Robert Griffin did not win the Heisman Trophy with his sizzling start to the 2011 season. He won it with a torrid finish.
So don't hand the most famous hardware in sport to Geno Smith just yet, even though those insufferable Heisman polls currently have the West Virginia quarterback in the lead.
But Smith's start is eerily similar to Griffin's of a year ago.
In Baylor's first three games last season, Griffin threw 15 touchdown passes and 12 incompletions.
In West Virginia's two games this season so far, Smith has thrown nine touchdown passes and nine incompletions.
“I've been hearing all about that, and I want to put a stop to that real soon,” Smith said of the Griffin comparisons. “RG3's a great guy, and he's doing good things in the NFL, and I'm only a college quarterback hoping to get where he is.”
The Smith machine doesn't figure to slow on Saturday, when West Virginia hosts Maryland. But big games await – over the next four weeks, the Mountaineers host Baylor, play at Texas and Texas Tech, then host Kansas State.
Griffin, of course, won the Heisman with his November game against the Sooners – 479 passing yards, four touchdowns – and Smith will have ample opportunity to stage a similar campaign.
“It'd be better for the program and the exposure that we'll get, but it will not make me feel better about myself or a notch on my belt,” Smith said of winning the Heisman. “It'll just be another trophy that I won. I understand that the Heisman is the biggest individual accolade in sports, and I'm honored to be mentioned among the likes of guys who worked so hard every year and who have done it in the past, but at the same time, my only goal is to win the national championship.”
Win the national championship at West Virginia, and the Heisman will take care of itself.