Why Stedman Bailey Should Win the Biletnikoff Award


Oct 6, 2012; Austin, TX, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Stedman Bailey (3) runs with the ball during the game against the Texas Longhorns at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. West Virginia beat Texas 48-45. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE

West Virginia’s star junior wide receiver Stedman Bailey has been named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the top receiver in college football. Bailey will be competing with Marqise Lee of USC and Terrence Williams of Baylor.

Bailey has been a staple of the Mountaineers offense this season, providing a big reliable target for quarterback Geno Smith. He has been a prolific receiver for the Mountaineers this season, and for his career, setting West Virginia records for: career receiving touchdown record (37 and counting), single season receiving yards record (1,342 and counting), single season receiving touchdown record (21 and counting), single game receptions (14 at OSU this season), single game receiving yards (303 vs Baylor this season), and single game touchdown record (5 vs Baylor).

That is 6 records set by Stedman Bailey this season. He is clearly one of the best receivers to come through WVU, but how does he stack up against the other Biletnikoff candidates?

  • Receptions: Lee (112), Bailey (95), Williams (89)
  • Yards: Williams (1,693), Lee (1,680), Bailey (1,342)
  • Touchdowns: Bailey (21), Lee (14), Williams (12)

Looking at the numbers, you can see that each candidate leads in one of the three major statistical categories. While receptions and yards are important, they are not nearly as important as receiving touchdowns.

One important note to the statistics is that Bailey and Williams still have one game left while Lee has played his final regular season game. It is also worth noting that Bailey was injured during the Kansas State and TCU games, severely limiting his production for those two games.

On a per game basis, the three receivers stack up:

  • Bailey: 8.64 receptions, 122.0 yards, and 1.91 touchdowns
  • Williams: 8.09 receptions, 153.91 yards, and 1.09 touchdowns
  • Lee: 9.33 receptions, 140.0 yards, and 1.17 touchdowns

Again, Bailey lags in receptions and yards to the other two candidates, but it certainly narrows the perceived gap in those two categories.

To date, each wide receiver has put up a 300+ yard performance this season, but only Bailey’s performance led to his team’s victory. Lee had 16 receptions for 345 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 39-36 loss at Arizona. Williams had 17 receptions for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 70-63 loss at West Virginia. That same game, Bailey caught 13 passes for 303 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Lee has not caught more than 3 touchdown passes in any game while Williams has not caught more than 2 touchdowns in a single game. Bailey has had 5 games with 3 or more touchdown receptions this season.

With the Mountaineers set to take on lowly Kansas (1-10) at home for the season finale, expect Stedman Bailey to put up huge numbers. The game, set for 2:30 PM, will be Bailey’s last audition for the 2012 Biletnikoff Award and you can expect that he will rise to the occasion to put a cherry on top of a stellar junior season.