With many of last year's Heisman hopefuls moving on to the professional ranks—namely Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III—a new wave of names will fight to earn the recognition as college football’s most impressive player.
While the favorites to win may appear murky at this time of the year, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has the potential to separate himself as a Heisman front-runner by Week 9 of the 2013 season.
Last season, Smith exploded for 4,385 yards, 31 touchdowns and only seven interceptions—all while maintaining a 65.8 percent completion percentage (via ESPN.com). As impressive as his 2011 stats are, Smith will have to do even more in 2012 if he wants to claim the Heisman Trophy as his own.
The competition will be stiff. Smith cannot allow his name to be buried beneath the Matt Barkleys and Montee Balls of college football. Much like Griffin did last season, Smith will have to burst onto the scene in 2012.