For the first time in years, the Heisman Trophy ceremony featured some serious drama this past December, which didn't look like it'd be the case for much of the year. Tua Tagovailoa had the thing locked up by week six, and no amount of Kyler Murray four-touchdown games was going to change that.
But Alabama's slow finish to the season, which included an ugly first half against the Citadel and Tagovailoa getting hurt and looking bad in the SEC Championship game against Georgia, coupled with Murray and Oklahoma's incredible final few games, flipped the race on its head. Murray ended up winning, which came as a bit of a shock after everyone had already handed Tua the trophy.
With Murray headed to the NFL Draft, Tua will get another crack this upcoming season, and Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has him pegged as the clear favorite at 5/2 odds. But he'll have serious competition in the form of quarterback Jesus and intramural basketball star Trevor Lawrence, who many believe is already the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Lawrence checks in at 3/1 odds right behind Tua. Shocking that the two stud QBs that just played in the National Championship game are the top two favorites, I know.
There was one surprising revelation from the way-too-early Heisman odds though, and it's the fact that the third favorite is Tagovailoa's former teammate, Jalen Hurts. Hurts announced in January that he was headed to Oklahoma, where he'll be immediately eligible to play as a graduate transfer. According to the oddsmakers, Hurts has already won the starting job, because he's at 6/1 to win the Heisman, the same odds as new Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (transferred from Georgia) and Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez, who threw for over 2,600 yards, ran for over 600 yards and had 25 combined touchdowns as a freshman.
Hurts is a fine player, and his record as a starter is better than anybody's in college football (helps playing at 'Bama), but is he really Heisman material? He'll have the rushing numbers to be in the mix, and you could argue that coach Lincoln Riley's quarterback-friendly offense could jack up his passing numbers, but third favorite? Maybe as a long shot, but not at 6/1.
Speaking of long shots, I'd much rather put a small taste on another run-heavy quarterback in Texas' Sam Ehlinger, who had 16 rushing touchdowns last season on top of his 3,292 yards passing and 25 TDs. Ehlinger, who will be a junior next year, is at 40/1.
If you're looking way down the board, Khalil Tate at 100/1 is enticing. The Arizona quarterback was one of the top 5 favorites to win the Heisman a year ago, but his season was plagued by injuries. If he can return to his sophomore year form, when he ran for nearly 1,500 yards, threw for 1,591 and had 26 total touchdowns, he should be in for a big senior year. Of course, winning games helps, something Arizona doesn't do a lot of.
Here's the full list of odds from Westgate:
All this talk for an end-of-season award that ain't what it used to be? Can you tell we miss football yet?