The college football season is almost here and oddsmakers have already posted odds to win the Heisman Trophy. Stanford’s Bryce Love is the favorite even though a running back has only captured the award once since 2010.
Love had 263 carries for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns last year as a junior and returned to the Cardinal for his senior season. Stanford has a run-heavy offense and he should get plenty of opportunity to excel.
Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is on the short-list of contenders. He has very little experience but played well on the grandest stage at the end of last year, rallying the Crimson Tide to the national championship. He still has to beat out Jalen Hurts for the starting job at Alabama but that seems very likely to happen.
Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor is in a similar mold as Love in a run-heavy offense. He carried the ball 299 times for 1,977 yards and 13 touchdowns as a freshman and seems primed to put up big numbers once again. If the Badgers can consistently get ahead of teams in the second half they figure to feed Taylor a lot to wrap up wins.
Missouri’s Drew Lock is an interesting choice. He threw for 3,964 yards with 44 touchdowns and 13 interceptions a season ago and will look to take another step forward. If he puts up big yardage and touchdown numbers while keeping the interceptions low, it could get him in the conversation. Team records also tend to play a role, so the Tigers will aim to have a good year around him.
Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy a season ago for Oklahoma and Lamar Jackson picked it up in 2016. There will be a new face securing the title of best player in college football but it is tough to know which burgeoning star it will be. The field is wide open this season.
College Football Heisman Trophy Odds
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Love doesn’t do much in the receiving game, so that works against him, but it just means gaudier rushing totals. He is a pretty safe pick to be in the running because Love will get guaranteed touches as long as he remains healthy.
However, quarterbacks have come out on top commonly in recent years and it would not be a surprise for a signal-caller to put up big numbers and come away with the trophy. The tough part is figuring out which quarterback will excel and claim the Heisman.
Tagovailoa has talent but he plays for an Alabama team that is content to run the ball and play great defense, so he isn’t expected to light it up. Even with a solid season there figure to be others that dwarf him statistically, which makes this a bad wager.
Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray at +2200 is an interesting choice. The two-sport star was taken by the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball draft but allowed to return to school for one more season on the gridiron. He has all sorts of talent but must turn that into production right away to have a chance at the Heisman Trophy.
Who You Should Bet On
Dual-threat quarterbacks are often in the running, and there is one in Arizona that has a solid shot. Elite runner Khalil Tate needs to help his team put up a nice win-loss record, but if that happens he could be the one who hoists the Heisman at the end of the year.
College Football Heisman Trophy Pick: Quarterback Khalil Tate, University of Arizona
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