Week 6 Heisman Power Rankings: Is Geno Smith More Andre Ware Or Robert Griffin III?

By Timothy Threadcraft / @shadcraft21

(Ed's Note: God bless our resident Yale alum for spitting poetic on the top contenders for John Heisman's trophy, but a question was raised at the barbershop last week that I found compelling. One of the old man barbers in the shop said that Geno Smith wouldn't do anything in the NFL and would be the next Andre Ware. Everyone was up in arms when he said it, and I wanted to get "up in arms" too, but it stuck in my craw. The sophistication with which quarterbacks are learning the game in this era is allowing QB's like Robert Griffin III shine unlike other raw talents like Michael Vick. Is Geno as sophisticated as RG3? Or is he a by-product of a scheme that's produced college superstars but NFL no-shows? Ponder that while you review our Heisman Power Rankings.)

Last week, the first major wave of shake-ups finally took place. LSU, Florida State and Georgia, the number 3, 4 and 5 teams in the nation, all went down Saturday, and the Heisman hopes of a few players went down with them. See where the Heisman Power Rankings stand heading into week 6 of the college football season.

10. EJ Manuel
– As soon as I gave him his props, look what happened? The inevitable letdown game (coincidentally one week after the “trap game” at USF) happened. Manuel completed 17/29 for 218 yards and a touchdown. When you look closer, you realize he only rushed for a net of 12 yards. He went 3/11 on 3rd-down conversions through the air, throwing an interception, and was sacked four times. Unless they run the table, you can just about drop EJ out of the running. STOCK: Down

9. Jarvis Jones – Virtually neutralized by the effectiveness of the Gamecocks’ zone-read threats: 4 tackles and a sack were nowhere near the impact needed to make something happen in Columbia. Jones may have not been 100% to begin with, thanks to a groin injury, and sprained his ankle in the loss. This team needed the bye week desperately. STOCK: Down

8. Aaron Murray – Murray, as well as the Dawgs’ offense as a whole, was disappointing in the primetime matchup against South Carolina. Granted, South Carolina’s defensive line neutralized any type of balance the Dawgs were trying to establish, thus you have to expect a third-year starter to make more of an impact through the air. On top of losing leading receiver Michael Bennett for the season before the game, the week just got worse for Murray, who came home to find his apartment vandalized, and not long afterwards found out his father had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Tribulations like this are opportunities to gain much-needed perspective. The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for the leader of this team. STOCK: Down

7. Braxton Miller – It may be a bit presumptuous to think Miller will make it to the Heisman ceremonies this year, with all the sanctions and what not, but I’m gonna keep him in the running out of respect for his game. He put up 313 total yards and two touchdowns in a big conference matchup against Nebraska. Critics will point out that he only completed seven passes, but when ONE player is able to put up almost 200 yards rushing against anyone, why even risk it? STOCK: Steady

6. Kenjon Barner – De’Anthony Thomas and Barner are pretty much interchangeable at this spot. Black Mamba is responsible for plenty of offensive fireworks, but Barner gets the lion’s share of the carries, and for good reason. He’s less than 200 yards away from eclipsing his 2011 rushing total already, and with 727 rushing yards, is on pace to go for over 1,500 yards and almost 20 touchdowns this year. STOCK: Steady

5. Marcus Lattimore
– Lattimore wasn’t even the main culprit in the Gamecocks’ 35-7 bludgeoning of the Georgia Bulldogs last Saturday night. Jadeveon Clowney and the defensive line basically rendered UGA’s offense useless. Connor Shaw put up 240 total yards and three touchdowns, and Lattimore had a relatively quiet performance, tallying 109 yards and a touchdown. However, as long as Shaw is able to put up respectable numbers on the ground, Lattimore will feast on defenses thanks to their zone-read play. Expect a heavy dose of Lattimore in Death Valley tomorrow night. STOCK: Steady

4. Manti Te’o – Keeping hope alive for hard-nosed defensive stans and fans of a truly captivating story alike, Te’o turned in another solid performance with ten total tackles in a 41-3 rout of Miami (FL). Te’o looks to put on another show this weekend, when College Gameday comes to South Bend, along with Josh Nunes, Stepfan Taylor and a pretty balanced Cardinal offense. STOCK: Steady

3. Matt Barkley – The Golden Boy and the Trojans are down, but not out. The Thursday night game at Utah looked like it would spiral out of control for a minute, but Barkley responded with his best conference performance of the year: 23-for-30, 303 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. Can’t ask for much more than that. This week, a trip to Seattle to face former USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian looms large. STOCK: Up

2. Collin Klein – Optimus Klein held serve last week in a rivalry game against Coach Frontbutt and the Jayhawks. While 7/14 for 129 yards isn’t a stellar passing performance, there was no need to air it out: Klein rushed for 116 of the Wildcats’ 346 yards in a 56-16 blowout in which they won the turnover battle by a 5-0 margin. Klein has to avoid a letdown in a noon kickoff at Iowa State on Saturday. The Cyclones proved they weren’t to be slept on last year against OK State, and the Wildcats could be looking ahead to next week’s trip to Morgantown to face Geno Smith and the Mountaineers. STOCK: Steady

1. Geno Smith – The lead dog didn’t lose a step last week. In his first real Big XII road test, Geno completed 71 percent of his passes for 268 yards, and more importantly, four touchdowns and no interceptions. He was able to remain composed and feed his proven playmakers, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, while relying just enough on his running game to avoid playing hero-ball in a big matchup on a national stage. This week, the Mountaineers travel to Lubbock, where Tommy Tuberville has the Red Raider defense looking pretty stout in a conference full of high-octane offenses. STOCK: Steady

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