longhorns this weekend then that will really help his case.
And as RG3 proved last season, playing for a weaker team that has a loss or two doesn’t always hurt your case to win the Heisman. Even if Smith loses a couple of games along the way, if he keeps up the great numbers then he might have a legitimate shot at the title.
West Virginia will probably lose a game or two this season, but there is a strong chance that Geno will still be in the hunt for the Heisman, especially if he keeps up the amazing numbers.
Tyler Rollason is a Winder-Barrow High School graduate and mass communications major at the University of West Georgia. You can e-mail comments about this column to firstname.lastname@example.org.