We're finally talking Heisman this week on the ESPN blog network, and we've been asked to put together Heisman campaigns and slogans for our conference's candidates.
I'm no advertising exec, but I'll give it a shot.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Geno Smith: He's in the Big 12 now, so it's time to take him seriously.
I can't be the only one who thinks being associated with the quality quarterbacks in the Big 12 and having to outgun them from time to time will benefit Smith. He simply had no peer in the Big East, where he racked up 1,700 more passing yards and nine more touchdowns (with two fewer interceptions) than anybody else in the league. WVU will be on TV more and be featured in plenty of prime-time games against ranked opponents. That's been all too rare in Morgantown lately.
Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma
Landry Jones: I'm not Sam Bradford, but I'm still pretty stinkin' good.
Bradford brought home Oklahoma's fifth Heisman, and Jones was charged with following up the Sooner legend. Poor guy. Yes, he throws too many interceptions, and has struggled in a few high-profile games. He's still the league's second-best quarterback and may have a case as the league's best by season's end. All Jones has done in his career is throw for more than 12,000 yards and 90 touchdowns with a season still to play. Give the dude a break.
Collin Klein, QB, Kansas State
Collin Klein: College football's real (and only) Honey Badger
Klein's the last Badger left standing after Tyrann Mathieu was dismissed from LSU's team. He was obviously overshadowed by the SEC star last season, but Klein's already proved he'll take what he wants, even if his elbows are gushing blood. Kansas State mounted a marketing campaign last season around Klein's nickname, and this year, it'll be a lot more effective if Klein scores anything close to the 27 touchdowns he had last year and K-State keeps racking up wins.
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Tavon Awesome: Catch him if you can.
I had to borrow the nickname from a noted West Virginia video man for this campaign. It's too good to pass up and fits the league's most electrifying player. Fans will want to catch him on TV if they haven't seen him yet, and defenders will want to catch him if they don't want him embarrassing their squads.