The first four weeks of this college football season were dominated by team-related storylines. Whether it was Alabama’s supremacy over the rest of the SEC, Oregon’s surprising success, or Arkansas’ embarrassing failures – teams were consistently what we came away talking about. That changed in Week 5. Following the events that took place this past Saturday, there is only one thing in college football that anyone wants to talk about today.
Coming into this season, everyone knew that Smith was a potential Heisman candidate. The one thing that everyone said about his chances, however, was that they were directly linked to the sort of monster numbers he could and would put up. Because West Virginia won’t play for a National Title, in order for Smith to get legitimate consideration over guys on contending teams, he would have to rack up statistics worthy of the honor.
And that’s exactly what he has been doing thus far.
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Eight touchdown and 656 yards on 45-of-51 passing – that’s what he put up versus Baylor this weekend. For the year Smith has racked up 20 touchdowns and 1728 yards on 141-of-169 passing. Mind you this is through four games.
West Virginia is ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll and No. 7 in the USA Today Poll this week. Is that too high? Probably. Victories over the likes of Marshall, James Madison, Maryland and Baylor (to whom the Mountaineers gave up 63 points) shouldn’t earn anyone a top 10 spot. But it is what it is. With outings against Texas and Kansas State on the agenda over the next three weeks, it’s probably a safe bet that West Virginia will dip sooner rather than later anyway
Other notes from the weekend that was:
Alabama giving up 14 points to Ole Miss doesn’t mean they’re not as good as we thought they were; Nick Saban’s unit, hands down, is the best in college football. Oregon’s defense is not all it was cracked up to be after last week's win versus Arizona. Games against Washington and USC over the next month will tell us everything we need to know about this squad. LSU may not be winning pretty, but they’re still winning. The Tigers are dipping in the standings because of the expectations folks had coming into 2012, not because the team is actually worse than Oregon. (It isn’t.) Georgia and South Carolina are for real. Contrary to what some would have you believe, no team outside of the SEC can challenge Alabama. In the SEC, however, both the Bulldogs and Gamecocks can.
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Texas should be getting a lot more attention than they are currently getting. Best team in the conference right now, without a doubt. Showdowns versus West Virginia and Oklahoma over the next two weeks should cement that. USC took a hit when Stanford lost this week. The Pac-12 got very overrated during the first month of this season, so expect everyone’s perception of the conference to come back down to earth over the rest of the year. (Which is bad news for the Trojans, obviously.)
Ohio State’s victory doesn’t mean much – Michigan State is awful this year. The Big Ten being so weak is making the Buckeyes look better than they actually are. While you should probably sell the Pac-12, don’t sell Oregon State. This team could potentially hand Washington, Stanford and/or Oregon some devastating losses over the next couple of months.
With all that in mind, here are this week’s rankings:
3. Florida State
6. South Carolina
7. Kansas State
8. West Virginia
9. Notre Dame
12. Ohio State
14. Oregon State
20. Mississippi State
4. Florida State
6. South Carolina
7. West Virginia
8. Kansas State
10. Notre Dame
17. Oregon State
19. Mississippi State
24. Texas Tech
25. Boise State