Kansas State vs. West Virginia: Why Geno Smith Is Still Heisman Front-Runner

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Kansas State vs. West Virginia: Why Geno Smith Is Still Heisman Front-Runner
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

One game doesn’t win you the Heisman trophy, and one game shouldn’t mean that you end up losing the trophy. That’s why, after one subpar game, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith, should still be the favorite to hoist this year’s trophy in the air. 

Before we get into the meat and potatoes, let me answer some questions. 

Did Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein have a great game against West Virginia? 

Yes. 

Is a big reason for Kansas State’s 7-0 record and top-five placement in the BCS standings because of Klein? 

Of course. 

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images
  

His final stat line against the Mountaineers was impressive: 19-21, 323 yards, three touchdowns and 12 rushing attempts, 41 yards and four touchdowns. 

But, this was against a Mountaineers defense that ranked next to last in the Big 12 conference in average points per game, allowing 37.3, next to last in total yards per game, allowing 496, next to last in passing yards per game, allowing 364.7 and dead last in rushing touchdowns, allowing 12. 

And to make matters worse, these stats were all before what Klein did tonight.

So as stat-heavy as Klein’s numbers were, they came against a defense that is horrendous. 

 

Smith's still better than Klein

Smith did play his worst game of his 2012 Heisman campaign. 

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However, even with this terrible game, where he threw his first interception since the 2011 season, he still is among the leaders in every major stat category in the Big 12 and the nation. 

He has 27 touchdowns to two interceptions. That’s right, having only two interceptions is the best touchdown-to-interception ratio among his competition.

After tonight, Smith still has the lead over Klein in total touchdowns—27 to 25—the lead in total yards—2,414 to 1,948—and the lead in total offensive percentage with Smith being responsible for 73.9 percent of WVU’s total offense to Klein’s 63.9 percent of Kansas State’s total offense.

Klein 1,948—KSU 3,044

Smith 2,414—WVU 3,263 

 

How past Heisman QBs have done

Looking back at previous Heisman winners, like last year’s winner, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, you’ll see there are games where the eventual winner has had a subpar performance.

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Last year, Griffin III had three games where he threw only one touchdown. One of those games, Baylor ended up winning, and the other was a loss where Griffin III threw two interceptions to go with his lone touchdowns. 

The third game, where he threw only one touchdown, was when he got injured against Texas Tech. 

The year before Griffin, when Cam Newton won in 2010, he had three games where he was held to two touchdowns, and in one of those games, he threw two interceptions with those touchdowns. 

And to take it one step further back, in Sam Bradford’s Heisman year in 2008 with Oklahoma, he had two games where he had subpar stats of two touchdowns,

Those games didn’t hold him or any of those other two quarterbacks back from holding up the Heisman at the end of the year.

 

Still a lot of season left

Smith rushed out to such a big Heisman lead after he posted 20 touchdowns in his first four games. He then followed it up with an impressive four-touchdown performance against Texas. 

Just because he’s had two bad games, it shouldn’t take away from the great things that he’s done, so far. 

He still has five games left where he can remind everyone why he is the favorite to win the 2012 Heisman trophy. 

So, did he turn in a bad game tonight? Yes. But, because of his pitiful defense that he plays with and how much he means to his team, he still should not just be among the favorites. He should be the favorite to win this year’s trophy.

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