WVU Football: Is Stedman Bailey Getting Enough Credit for the Mountaineers?

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIAugust 13, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 04:  Stedman Bailey #3 of the West Virginia Mountaineers scores a 3-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter against Bashaud Breeland #17 of the Clemson Tigers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When you think of Heisman candidates on the West Virginia University football team, the two names that come to mind are receiver Tavon Austin and quarterback Geno Smith.

A name that may be overlooked by fans across the nation is wide receiver Stedman Bailey.  While Bailey's efforts are appreciated, he isn't in the talks for a winner of the Heisman.

He wasn't even a member of the preseason Maxwell Award—something he tweeted about.  While he was snubbed out of the Big East All-Conference First Team award, Bailey uses all of this as motivation to prove his critics wrong.

Keep in mind that Bailey is only a junior.  He ended up leading the Mountaineers with 1,279 yards receiving, but more of the attention would go to Austin and his quickness on special teams and as a receiver.

Bailey led all of the Big East in yards and yards per catch last season.  This season, Bailey will need to prove a lot to get the extra recognition he deserves.  The nation and Big 12 preseason committees may be sleeping on him.

The junior out of Miramar, Fla. has been as consistent of a receiver as they come.  His 12 receiving touchdowns was best in the conference as well.  It was clear that Bailey and Austin were the two receivers that deserved the Big East All-Conference First Team nods. 

In Bailey's first two seasons at West Virginia, he has managed 16 touchdowns and more than 1,500 receiving yards.  You would think the Big East would have honored the wide receiver for his dominating play in the conference.  Not to mention that Bailey was a key part to WVU's success.

If he is to have another season like that in the Big 12, Bailey will turn heads.  It's arguably the second-best conference in college football, and to compete with the likes of Baylor's Terrance Williams and Oklahoma's Kenny Stills, that is saying something. 

It's the second year under head coach Dana Holgorsen's high-octane offense, and the sky is the limit for Smith, Austin and Bailey.  With these three earning extra national spotlight, the nation still feels that WVU will not be as good as Oklahoma.

In a recent SportsNation poll, 83 percent of the country believes that Oklahoma will win the conference. 

With Bailey getting snubbed out of preseason awards, he will play with a chip on his shoulder this season.  If his numbers get even better in the Big 12, his name won't be forgotten so easily.