Bovada - Odds to win 2015 Heisman Trophy (Top 5):
- Ezekiel Elliot (6:1)
- Dak Prescott (7:1)
- Leonard Fournette (7:1)
- Trevone Boykin (15:2)
- Cardale Jones (10:1)
Odds to win 2015 Heisman Trophy (PAC-12):
- Cody Kessler (12:1)
- Paul Perkins (12:1)
- Royce Freeman (25:1)
- DJ Foster (33:1)
- Nick Wilson (33:1)
- Jared Goff (50:1)
- Scooby Wright (66:1)
We may be approaching March Madness at break neck speed, but for degenerate gamblers out there, college football gambling season has already kicked off. Vegas has already listed their likeliest contenders to the Heisman crown, with the PAC-12 unable to crack the top five. But, could the PAC-12 prove the oddsmakers wrong and keep the Heisman in conference next year? Probably not. I mean anything's possible, but it's not looking good.
Cody Kessler (12:1) - There is no way USC is up to fire code with that many people on their band wagon. Despite their disregard for fire safety, I must give credit where credit is due. Cody Kessler is my 3rd most likely quarterback to win the Heisman. With quarterback uncertainty in Columbus, I can't acknowledge a Buckeye QB as contender to the throne until a starter is finally determined, especially with this nagging feeling that one player won't start every game under center (injury or otherwise). Back to Kessler, he certainly flourished under Coach Sark's up-tempo system last year, finishing with 3826 yards, 39 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. At USC, Kessler will certainty get the wide-spread media attention needed to further a Heisman campaign, in addition to the talented team to back it up.
However, it's very unclear if the Trojans are the best team in the PAC-12 South, let alone the PAC-12 itself. 'Zona returns its entire big three of Solomon, Wilson and Wright, while ASU might be going through breaking in a new quarterback, but has a young talented defense to match their young offense, especially it's backfield. Plus, even without Mariota, I'm not ready to write off the Ducks for next season. Kessler won't be able to match the eye popping stats of a Trevone Boykin, which means the Trojans are going to have to be uber successful for him to remain in contention, something easier said than done in college football's best conference.
Paul Perkins (12:1) - What do Tevin Coleman, Melvin Gordon, and Todd Gurley all have in common? The three were college football's best backs last season, averaged 7.5 YPC and were at one point or another Heisman contenders. Paul Perkins is one of many solid young backs looking to follow up that class next season. Averaging 6.3 YPC on 251 carries, Paul Perkins quietly racked up 1500 yards in Jim Mora's offense.
There in lies the problem. One of the best backs in college football last season completely flew under the radar next to the likes of Myles Jack and Brett Hundley. With Hundley gone, Perkins will have the chance to be the offense's top dog, but will need to get his name out there to be successful, especially in a Trojan saturated Los Angeles market. In addition, his YPC were over one yard off the pace of the likes of 2014's running back crop. While any running back that can break 2,000 yards in one season will get some kind of mainstream exposure (ex. Boston College's Andre Williams), even with the extra load coming after Hundley's departure, I doubt Perkins will be able to break that mark. Unless Mora revamps the offense to look like classic 1980's BIG 10 offense, Perkins will most likely be forgotten come Heisman talk time.
Royce Freeman (25:1) - I guess it's better to be mentioned in the conversation than forgotten entirely? Any running back (no matter how successful) sharing carries between three other players cannot win the Heisman. Royce is a phenomenal back, don't get me wrong, but with Tyner, Marshall and a QB to be later named thrown in the mix, Freeman won't have the stats to hang around come mid December.You got one Oregon; don't get greedy now.
DJ Foster (33:1) - Another good back in a similar situation to Mr. Freeman; there is just too much backfield talent for DJ to get the carries necessary. Plus, with Mike Bercovici at the helm, the read option plays will come at a premium compared to years past. He'll be able to pad the stat sheet with a couple more grabs, but the declining snaps will slowly fade Foster out of this race.
Nick Wilson (33:1) - Wilson will have a great sophmore season and has the chance to put up Ka'Deem Carey-esquee numbers, but if I had to say anyone on the Wildcats was going to win the Heisman, it'd be Anu Solomon. Sorry Nick, but with a young emerging quarterback along for the ride, you're Robin to his Batman.
Jared Goff (50:1) - If Cody Kessler is the PAC-12's front runner, Jared Goff is its dark horse. The junior QB and unquestioned offensive focal point has really grown into this Bear Raid offense more and more with each passing year, as the cast around him slowly blossoms as well. Should Cal be able to take advantage of a weaker PAC-12 North and pull a significant upset or two, Goff will have the stats to force himself at least into the Heisman conversation.
Scooby Wright (66:1) - The only defensive player Bovada gave the time of day, Scooby Wright may be the only defensive player in college football with the chance to win the Heisman... it's too bad he won't. Like Nick Wilson, if the team has immense success, Anu Solomon will reap most of the accolades. Tie that into the fact, no defensive player has won the award since I was three and Manti Te'o had (key word had) one of the greatest seasons and background stories in football history and still couldn't win, I'm bold enough to say we will never see a strictly defensive player win a Heisman again.
And finally, the moment you have all been waiting for, my Heisman favorite is...
Trevone Boykin (15:2) - Trevon Boykin returns to the Horned Frogs a year older, a year wiser and with a gigantic chip on his shoulder. With TCU missing out on all the playoff fun last season, expect Boykin and Company to come out hot and stay hot. Add in the fact that there are no other major threats to their shared reign as BIG XII champions on the immediate horizon, Boykin will have the stats, success and the position needed to bring a Heisman trophy to Fort Worth.