By: Travis Pulver
Even though we are only two weeks in, college football seems to have figured out how to keep the season moving forward. It will look unlike any other season with one major conference not active and another not starting until late October.
But that means other, smaller schools will get a chance to be in the national spotlight like never before. It also means there is a distinct possibility someone at a school that usually gets little to no national attention has a shot at the Heisman Trophy this year.
However, until every Big 12, ACC, and SEC team plays, the picture will remain a little muddy. But since we have seen most ACC teams and some of the Big 12, there are a few players worth talking about.
Heisman Trophy Odds: Trevor Lawrence’s to Lose?
Preseason favorites rarely win, but in this case, with the talent pool being smaller, it would not be shocking if that rule did not apply. Of course, it helps that Trevor Lawrence (+300; odds via BetMGM) got off to such a strong start with a 350+ yard, three-touchdown game against Wake Forest.
This would be a perfect season for a running back to steal the show, and Lawrence has one of the best in the country in the Clemson backfield with him in Travis Etienne (+2000). His day against Wake Forest will undoubtedly keep him in the hunt (17 carries, 102 yards, and a touchdown). But he’ll need to have a few ‘wow’ days to overtake Lawrence.
Miami’s D’Eriq King has the second-best odds (+700) and is considered a serious candidate with how his career at Houston unfolded. While he led the Hurricanes to a win over UAB last week and accounted for 223 total yards of offense and two touchdowns, voters will want to see a better passing game (144 yards) to take him seriously.
Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+900) showed voters the kind of day they’d like, 14-17 for 290 yards and four touchdowns against Missouri State. If he can keep that kind of production up when Big 12 play starts, he could give Lawrence a run for his money.
The same could be said for Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger (+1200), who had 426 yards and five touchdowns against UTEP. Notre Dame’s Ian Book (+3000) didn’t have a bad day against Duke (19-31 for 263 yards, one touchdown, and an interception). But Heisman voters are going to want to see better.
Micale Cunningham should be on every voter’s radar after his 343-yard, four total touchdown day against Western Kentucky. If he can have a similar kind of day against Miami’s defense this week, his odds will probably shorten quite a bit.
Sam Howell (+5000) got off to a slow start against Syracuse last week but still ended the day with a good stat line (25-34, 295 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions). North Carolina didn’t play well until the fourth quarter in that game, so we probably haven’t seen his best yet.
The Rest of the Pack’s Heisman Trophy Odds
Of course, many guys have yet to play that could very well work their way into the Heisman race. Some of them have great odds already; some not so much. Once they start playing, we’ll get an idea of who has a real shot and who doesn’t.
The following are just a handful of the guys fans should keep an eye on as the rest of the active college football teams start to play:
- Racey McMath +1000
- JT Daniels +1400
- Kellen Mond +1600
- Mac Jones +2500
- K.J. Costello +2500
- Kyle Trask +2500
- Chuba Hubbard +3000
Memphis quarterback Brady White (+10000) had a good day in a win over Arkansas State (280 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Grant Wells (no odds) had a great day in Marshall’s season opener (307 yards and four touchdowns).
But a few small school players even have odds. Since they do not play the best competition, it will be harder for them to garner enough attention to be given odds.
So—who’s going to win?
That is a great question. However, it is one we can’t even begin to answer until we hear how the Heisman Trust wants to deal with the Big Ten starting in October now. That decision will add several good candidates to the race, but they will not play as many games as the rest.
If allowed in, that could give those candidates an unfair advantage. So, will the Trust exclude them or possibly push the award date back?
Only time will tell.