The Big East's best: No. 1

The time has come to unveil the No. 1 player in the Big East. Those of you who have followed the countdown from No. 25 know the answer already. For those just tuning in, this should come as no surprise.

Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia

Smith emerged as one of the top quarterbacks in the league last year, when he threw for 2,763 yards and 24 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. Now imagine how much better he is going to be in 2011 with not only a new coach/offensive coordinator in Dana Holgorsen, but with a clean bill of health. Smith played on a broken foot last season but played through the pain. Now, he is completely healed and feeling better than ever.

There is no shortage of confidence from Smith, who is eager to show the nation what he can do. But he also thinks he can add something different to the typical Holgorsen offense because of his athleticism. This is what he told me at Big East media day:

“I think I help the offense more than the offense helps me,” he said. “The offense has been proven. I think I just give it a different dynamic because I’m able to do more things. I’m athletic, I can run around a little bit, I can extend plays and make the throws.”

Expectations are high for Smith to bring this offense back to its high scoring ways. Last season, West Virginia averaged 25.2 points a game, ranking No. 78 in the nation. Holgorsen-led offenses have averaged under 39 points just once. And Smith doesn't just have designs on a Big East title. He believes this team is capable of competing for a national championship. How he plays will go a long way toward determining whether that happens.

The countdown:

No. 25 Dave Teggart, PK, UConn

No. 24 B.J. Daniels, QB, USF

No. 23 Tino Sunseri, QB, Pitt

No. 22 Victor Anderson, RB, Louisville

No. 21 Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati

No. 20 Mohamed Sanu, WR, Rutgers

No. 19 Jarred Holley, S, Pitt

No. 18 Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse

No. 17 Julian Miller, DE, West Virginia

No. 16. D.J. Woods, WR, Cincinnati

No. 15 Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn

No. 14 Hakeem Smith, S, Louisville

No. 13 Mark Harrison, WR, Rutgers

No. 12 Moe Petrus, C, UConn

No. 11 JK Schaffer, LB, Cincinnati

No. 10 Sio Moore, LB, UConn

No. 9 Keith Tandy, CB, West Virginia

No. 8 Ray Graham, RB, Pitt

No. 7 Isaiah Pead, RB, Cincinnati

No. 6 Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia

No. 5 Bruce Irvin, DE, West Virginia

No. 4 Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn

No. 3 Zach Collaros, QB, Cincinnati

No. 2 Brandon Lindsey, DL/LB, Pitt