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Leading up to this week’s Big XII media days in Dallas, the Big XII media have tabbed WVU quarterback Geno Smith as the preseason offensive player of the year—a pretty high honor considering the guy has yet to take a single snap in a Big XII conference game. Smith was selected ahead of returning Oklahoma signal caller Landry Jones and Kansas State dual-threat quarterback Collin Klein, who both led their teams to 10-win seasons last year as well. Smith is joined on the first team by fellow Mountaineer velociraptor wide receiver and punt returner Tavon Austin.
You can’t help but think the Orange Bowl pointapalooza and Holgorsen’s reputation as an offensive mastermind helped these selections. Don’t get me wrong, I think our offense will be great this year. But we struggled to score consistently against Syracuse, Pitt, Cincinnati and USF, and now we’re facing a major step-up in competition (even if the Big XII is more like a 7-on-7 league). So to tab Geno as the frontronner for the best offensive player in the entire conference shows a ton of respect for him, his offensive teammates, and Holgorsen/Shannon Dawson as playcallers. It’s also nice to see Tavon getting some love, though the Big XII media have obviously never watched him attempt to field a punt. At this, point, though, whether those guys live up to the hype is irrelevant. Preseason awards are designed to give the fans something to talk about during the long summer months, and if any high school recruits happen to be paying attention, yeah, these selections are just proof that WVU knows how to score, and the country is now on notice.