2010 Heisman Trophy Betting Odds and Predictions
by Jay of Predictem.com
It’s never too early to start looking towards the 2010 college football season. In fact let’s face it; most of us were looking forward to 2010 before the Crimson Tide wrapped up their claim at a 13th National Championship with their win over the Texas Longhorns in the Rose Bowl. Even though conference expansion may be consuming most of the off-season talk, we still have a tremendous group of talent that will take the field in 2010 that deserves some attention. Unlike last year when all 3 Heisman Finalist returned to the college grid iron, only one finalist will return for the 2010 season. Mark Ingram won the Heisman trophy just one year ago for the Alabama Crimson Tide is the leading favorite to win the prestigious honor again this year. Take a look as we break down the Heisman Trophy candidates and give their chances entering the 2010 college football season.
Mark Ingram (Junior), RB, Alabama Crimson Tide: +380
Mark Ingram exploded out of nowhere to win the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore last year for the defending National Champions in the Alabama Crimson Tide. Ingram rushed for 6.1 yards per carry totaling 1,658 yards against the fierce defenses of the SEC and a ton of those yards were gained after initial contact. Ingram is a power runner who breaks through tackles dangerously often which will be ideal for his future in the NFL. Ingram of course leads the list for favorites to win the Heisman Trophy again this year, but only Archie Griffin (1974 &1975) has achieved winning two Heisman Trophies in college football history. For that reason alone, I would not bite on the odds of Ingram winning the honor again this year. Not to downplay Ingram’s talent, but it’s just too hard to duplicate those numbers from last year in the SEC.
Terrelle Pryor (Junior), QB, Ohio State Buckeyes: +550
Ohio State’s highly praised quarterback Terrelle Pryor is the leading favorite behind Ingram on the list. Pryor is an extremely talented quarterback that has great legs which actually led the Buckeyes in rushing last year with 779 yards on the ground. However for Pryor to truly place himself in the “Heisman” category, he will have to continue to improve with his arm. Pryor is most dangerous when he can pick up yards on then ground, then drop back and deliver the ball down field when the defense is caught coming forward. Pryor completed just 56% of his passes for 2,094 yards with 18 touchdowns and 11 picks in 2009. I just do not see how Pryor’s arm could progress enough this season to put up Heisman type numbers despite the damage he can inflict on the ground with his speed. For that reason, Pryor would likely be a long shot to take home the glory.
Ryan Mallett (Junior), QB, Arkansas Razorbacks: +1200
Ryan Mallett put up stellar numbers last season to lead the SEC in passing. Mallett threw for 3,627 yards with 30 touchdowns and 7 picks. Mallett has a very strong arm and can deliver the ball with amazing accuracy. Not only does Mallett have the tools to put up big numbers, but he is also in extremely good company. The Razorbacks have a trio of big time wide outs returning in Greg Childs, Jarius Wright, and Joe Adams who all combined for 118 catches with 19 touchdowns in 2009. If Mallett can avoid injuries, there are just too many signs pointing to a huge season to exclude the Razorbacks quarterback from the Heisman talk. Consider Mallett an underdog coming from a team that will not contend for a National Title, but he will be a contender nonetheless.
Jake Locker (Senior), QB, Washington Huskies: +1400
Jake Locker was one of the big reasons the Huskies bounced back from a winless 2008 season and gained a little respect back after finishing 2009 season at 5-7 with key wins over USC and California. Locker was the leading weapon for the Huskies throwing for 2,800 yards with 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Locker has great size, strong arm, and just needs a little improvement with his accuracy. However, he may have as much potential as anyone in college football and is listed #1 on Mel Kipers board for value picks for the 2011 NFL Draft. However, the Huskies will be very lucky to put together a winning season with their schedule and when is the last time a Heisman Trophy winner came from a team with a losing record? The answer to that question is Paul Hornung back in 1956. Therefore, the odds are stacked high against Locker.
Noel Devine (Senior), RB, West Virginia Mountaineers: +1400
Devine surprised a lot of people when he opted to return to Morgantown for his senior season. Devine has rushed for over 3,300 yards and 23 touchdowns in his career. Devine is a smaller tailback at 5’8 and 180 pounds but makes it for it with quickness. There is no reason not to expect another big season for the senior tailback, but the Mountaineers will likely have another mediocre year which will cause Devine’s Heisman chances to be similarly mediocre.
Jacory Harris (Junior), QB, Miami Hurricanes: +1400
The quarterback position was the major concern for Miami entering 2009, but sophomore Jacory Harris emerged as a star throwing for 3,352 yards and 24 touchdowns. Armed with a cannon of an arm and dangerous wide receivers, Harris is poised for another big season. Harris could be one of those dark horses to sneak into the Heisman consideration if he can cut back on the mistakes (17 INTs) from a year ago. However, I see another similar roller coaster ride for Harris’s 2010 season.
Dion Lewis (Sophomore), RB, Pittsburgh Panthers: +1500
Dion Lewis may have been the most impressive freshman in the nation in 2009 leading the Panthers ground game for 1,799 yards and 17 scores. The near 1,800 yards on the ground ranked Lewis 3rd in the nation as a freshman which is a pretty impressive accomplishment. Lewis has extreme quickness and moves that make he very elusive to defenses. Most will not give Lewis a great chance at the Heisman in just his sophomore year, but I think this could be a very valuable gamble. There was not one defense that could contain Lewis in the Big East one year ago and that will be the same in 2010.
Case Keenum (Senior), QB, Houston Cougars: +1500
Case Keenum just might be the safest bet for the Heisman in 2010. Keenum is a very accurate passer and leading a Houston offense that can post huge numbers. Keenum’s 2009 stats were definitely Heisman material throwing for 5,671 yards, 44 touchdowns, and 15 picks. If he can post just similar numbers again this season, he definitely should make the final stage be in the running for the Heisman trophy.
John Clay (Junior), RB, Wisconsin Badgers: +1500
The Badgers rode the legs on John Clay last season to a 10 win season. Clay carried the ball 287 times for 1,517 yards and 18 touchdowns. Only 5 other players in the nation had more rushing attempts in 2009 than Clay. The Badgers tailback is a hard nosed runner that always gets positive yards. Considering the entire offensive line will be back in 2009, Clay should be able to post big numbers once again. If you also consider Wisconsin’s breakout potential in the Big Ten, Clay’s stock could rise.
Evan Royster (Senior), RB, Penn State Nittany Lions: +1500
Evan Royster has been solid through his career at Penn State rushing for over 1,100 yards each of the last two years. Royster should surely post similar numbers along with a veteran offense again in 2010. However, I’m not sold that Royster will be close to Heisman material. He will be sharing carries with Stephfon Green, and QB Daryll Clark will get plenty of chances to throw the football. With so much talent on the Nittany Lions offense, I just do not see the stars aligning for Royster to post incredible numbers.
Kellen Moore (Junior), QB, Boise State Broncos: +1700
Kellen Moore is another quarterback that can post scary numbers. In 2009, Moore threw for 39 touchdowns and only 3 interceptions. Over the last two seasons, Moore has thrown for more than 7,000 yards while completing over 65% of his passes. The pinpoint accuracy that Moore possesses is hard to ignore. If the Broncos manager to flirt with another undefeated season, it will also be hard to ignore Moore in the Heisman talk as well.
Landry Jones (Sophomore), QB, Oklahoma Sooners: +1800
Landry Jones had to fill big shoes last season stepping in as a freshman for the injured Sam Bradford. However, Jones performed better than most would have expected throwing for 3,198 yards, 26 touchdowns, and 14 picks. Considering the Sooners may be jumping ship to the Pac-10, it’s hard to know what to expect from Oklahoma. However, I do not see Jones turning average numbers from last season into golden numbers in 2010.
Andrew Luck (Sophomore), QB, Stanford Cardinal: +1800
Andrew Luck threw for 2,575 yards with 13 touchdowns and only 4 picks as a freshman in 2009. However, Stanford was a rushing team in 2009 behind Toby Gerhart and I’m not so sure that will not be the case again this season. Of course, Gerhart is gone so Luck will get the chance to throw the ball more. However, I believe the higher passing attempts are going to negatively affect Luck in his sophomore season.
DeMarco Murray (Senior), RB, Oklahoma Sooners: +1800
DeMarco Murray will finally get his chance to shine after splitting time with Chris Brown in the back field over the past few years. Murray is one of those runners with a quick first step that can find the hole quickly and the experience to make things happen. I would not be surprised to see Murray have a mild breakout type season rushing for over 1,300 yards but that will not be enough to get him into the Heisman race.
Christian Ponder (Senior), QB, Florida State Seminoles: +1800
Christian Ponder’s 2009 season was cut short after separating his shoulder against Clemson. However, Ponder will return this season as the senior of a Florida State offense that is dangerous through the air. Ponder ended the 2009 season completing a strong 68% of his passes for 2,717 yards, 14 scores, and 7 picks. Ponder’s strong and accurate arm picked apart some of the ACC’s best defenses last year and it would not be surprising to see the Seminoles quarterback put up some stellar numbers in 2010.
Matt Barkley (Sophomore), QB, USC Trojans: +2200
Matt Barkley proved to be the Achilles heel for the Trojans last year as the freshman threw for 2,735 yards 15 touchdowns, and 14 picks. It will have to be a night and day transition to get Barkley into the Heisman talk. Plus with the Trojans now on postseason suspension, any Trojans chances at winning a Heisman are very minimal.
Jacquizz Rodgers (Junior), RB, Oregon State Beavers: +2500
Most still remember Jacquizz Rodgers from that 186 yard and 2 touchdown performance in a big upset over the Trojans in his freshman season. However, Rodgers has been solid outside of that breakout display in his rookie season and posted 1,440 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2009 as a sophomore. Rodger’s is a small back, but very difficult for defenders to get their hands on as well and that elusiveness will certainly provide another solid year. As far as Heisman consideration, that may be a stretch.
Garrett Gilbert (Sophomore), QB, Texas Longhorns: +3000
Is it just me or is Garrett Gilbert on the Heisman odds list just because he will be the quarterback of the Texas Longhorns? Some remember Garrett from the National Championship Game where he nearly led the Longhorns to a late game comeback. However, do not forget how poor he played early in that game and only completed 37.5% of his passes throughout the game. Sorry Longhorn fans, but I just do not see Gilbert having any type of great season.
LaMichael James (Sophomore), RB, Oregon Ducks: +3300
I really like LaMichael James with these odds. Despite being just a sophomore, James carried the Ducks offense in his freshman season rushing for 1,546 yards and 14 scores. Perhaps even more impressively, James averaged 6.7 yards per carry on the season. James numbers also increased through the latter part of the 2009 season when defenses started narrowing in on the run. The Ducks will return that strong running game again this season and James will be on the brink of another huge season.
Tate Forcier (Sophomore), QB, Michigan Wolverines: +3500
Tate Forcier is another sophomore on the Heisman watch list. Forcier displayed play-making ability in his freshman season. On the year, the numbers were not overwhelming throwing for 2050 yards, 13 touchdowns, and 10 picks. It would not surprise many to see Forcier have a great season and he already has a lot of media buzz surrounding him. Still until the Wolverines return to the national spotlight, their chance at producing a Heisman front-runner will remain dim.