HUNTINGTON - In discussing West Virginia and quarterback Geno Smith on Monday, Marshall coach Doc Holliday threw out the "H" word.
And in case the pundits didn't hear it the first time, Holliday repeated himself.
Give that genosmith4heisman.com site a few sound bites!
Holliday is the Mountaineers' first opposing coach in 2012, as the state rivals clash in the season opener at noon Saturday in Morgantown. And opposing coaches do tend to fluff up their opposition, at least publicly.
The WVU alum and former Mountaineer assistant coach usually pays his appropriate respects, but doesn't lean toward Holtz-style (Lou or Skip) hyperbole. But on the Conference USA coaches' teleconference Monday, he let loose a little.
"They're one of the top 10 teams in America. They've got Geno Smith at quarterback - he should win the Heisman Trophy; he's picked to win the Heisman," Holliday said.
Maybe not, but he's on a lot of short lists. For instance, CBSsports.com's "Heisman Pundit" Chris Huston ranks him No. 7.
But that would be nitpicking to a coach who will lose what little sleep he gets trying to figure out how to stop Smith and his well-known weapons, receiver Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.
"He's also picked to be player of the year in the Big 12, offensive player of the year," Holliday pointed out, most correctly. "And probably, if he wasn't picked, Tavon Austin would have been. With him and Bailey and Geno, they've got their entire, or most, of their offensive line back. They've got a great player at every position."
And if you didn't get all that down the first time, Holliday rephrased his praise.
"We've got great respect for West Virginia; they've got a great team," he said. "They're probably the most talented team in their league, offensively, with the player of the year in Geno Smith, picked to be the player of the year, probably going to win the Heisman."
There's your one-man straw poll.
The "H" word did not come up in player interviews, but Herd defenders weren't exactly carving up their well-armed adversary. After seeing the film of WVU's 34-13 win over Marshall last year, their admiration has been renewed.