WVU Football: Does Playing for WVU Impact Geno's Chances for Heisman?

Amit BatraCorrespondent IIIOctober 16, 2012

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 06:  Geno Smith #12 of the West Virginia Mountaineers throws the ball against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith recently played a very average to below average game in Lubbock, Texas against the Red Raiders. 

In fact, his completion rate was just above 50 percent and he only threw one touchdown in a game that seemed to be a day to forget from the start.

While the West Virginia University football team made headlines for its defense, the highly anticipated offense didn't do much on that side of the ball.

Still, did Smith really have that poor of a game?  No, it wasn't that bad by any stretch of the imagination.

WVU's Smith still has not thrown an interception to date.  Did he miss his reads and receivers more than usual?  Yes, there's no question about that. 

Honestly, was he going to do what he did in the first five games all season?  Those chances were slim to none.

Perhaps the Lubbock winds gave Smith fits all day.  Maybe it had to do with the defense struggling so much and the Mountaineers not having the mental strength for another shootout.

It was West Virginia's first loss since the Louisville home game last season.  Since then, WVU had went 9-0.

In the 49-14 loss, Smith completed 29 of his 55 pass attempts.  His 53 percent completion rate is far beyond his lowest of the season.

It was the largest amount of incomplete passes Smith had thrown since last year's LSU game.

The West Virginia leader also threw for less than 300 yards for the second time this season.

In ESPN's Heisman Watch List, Smith received nine first place votes—the most out of any player in the nation.  Surprisingly, he did have one fourth place vote. 

So does playing for WVU limit Smith in any regard?  Yes, there does seem to be a large amount of people thinking there is a nationwide disdain for West Virginia for whatever reason, but is this a legitimate fear?

Don't forget—Kevin Jones did not win the Big East Player of the Year last year.  Was there any valid excuse for that?

Has the Red Raiders' game been blown way out of proportion regarding WVU and Smith?

One thing is for sure -- this Saturday's game between Kansas State and West Virginia could go a long way in deciding the Heisman victor between Smith and the Wildcats' Collin Klein.