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WVU Football: A Look At Geno Smith's Heisman Competition

Geno Smith of the West Virginia Mountaineers is definitely in the field for the Heisman Trophy. After Matt Barkley's sub-par performance in USC's loss to Stanford, Mr. Smith may even be the favorite.

Smith was ranked at No. 1 in the Heisman Horse Race by Bill Connelly, who said the QB had the No. 5 performance of the week, behind his own receiver Stedman Bailey, who had 13 receptions for 173 yards receiving and three touchdowns against James Madison. Here's what Connelly had to say about Smith:

Bailey and (Tavon) Austin make life easy, but you're still going to make the list when you complete 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards and five touchdowns. You just are. Heisman voters are seduced by stats -- it's why quarterbacks win so frequently and why defenders never win -- and Smith's stats are just too gaudy to ignore.

No. 2 in the race for Connelly is Denard Robinson, who already had an awful performance for Michigan in the team's season-opening blowout loss at the hands of No. 1 Alabama. The best performer this past week in Connelly's eyes was Jeff Driskel of Florida, who performed shockingly well down the stretch as his team dismantled Tennessee. When the much-maligned Driskel is even being mentioned as one of the candidates, the Heisman race is absolutely wide open.

That said, it's very early in the season, and the Mountaineers have yet to play a decent opponent who could tarnish Smith's reputation. It's just surprising to see so many preseason front-runners for the trophy -- like Barkley -- fallen by the wayside this quickly.

For more on West Virginia football, head over to The Smoking Musket and continue to check out SB Nation Pittsburgh.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.