Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Big 12 Heisman Watch: Week 4
By David Ubben
Here's who I've got as the Big 12's best Heisman hopes through three weeks of games.
1. Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia: Smith should take over the spot as the front-runner for the award after a crazy-good two games and a USC loss in which Matt Barkley played awful. Smith has accounted for 10 touchdowns (nine passing, one rushing) and thrown just nine incompletions. West Virginia's two wins have been no-doubters fueled by the offense, and Smith is second nationally in passer rating and fourth in touchdowns.
2. Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State: Klein's Cats have had a pair of slow starts, but he made a big impression in K-State's win over Miami. He had a pretty good outing against North Texas, completing 15 of 20 passes for 230 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also added 85 yards rushing and a touchdown on 11 carries. Good enough. Klein is still a dark horse, but if he goes into Norman and wins? Look out.
3. Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma: Jones is on this list in name only so far this season. He has been underwhelming through two games, but the Sooners are still in the top 10 and Jones has big name recognition. If he has a big game in the Sooners' first real test -- Kansas State -- he'll get back in the mix. Through two games, though, Jones is completing just 62.5 percent of his passes (40-of-64) for 474 yards, four touchdowns and an interception.
4. Tavon Austin, WR/KR/PR, West Virginia: Austin has been overshadowed a bit by his more traditional teammate, Stedman Bailey, but has put up some good numbers through two games, too. He's caught 21 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns, but was quiet in the return game on Saturday, not returning a punt and taking his only kick return just 8 yards. Bailey has put up bigger numbers in the receiving game, but traditional receivers have zero chance to win the Heisman. If Austin makes noise in the return game, he could get in the mix.
Here's how I voted in this week's ESPN Heisman Watch:
- Geno Smith, QB, WVU
- De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
- Johnathan Franklin, RB, UCLA
- Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
- Matt Barkley, QB, USC -- Completely silly to think Barkley is out of this race with one bad game and one loss. Take a look at what happened to RG3 last season.