Oregon Ducks: Geno Smith

Oregon recruiting by state: Florida 

November, 14, 2012
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Donovin Darius, Leon McQuayJenny Zimmerman/ESPN.comLeon McQuay III from Seffner, Fla., is considering Oregon.

If 10 years ago someone read the words, "Oregon signs ESPN 150 athlete from Florida," morning coffee would have been spit out. It would be hard enough to imagine a small school -- with no tradition -- from the rainy Pacific Northwest signing anyone from the Sunshine State, let alone an ESPN 150 member.

While it was only one, the Ducks did just that in 2011 when Tacoi Sumler signed with the Ducks over schools such as Auburn, Clemson, Florida State and South Carolina. Looking back at the past decade of Oregon's recruiting in Florida, there have been two big recruits to sign with the Ducks, but neither finished their careers in Eugene. When the Ducks landed Ryan Gilliam of Tallahassee (Fla.) Lincoln -- a Florida State pipeline school -- after he was originally committed to the local Seminoles, people were amazed that they pulled it off.

Pac-12 Heisman tracker

November, 6, 2012
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Just when we were ready to hand the Heisman to Matt Barkley (in the preseason, of course), Geno Smith came along and snatched it away. Until Collin Klein took it from him. And now, we might have another late-season changing of the guard with Oregon's Kenjon Barner coming on strong in recent weeks before blowing up against USC. Such is the fickle nature of the Heisman tracker. Barner is squarely in second place in the ESPN.com Heisman poll, though he has only one first-place vote this week (compliments of yours truly). He has 10 of the 15 second-place votes. Barkley and De'Anthony Thomas have dropped off the radar and Marqise Lee is the only other Pac-12 player receiving votes.

Kenjon Barner, RB, Oregon
  • Week 10 numbers: Carried 38 times for 321 yards (8.4 average) with five touchdowns. Caught two balls for 26 yards.
  • Season numbers: Has carried 179 times for 1,295 yards (7.2 average) with 19 rushing touchdowns. Has 15 catches for 184 yards and a score.
  • What went well: Where to start? The records? The fact that it was on the road at USC? The fact that anyone who watched that game should have been convinced he's the top running back in the country? All in all, a thoroughly dominant and prolific performance.
  • Any questions? Nope. None here. Others, however, still see Klein as the front-runner for now. But it's hard not to imagine Barner didn't punch a ticket to New York with his showing Saturday.
Others receiving votes

Marqise Lee, WR, USC
  • Week 10 numbers: Caught 12 balls for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Season numbers: Has 88 catches for 1,286 yards and 12 scores.
  • Thoughts: While Barner went off and showed the country he's the best running back in the nation, there should be no question about who the best wide receiver is. The loss shouldn't take away from another stellar showing.
ESPN's Brad Edwards, a numbers guru, provides a nice preview of what the BCS standings would look like if they were released this week, instead of next Sunday.

His conclusion? He writes, "[It] feels like the national title hunt is already down to just three conferences and Notre Dame."

That's the Pac-12, SEC and Big 12 plus the Fighting Irish, who play Stanford on Saturday and USC on Nov. 24.

He projects that if the national title game were played tomorrow, it would be Alabama vs. Oregon.

He also projected that Oregon State would rank ninth, USC 11th and Stanford 12th in the standings.

Oregon fans surely will like the sound of that.

The question then would be if Oregon wins out and stands as the 13-0 Pac-12 champion on Nov. 30, are the Ducks certain to be in the title game?

Maybe. Perhaps even probably. But maybe not, too. Writes Edwards:
The Mountaineers or Irish probably would have a computer edge on the Ducks, so they can't be counted out of the race, but they'll need style points to close that poll gap.

So, Oregon fans, assuming the SEC is going to put its champion in the title game, you probably should root for Notre Dame to lose, and it would boost your standing if that happened to Pac-12 teams, by the way.

And, as cool as Geno Smith is, you might want the Mountaineers to slip, too.

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