2014 Heisman Trophy Odds

2014 Heisman Trophy Odds

The 2014 college football season kicks off a week from this Thursday when No. 21 Texas A&M travels to Williams-Brice Stadium to face No. 9 South Carolina. Gamecock running back Mike Davis will be in the spotlight as an early season Heisman Trophy candidate. But Davis is one of the few non-quarterbacks among the list of favorites, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering only one non-quarterback (Alabama’s Mark Ingram) has seized the award since 2000. With the impending season approaching, here’s a breakdown of the most recent odds for the 2014 Heisman race.

Jameis Winston, Florida State, 9/2 – The reigning winner leads a reloaded offense that lost two of its best players to the NFL. The schedule is once again favorable, so barring injury, Winston is a good bet to be in the running all season. However, improving on 40 touchdowns and 4057 yards passing won’t be easy. Plus, running back Karlos Williams will steal a few of his scores.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon, 6/1 – The favorite to be the number one pick in the 2015 NFL Draft operates one the country’s most lethal attacks in a conference that lacks stout defenses. Mariota is a dual-threat weapon, who has accounted for 77 total touchdowns and only 10 interceptions in two seasons. A sterling performance versus Michigan State on September 6th will do wonders for his chances.

Braxton Miller, Ohio State, 15/2 – Miller’s Heisman hopes evaporated when news broke that he re-injured his throwing shoulder in practice. It’s rumored that he could miss the entire season. Even if he returns at some point, he will no longer be a favorite when the updated odds are released.

Bryce Petty, Baylor, 12/1 – Petty is one of many who will benefit from Miller’s injury. Being the trigger man of an Art Briles’ offense means huge numbers, no matter who’s under center. That’s not a slight against Petty, but unless he accounts for 40-plus touchdowns, he won’t be taken seriously.

Brett Hundley, UCLA, 14/1 – If not for Mariota, Hundley would be the Pac-12’s spotlight player. If he has any shot to win, he must stand out in the October 6th meeting with Oregon. In last year’s game, Hundley tossed for a career worst 64 yards to go along with two interceptions.

Todd Gurley, Georgia, 14/1 – Finally, a non-quarterback. Gurley will be the focal point of a revamped Bulldogs offense. After missing three games in 2013, he’s now healthy and is poised to make noise in the always tough SEC. Realistically though, Gurley would have to post 1800 yards and 16-20 scores to surpass the above signal-callers.

Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin, 16/1 – Another running back? Ron Dayne in 1999 was the last Badger to win a Heisman. Gordon is a skilled back, but like Gurley it will take gaudy numbers for him to challenge the quartet of quarterbacks.

T.J. Yeldon/Derrick Henry, Alabama, 20/1 – 25/1 – The ‘Bama backfield duo will be a potent one-two punch, but both will likely cancel each other out in the voting. Then again, Mark Ingram hoisted the Trophy in 2009 despite the presence of Trent Richardson.

Myles Jack, UCLA, 40/1 – The only defensive player to make the preseason list is the very talented Bruins’ sophomore linebacker. The Pac-12 hasn’t had a Butkus Award winner since 1998, so expecting Jack to compete for the coveted Heisman seems foolish. However, his usage as a power runner on offense does make him an intriguing player to watch. Think Charles Woodson in 1997.