Saquon Barkley and the Penn State Nittany Lions didn't play last week, and as a result, nothing changed with his status as the Heisman Trophy favorite. Barkley isn't quite odds-on, but you can guarantee all of that is going to change in the next three weeks for better or worse.
Barkley and the Nittany Lions have their three defining games of the season in succession. First up is a home date with Michigan, and that's followed by road games at Ohio State and Michigan State.
If you told James Franklin right now that the Nittany Lions would go 2-1 in those games, he'd probably privately take it. So would Barkley in his quest to win the Heisman. But if Barkley gets bottled up by the Wolverines like he did last year when he had just 59 rushing yards in a 49-10 loss, we're going to see a new favorite emerge in the Heisman race once again.
That new favorite could be Bryce Love. Love has steadily improved his stock in the Heisman Trophy race over the course of the last several weeks, and bettors are starting to realize that he easily has the best stats of any running back in America by a wide margin. As the Cardinal continue to win, Love gets more and more notoriety. We think his value is gone at +150, but there's no doubt that Love is the safest choice the rest of the way.
Amazingly, it's the middle of October, and there isn't a quarterback really being considered for the Heisman. J.T. Barrett lost to Baker Mayfield. Baker Mayfield lost to Iowa State. It's hard to trust either man right now, as they both have flawed resumes that include a mind-boggling bad game. There's time for both to come back and win this honor, but it's going to require more in the way of wins and memorable performances than statistical gains.
If this was a stats-driven honor this year, Lamar Jackson would have the award locked up for a second time. That said, Jackson is down to 25 to 1 to win another Heisman due to the fact that his Louisville side has already been beaten three times and could be staring a fourth loss in the face at Florida State this weekend.
Saquon Barkley +120
Bryce Love +150
Baker Mayfield +600
J.T. Barrett +1000
Mason Rudolph +1000
Lamar Jackson +2500
Jalen Hurts +3500
Sam Darnold +4000
Jonathan Taylor +5000
Kenny Hill +5000
Jake Browning +6000
J.K. Dobbins +6500
Rashaad Penny +7500
Nick Chubb +8500
Will Grier +8500
James Washington +10000
Luke Falk +10000
Quinton Flowers +10000
Trace McSorley +10000
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When you think of individual awards in sports, one of the first honors that comes to mind is the Heisman Trophy. The very best of the best in football have won this award, and the list of players who have captured the honor is more or less a "Who's Who" in college football.
Though not every player who won the Heisman went on to have an illustrious professional career, there is never any doubt what these men accomplished as the top players in college football in their respective years winning the honor. It is a prestigious honor to hold that bronze statue, and while the selection process is highly criticized, there is not denying the importance of this legacy.
The Heisman Trophy is more or less a combination award. Though this award is supposed to honor the most outstanding player in college football, it often is given to the best player on the best team in the nation. Each of the last three Heisman Trophy winners went on to play in the National Championship Game, and 15 of the last 18 went on to play in either the College Football Playoff or a BCS bowl game.
Of course, that isn't always the case. Tim Tebow – arguably one of the best players in college football history – won the Heisman Trophy for a four-loss Florida team in 2007, becoming the first ever sophomore to win the honor.
Over the course of the next two years, Sam Bradford and Mark Ingram also became sophomore winners of the Heisman Trophy, while in 2012, another benchmark was met when Johnny Manziel captured the nation's top individual prize as a redshirt freshman. Jameis Winston not only repeated that feat the next year, but he also guided Florida State to the National Championship.
2015 – Derrick Henry (Alabama)
2014 – Marcus Mariota (Oregon)
2013 – Jameis Winston (Florida State)
2012 – Johnny Manziel (Texas A&M)
2011 – Robert Griffin III (Baylor)
2010 – Cam Newton (Auburn)
2009 – Mark Ingram (Alabama)
2008 – Sam Bradford (Oklahoma)
2007 – Tim Tebow (Florida)
2006 – Troy Smith (Ohio State)
2005 – Reggie Bush (USC)
2004 – Matt Leinart (USC)
2003 – Jason White (Oklahoma)
2002 – Carson Palmer (USC)
2001 – Eric Crouch (Nebraska)
2000 – Chris Weinke (Florida State)
You aren't going to find yourself in much better position if by the time your handicapper puts his predictions out for the weekend the lines have been pounded and the value is gone.
So no matter if you are a big or small bettor, you can get your NCAA Thursday Night football betting action in as soon as possible.
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|Pac 12 Conference||Big East Conference|
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