HEISMANCAST: Geno Smith still leading the pack despite loss to Texas Tech

According to Heisman Pundit Chris Huston, Geno Smith is still No. 1 on the Heisman Watch. (US Presswire)

With half of the season in the rear-view mirror, has much changed in the Heisman race? Frontrunner Geno Smith might have taken a hit when West Virginia got blown out of Lubbock by Texas Tech, but has he been replaced at the top of the Heisman Watch?

The answer, to both questions, is no.

Chris Huston joins me for another edition of the Heismancast, and explains how the 2012 Heisman Race is not as "wide open" as some other experts claim. In fact, the race has narrowed to what Chris believes are three legitimate candidates with a shot to win: Smith, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller.

We run down the highs and lows of each candidate, including what could make or break their status with the Heisman electorate. Then we spend a decent amount of time discussing Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who has already broken his own SEC single-game records in just six games of collegiate action. The electrifying quarterback might be a year away from serious Heisman contention, but we suggest that if -- and it's a BIG IF (WE'RE TALKING LIKE IF TO THE NTH DEGREE) -- he can lead the Aggies to a victory over LSU and Alabama you can't rule out some hardware for Johnny Football.

In a hurry? Check the contents below for specific topics.

0:00 -- Huston Intro
0:54 -- Geno Smith's stock after West Virginia's loss to Texas Tech
6:18 -- Johnny Manziel's immediate impact on the SEC, college football in general
10:00 -- Manziel comparisons from Chris: Air Force quarterback Dee Dowis. I don't remember watching Dowis but "water bug style running" is the best description ever.
13:52 -- Collin Klein's three-year maturation into a Heisman contender
16:40 -- Kansas State at West Virginia -- who has the edge?
21:00 -- How many candidates realistically could win the trophy?
22:40 -- Braxton Miller's checklist for contention.
27:30 -- Individuals to keep an eye on for years to come.

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CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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