West Virginia's Geno Smith broke free from a huge pack of middling Heisman contenders this weekend, putting up video game numbers in a 70-63 win over Baylor. Smith was 45 for 51 passing, good for 656 yards and 8 touchdowns. For the mathematically challenged, here's a word version: he had two more touchdowns than he did incompletions. Tip of the defense-free cap to you, Mr. Smith. (The defense-free cap a jaunty number, with a felt lining and a rakish bearing.)
While Smith got and will continue to get a great deal of love from the national media, the people that brought you the quixotic quest to rename William & Mary's mascot (shoulda been the Wren, dammit), and convince the NCAA to let the Tribe into the 2010 men's basketball tournament are focusing their considerable energies on a new project. Friends, we bring you:
Heinicke for Heisman 2012: Big Blue Beast Reborn
Old Dominion is playing this season in a sort of athletic limbo. The Monarchs are moving to Conference USA next season, putting on FBS big boy pants. As a result, the CAA deemed them (and Georgia State, headed to the Sun Belt) ineligible for the league championship and corresponding FCS tournament autobid.
All ODU's done in response is raise holy hell on the field, led by sophomore quarterback Taylor Heinicke. The Blue are 5-0, ranked #4 in FCS, after a 45-37 road win against Richmond. They are averaging 56.2 points per game, with the 45 they tallied against Richmond a season-low. Heinicke, a sophomore from Atlanta, had a poor game by his standards on Saturday, only throwing for 360 yards on 32-42 passing with a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 52 yards and another score.
Wait. What? Since when is 412 total yards and 3 scores a poor game?
When you average 503.6 total yards and 4.8 tallies, that's when.
Heinicke hasn't even played a full season as a starter, having taken over as ODU's signal caller in the middle of 2011 as a true freshman, but he's already in the argument as the best quarterback in CAA history. His 730-yard passing explosion in ODU's 64-61 win over New Hampshire two weeks ago set a new Division I record for yards. In five games this season, he's passed for 2281 yards and 21 touchdowns, completing 69.0% of his passes. He's also run for 237 net yards (negative yardage lost on sacks counts against quarterbacks in college ball) and three more scores.
And so, in the tradition of Holy Cross great Gordie Lockbaum (third in Heisman voting in 1987), the transcendent Steve McNair of Alcorn State (third in 1993), and the lovable Joe Dudek of Division III Plymouth State (ninth in 1985), we launch our campaign from Clarence's back porch just a few blocks from ODU's venerable Foreman Field.
Sports Illustrated was a huge driving force in Dudek's top-10 finish in 1985. We're demonstrably better than SI in a number of ways (facial hair, for example, and willingness to curse), so we're very confident in our ability to propel Heinicke to stardom.
ODU is off this week, before facing Villanova on October 13th in Norfolk. Spread the word, and get in on the ground floor. This rocketship's going all the way to New York, BCS be damned.