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Geno Smith top dark-horse Heisman pick

Colleague Bruce Feldman names his top 10 dark-horse Heisman Trophy candidates, and No. 1 on that list is West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith.

"The Miami native had a good sophomore season, having completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,763 yards to go along with a 24:7 TD-to-INT ratio, but don't be surprised if those numbers sky-rocket now that offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen has come to Morgantown," Feldman writes. "Holgorsen took Case Keenum, who threw for 2,259 yards with 14 TDs and 10 INTs one season, and transformed him into a 5,000-yard passer who had a 44-11 TD-INT mark the next season. Then, last year, Holgorsen worked magic with Brandon Weeden of the Oklahoma State Cowboys."

My take: It's hard for Big East players to get serious Heisman traction, but Smith has a chance. We all know his numbers have a chance to really balloon in Holgorsen's system, and Smith will get an early Heisman showcase at home against LSU in September.

But the Mountaineers will have to produce a sterling record to go along with whatever stats Smith puts up. And other top candidates, like Stanford's Andrew Luck, will have to falter.

Still, Smith is the highest returning member of my Top 25 players from the 2010 season, and he should have the best chance for a Heisman run from the Big East.