The sight of Matt Barkley tossing up a final prayer on fourth-and-40, seconds before Stanford rushed the field after the No. 21 Cardinal knocked off No. 2 USC, gave way to one important question.
With everyone's preseason Heisman Trophy favorite stumbling, who takes his place?
For the Watchman, the answer was a surprisingly easy one: West Virginia's Geno Smith.
September has had its share of stars. Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas has averaged a stunning 15.3 yards per play in racking up seven TDs, but Oregon has another strong contender in running back Kenjon Barner. Ohio State sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller looks better than anyone could have expected running Urban Meyer's offense, but
He's first in the nation in completion percentage, second in passing efficiency (209.8) and he's been consistency stellar as the poster boy of a team with BCS title aspirations. Yes, he's untested. So far his Mountaineers have faced 1-2 Marshall and FCS opponent James Madison, and he's unlikely to face much opposition this week against Maryland. But we've already seen Smith tear up top teams like he did against ACC champion Clemson in last year's Orange Bowl.
As we move on to this week's rankings, where Smith rises, Barkley falls and Franklin makes his debut, here's a look back at where things stood