West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith took a huge lead in today’s first installment of the Scripps Heisman Poll, receiving eight first-place ballots from the 10-member voting committee. Smith has completed 88 percent of his passes for 734 yards, with nine touchdowns and no interceptions, for the eighth-ranked Mountaineers (2-0). He also has rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries (8.3 per carry).
Smith carved out a large lead in the initial poll over Oregon running back/receiver De’Anthony Thomas and UCLA running back Johnathan Franklin.
The Scripps poll is the longest-running Heisman Trophy poll in the nation. Since its inception in 1987, it has correctly forecast the Heisman winner in its final weekly installment in 21 of 25 years, including last season.
In last year’s initial poll, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck had a sizable lead over all other candidates. But Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III of Baylor overtook Luck in the final week of balloting and won the 2011 Heisman.
Below is a look at today’s poll and a list of voters:
Player, School, Season Stats, Poll Points, (First-Place Votes).
1.QB Geno Smith, West Virginia, 66-of-75, 734 yards passing, 9 TDs, 44 (8).
2. RB/WR De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon, 228 yards rushing, 17.5 yards per carry, 4 TDs, 154 yards receiving, 3 TDs, 22.
3. RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA, 541 yards rushing, 8.2 yards per carry, 3 TDs, 20 (1).
4. QB Matt Barkley, USC, 66-of-109, 813 yards passing, 10 TDs, 9
5. (tie) RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford, 338 yards rushing, 5.0 yards per carry, 3 TDs, 8.
5. LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 30 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 interception, 8.
Others receiving votes: Georgia LB Jarvis Jones 6, Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater 4, Georgia QB Aaron Murray, 4, Kansas State QB Collin Klein 3, Ohio State QB Braxton Miller 3, Texas Tech QB Seth Doege 2, Michigan QB Denard Robinson 2, Florida State RB Chris Thompson 1.
Voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Randy Beard, Evansville Courier and Press; Jimmy Burch, Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Bob Condotta, Seattle Times; Dennis Dodd, CBSSports.com; Vahe Gregorian, St. Louis Post-Dispatch; John Helsley, The Oklahoman; Mike Griffith, Knoxville News-Sentinel, and Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch.
_ Jimmy Burch