He needs to finish with five more receptions than Austin in the Pinstripe Bowl Dec. 29 to set the school record for receptions. The way Austin has been used lately splitting snaps at running back, it's possible, if not likely.
Of course, that might not happen and if the bowl is Bailey's finale, he's not topping Austin for the career record for receptions (284 to 202) or yards (3,383 to 3,097). Bailey already has 39 touchdowns for the career record, but he knows he has a chance to have his name on all the marks by which all WVU receivers before and after him will be measured.
And legacy, it turns out, matters to Bailey.
"I was able to look around at some records, some national records, some NCAA records and some of those are within reach with another year," he said, without prompting. "That's something to think about, too."
He's serious about it, to the point he sounded almost offended when his sincerity was questioned, and he believes he's capable. Told he needs just four touchdowns in the bowl to tie the NCAA season record set by Louisiana Tech's Troy Edwards and Mississippi Valley State's Jerry Rice, Bailey nodded his head.
"I'll try," said Bailey, who has five- and four-touchdown games this season. "It's possible to score four touchdowns in this offense. I'll definitely do all I can do to help the team win first, but if I could get it, it would be wonderful."
That might be a part of WVU's thinking before seeking revenge against a Syracuse team that has won two in a row in the series and muted the Mountaineers at the Carrier Dome last season. Smith came out of last season's bowl blowout against Clemson and then went back in when WVU realized he was near a reel of records.
Bailey also knows he's 21 touchdowns shy of the Football Bowl Subdivision record of 60 set by Rice's Jarrett Dillard and a full superstar season from the 349 career receptions by Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles. Nevada's Trevor Insley has the season (2,060) and career (5,005) yardage record.
"If I have a chance to do so, why not?" he said.
He'll wonder the same as you: Does he have a chance without Austin and Smith?
He'd need about 140 catches and 1,900 yards next season to get those records - and he'd be closer to both if not for playing three half-speed games with a bad ankle this season that saw 12 catches for 120 yards. By 2012 standards, an off year in 2013 might get the touchdown record, which matters most to Bailey.
"You're putting points on the board and helping the team win," he said, "which is the purpose of playing the game."