Las Vegas' top 11 Heisman Trophy favorites entering 2014
The 2014 Heisman won't be handed out in New York City for another seven months, but it's not too early to check out the odds and see if you can find value. Here are the top 10 favorites according to Sportsbooks' current odds.
T-10. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn (22-to-1)
The quarterback of Gus Malzahn's fast-paced offense and the 2013 SEC champion, Marshall is back for his senior season on The Plains and will try to get the Tigers back to the national championship game. A prolific runner, if he proves within the pocket, he could put up dual-threat numbers that are hard to match.
John Reed-USA TODAY SportsJohn Reed
T-10. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame (22-to-1)
Golson missed the 2013 season after the university issued a semester-long suspension for cheating on a test, but he's back in South Bend and ready to compete for his old job under center. We know Golson has great potential, and with Stanford, Florida State and USC on the schedule, he will have his share of opportunities to create Heisman moments.
Getty ImagesJonathan Daniel
T-8. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin (18-to-1)
Gordon might be the best running back in the country next season (another guy on this list will have a say) after ranking eighth nationally in yards per attempt in 2013 (7.81). More importantly, Wisconsin has an easy schedule after opening against LSU (no Ohio State, Michigan State or Penn State in Big Ten play). There's a great shot Gordon puts up huge numbers on a one-loss team, which would likely make him a Heisman finalist.
Getty ImagesMike McGinnis
T-8. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA (18-to-1)
Hundley was a projected first-round pick had he decided to enter the NFL Draft, but he chose to return to Westwood instead. Hundley staying in college makes UCLA a popular choice to win the Pac-12 and raises the expectations to the highest level since Jim Mora took over the program. Will Hundley find his way to New York and while the Bruins knock on the inaugural playoff door?
Getty ImagesStephen Dunn
7. Trevor Knight, QB, Oklahoma (17-to-1)
Knight shredded Alabama in the 2013 Sugar Bowl, and now he returns to Norman as a redshirt sophomore on most everyone's Heisman Watch list. Nobody questions Knight's ability to make plays with both his arm and legs. The only question now is whether he can sustain an elite level of performance over the course of a full season.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY SportsChuck Cook
6. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama (15-to-1)
The good news: Yeldon is the clear starting back for Alabama entering fall camp. The bad news: There are other talented guys who will get plenty of carries, particurlarly Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake. So if you're placing a bet on Yeldon, the concern isn't whether he'll produce; the concern is whether his numbers will take a hit from all of the talent around him.
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY SportsThomas Campbell
5. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor (10-to-1)
Petty had Heisman buzz last season until the Bears lost to Oklahoma State in November. Now he's back, and in Art Briles' offense, we know he's going to rack up a ton of yardage. Another plus: Running back Lache Seastrunk is now in the NFL, so he won't be eating into Petty's numbers (although Baylor does have other talented backs who could rise).
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY SportsMatt Kartozian
4. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia (9-to-1)
Gurley is a stud, rushing for 5.99 yards per carry last season while missing three games due to an ankle injury. If he's fully healthy in 2014, he'll likely be the best back in the SEC and could help drive Georgia to an SEC East title. It's also possible (probable?) that all of those SEC defenses stack the box against Gurley and force new starting QB Hutson Mason to beat them.
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY SportsDale Zanine
T-2. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State (7-to-1)
Miller's 2013 season had its bumps, with him missing two games due to a head injury and the Buckeyes losing the Orange Bowl to Clemson, but 2014 figures to be a big year. Ohio State is a favorite to win the Big Ten and earn a spot in the playoff, and Miller might be the only other QB on this list who can match Nick Marshall's dual-threat ways. If the Buckeyes are undefeated in November, the Miller Heisman campaign will be in full force.
Getty ImagesJoel Auerbach
T-2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon (7-to-1)
Another stunning decision to spurn the NFL Draft and return to school, Mariota back in Eugene is great for the Ducks and college football. He was a projected top-10 pick had he turned pro, and now he has a chance to do what many thought Oregon would do in 2013: reach the national championship game. Mariota is so efficient in the pocket that he just needs to stay healthy (he hurt his knee last season) in order to be in this discussion.
Getty ImagesEzra Shaw
1. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State (7-to-2)
Ah, the most discussed man in college football and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Winston will put up the numbers, and Florida State will likely win plenty of games, so the question becomes whether Winston's season is so good that enough voters don't have another defensible option. If they do, they may not choose to put Winston in Archie Griffin's class as the only two-time Heisman winner.
Getty ImagesDon Juan Moore
Who's your pick?
Out of these top 10, who do you think has the best chance to win the Heisman Trophy in 2014? Did Vegas leave any key names out of its favorites? Drop your write-in votes in the comments section below.