West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith still controls the 2012 Heisman Trophy race, based on today’s fifth installment of the Scripps Howard News Service Heisman Poll. But his margin for error has diminished greatly, with his two closest pursuers gaining ground (Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Kansas State’s Collin Klein) and Texas A&M freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel breaking into the poll in fifth place, with one first-place vote.
Smith took a step back when the Mountaineers fell to Texas Tech, 49-14, last week in Lubbock. But he still received five of 10 available first-place votes from members of the voting panel and will carry a 25-0 ratio of touchdown passes-to-interceptions into Saturday’s showdown between West Virginia (5-1), the No. 13 team in the BCS standings, and No. 4 Kansas State (6-0), a team led by Klein.
Five different players other than Smith received one first-place vote in the latest balloting. The list includes Manziel, who racked up 576 yards of total offense in last week’s 59-57 victory over Louisiana Tech and ranks second nationally in total offense, at 392.7 yards per game, for the Aggies (5-1). A&M, the No. 18 team in the BCS standings, meets No. 6 LSU (6-1) this week in College Station.
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. Below is a look at this week’s poll and a list of voters:
This week's top five:
Player, School, Season Stats, Poll Points (first-place votes in parentheses).
1. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia, 2,271 passing yards, 75.3 completion pct., 25 TDs, 0 interceptions, 71 rushing yards, 1 TD, 38 (5)
2. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State, 1,271 passing yards, 60.4 completion pct., 11 TDs, 4 ints., 912 rushing yards, 9 TDs, 30 (1)
3. QB Collin Klein, Kansas State, 1,074 passing yards, 66.9 completion pct., 7 TDs, 2 ints., 510 rushing yards, 10 TDs, 28 (1)
4. LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 59 tackles, 3 interceptions, 2 fumbles recovered, 16 (1)
5. QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M, 1,680 passing yards, 67.4 completion pct., 14 TDs, 3 ints., 676 rushing yards, 10 TDs, 15 (1)
Others receiving votes: Oregon RB/WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas 11 (1), Texas Tech QB Seth Doege 4, Wisconsin RB Montee Ball 3, USC QB Matt Barkley 2, Alabama QB AJ McCarron 2, Georgia QB Aaron Murray 1
Last week's top five:
1. QB Geno Smith, West Virginia, 49 (9)
2. QB Collin Klein, Kansas State, 26
3. QB Braxton Miller, Ohio State, 23 (1)
4. RB/WR/KR De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon, 21
5. LB Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, 10
Voters: Kirk Bohls, Austin American-Statesman; Randy Beard, Evansville Courier & 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; Todd Jones, Columbus Dispatch, and Michael C. Lewis, Salt Lake Tribune.
_ Jimmy Burch