LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the USC Trojans conducts the band after the game with the UCLA Bruins at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. USC won 50-0. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Heisman Trophy odds have been released, and two Pac-12 players are among the top eight players in contention for the award. It's the same two faces. Dan Rubenstein breaks them down at SB Nation Studios.
Barkley merits: He plays well and leads USC to the national title game, and he's assured of winning this award by default. Even a BCS berth might be enough if no one has an outstanding season; there aren't many other names that seem like a threat to break out and have an RGIII/Cam Newton-type season.
Barkley drawbacks: If he falls short of expectations, the tide turns against him. But that's pretty much to be expected with any of these players. Barkley is apretty solid bet to be in the race for this.
We've touched on why De'Anthony has become a popular name in the Heisman race, but also why his chances are also on the longshot side. He's an explosive talent and will probably pop off in the highlight reel, but there's also too many concerns regarding injuries, lack of carries, too many other weapons in the Ducks offense, and various other issues that keep Thomas from being a favorite.