"He's come further, in my opinion, than what I even thought going into the game," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy of Ash. "He's really improved and he's comfortable with what they're trying to accomplish and he's playing good football."
Florence spent three seasons biding his time behind Griffin. It's clear that the only reason Florence wasn't starting was because an eventual Heisman winner was.
Though it went down as little more than a footnote on Smith's day, Florence finished with 581 yards and five TD passes in the loss to the Mountaineers.
Florence has 16 touchdown passes in four games and is on pace to beat Griffin's total of 37 touchdown tosses from 2011.
"He's always been a guy that's just been a winner, with his mentality and his physical abilities," Baylor coach Art Briles said.
It might seem impossible to fly under the radar when you're among the nation's most efficient passers, but that's exactly what's happened to Walsh and Pachall.
Walsh has thrown for at least 300 yards in each of his two starts in place of the injured Wes Lunt. Pachall has 10 TD passes against just one pick - and that's after playing in a constant downpour during Saturday's 24-16 win over SMU.
Perhaps the one thing that shows just how deep the Big 12 is at quarterback in 2012 is that Oklahoma star Landry Jones and Texas Tech's Seth Doege aren't even in the discussion about the league's best so far.
Jones has been solid, completing 63.6 percent of his passes. Doege has 15 touchdown throws, including three in a 24-13 win over Iowa State last week.
But neither they nor Ash or Florence can touch what Smith has done thus far.
It's been a nightmare for defenses to game plan for Smith, who's thrown 20 touchdowns and no interceptions. It's a chore that had Brown indulging in some gallows humor regarding Manny Diaz, his defensive coordinator.
'I've been down there three times. He's got his door closed and he's under the desk," Brown joked.