In the what have you done for me lately world of college football, it's tempting to conclude that West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith's Heisman chances took a major hit after his team was crushed by Texas Tech, 49-14, on Saturday.
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Indeed, we're likely to see his margin in the Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Straw Poll narrow quite a bit come Tuesday.
But, despite the rout, the fundamentals of the race still favor Smith.
Most voters understand, for instance, that the Mountaineers' loss was due primarily to a porous defensive unit. While Smith's production -- 29 of 52 for 275 yards and one touchdown -- was not up to his standards, he can't control what happens on the other side of the ball.
And, despite West Virginia's lofty ranking, I don't think many voters considered the Mountaineers to be legitimate national title contenders. Smith's Heisman quest has never been reliant upon his leading his team to an undefeated season -- it's been about him putting up incredible numbers while helping his team to compete with the big boys of the Big 12. Even with the loss, the incredible numbers are still there and West Virginia is still challenging for the conference title.
Through six games, Smith has 2,271 yards, with 26 touchdowns and no interceptions. He's on pace for a 52-touchdown season and (most likely) an absurdly-low interception total, which should make him a shoo-in for the trophy come December -- as long as the Mountaineers win at least nine or 10 games.
That doesn't mean Smith has the race clinched. A matchup with Kansas State and Collin Klein next Saturday in Morgantown has the potential to turn things upside down, as do future games against TCU and Oklahoma. But as long as Smith's overall stats continue to portray an epic season, he's in the driver's seat.
It's going to take a lot more than one loss to knock him out.