The week before Super Bowl weekend is always bittersweet because it is the realization that all good things must come to an end. This year is no different.

The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are this yearís competitors. There are plenty of stories to be told and questions to be asked, but lost in all of it is something no one is talking about ... yet.

How does Alex Smith feel? If you had to ask yourself or look up who Alex Smith is, then Iíve made my point. He was the 49ers starting quarterback through the first 10 weeks of the season. The team was sitting at 8-2 and poised to make a second run into the playoffs under second year head coach Jim Harbaugh. Until Smith suffered a blow to the head and exhibited concussion-like symptoms and was held out of a game as a precaution.

Through the first 10 games of the season, Smith was neither spectacular nor was he horrible. He was efficient. He had only thrown five interceptions all season long. While Smith didnít make the cardinal sin in quarterbacking óturnovers ó he certainly wasnít stockpiling stats. Smith wasnít going to lose you a game for the team, but the same argument could be made that he probably wasnít going to take over a game and win it for the team either.

After Smith went down, the 49ers not only went with second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick, they stuck with him even after Smith was cleared to play. Imagine that, a second year untested quarterback.

So I ask the question again, how does Alex Smith, the guy who got the team to the NFC championship game last and fell short through no fault of his own, feel? Iíve had colleagues and friends debating this question most of the week.

The question was even asked, will Smith be rooting for the team to fail (not outwardly of course)? My immediate response was no way, but after pondering it for a while, itís possible. Smith knows or at least hopes he isnít coming back to San Francisco to be the backup next season so itís possible he is sitting on the sideline next week during the game stewing.

Make no mistake, Smith is going to answer every question the right way. ĎIím here to do everything to help my team win,í but deep down inside it has to be killing him. I would be shocked if he wasnít, but I really couldnít blame him if he were to secretly root against the 49ers.

None of us will ever know how Smith feels about it, but I know if I could get one question answered with complete honesty, that would be my one. How does Alex Smith feel?