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College football: Taking a look at the Heisman hopefuls

HEISMAN FAVORITES — With LSU's dismissal of Tyrann Mathieu, Wisconsin's Montee Ball becomes the lone 2011 Heisman Trophy finalist to return this season.
BY JASON KERSEY, Staff Writer, jkersey@opubco.com Published: August 26, 2012
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GENO SMITH, SR., WEST VIRGINIA, QB

Smith earned preseason All-Big 12 honors before he or his Mountaineer teammates have played a game in their new conference. His mechanics aren't perfect; still, Smith's seven-touchdown performance in last year's Orange Bowl was the cherry on top of a special 2011 season.

TYLER WILSON, SR., ARKANSAS, QB

Wilson threw for 3,638 yards and 24 touchdowns with just six interceptions in 2011. To really establish himself as a serious contender, Wilson will need to perform well against division powerhouses Alabama and LSU, and Arkansas probably needs to beat one or both of them.

FIVE MORE TO WATCH

* Landry Jones, Sr., Oklahoma, QB; Collin Klein, Sr., Kansas State, QB; Marcus Lattimore, Jr., South Carolina, RB; Aaron Murray, Jr., Georgia, QB; De'Anthony Thomas, So., Oregon, RB.