With most of the Big 12 teams getting another game under their belt and the SEC finally joining in on the fun, the Heisman picture is starting to clear up a little. The frontrunners have not changed—well, except for the fact that there is a new one.
Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are still the favorites, but they are not alone now. Since everyone already expects greatness out them, this guy could have the ‘wow’ factor that Lawrence and Fields lack. Yes, they are great, amazing players. But we tend to take notice of them more when they are not great.
There is still a lot of football left to be played, of course, and anything can happen. But if you are wondering who you should keep an eye on, a hierarchy of potential candidates is beginning to form.
Heisman Trophy Odds: All Hail the King!
When Justin Fields (+500; odds via FanDuel) and the Ohio State Buckeyes start playing next month, he will have his work cut out for him with Heisman voters. He was fantastic last year, so you would think he is going to be okay. But he will need to play so well that voters are not bothered by the late start.
By then, Trevor Lawrence (+500) will have made a significant impression on voters. You can say the same about the new co-frontrunner, Miami’s D’Eriq King.
King got the job done once again for the Hurricanes with 300+ total yards of offense and two touchdowns in a big win over Florida State.
He will become the favorite, though, if he can have a big game against Clemson in a couple of weeks.
Sam Ehlinger (+700) remains towards the top of the list after having a five-touchdown day against Texas Tech. He will have a chance to make his case to lead the pack after this weekend’s game against TCU. The Longhorns will have the meat of their schedule with Oklahoma, Baylor, and Oklahoma State on deck.
Spencer Rattler’s chances (+2000) took a hit against Kansas State. He had a 300+ yards passing, four-touchdown day against the Wildcats. But he also had three interceptions and failed to get the offense going when the team needed him most in the second half.
Chuba Hubbard (+5000) will need to explode in the weeks ahead if he is going to have a chance. He had a 100+ yard day against West Virginia. But LD Brown had a slightly better one. If he continues to lose carries to Brown, he will not be able to make a case to be in the Heisman conversation this year.
Of Course the SEC Has Something to Say About the Heisman Odds
The SEC quarterbacks we expected to have big days did last weekend—like Florida’s Kyle Trask (+1400), who threw for over 400 yards and had six touchdown passes against Ole Miss. Alabama’s Mac Jones (+1400) looked the part against Missouri (249 yards and two touchdowns).
But to move up in the ranks, he needs to be even better in the weeks ahead.
The name everyone should be watching as we advance is that of Mississippi State quarterback, KJ Costello (+1400) . In his first game in the SEC under Mike Leach, the former Stanford quarterback destroyed the LSU defense going 36-60 for 623 yards and five touchdowns.
But since his numbers are always going to be gaudy in Leach’s system, the key for him will be beating the big dogs. He will have a few soft games coming up in which he can pad his stats. But then starting with Alabama on Halloween, they face three top ten teams inside of the next month (Alabama, Auburn, and Georgia). If he beats all three, he will become the new frontrunner (or at least should).
Of course, with the Pac-12 joining the fun in November, the picture is going to be mucked up again. Then again, the frontrunners will have played enough at that point that the voters may not even care about the Pac-12.
But only time will tell.