Heisman Trophy 2012: Odds on Who Gets Invited to New York
You may be of the opinion that a freshman should not be able to win the Heisman Trophy.
It's time to do away with that nonsense.
Johnny Manziel is on the verge of capping an excellent freshman campaign with the most prestigious award in the game.
This list runs down the nine other potential Heisman candidates, along with their odds of being invited to New York as a Heisman Finalist.
It's basically a two-horse race, as ESPN's Mike Greenberg points out:
But more than just Manti Te'o and Johnny Manziel will be invited; read on for odds on which players that might be.
Montee Ball has no shot at winning the Heisman any more this season.
By the middle of the season, the buzz around his stats had picked up again, as Ball started to enjoy his usual level of success on the field.
But a late-season surge and record-breaking season were not enough to keep him as a legitimate Heisman contender.
He does deserve props after breaking Travis Prentice's NCAA record for career touchdowns, and he also tied the record for most rushing touchdowns with two games still to go.
This means Wisconsin running backs now hold two major records:
Wisconsin now with FBS all-time leaders in rushing yards (Ron Dayne) & TDs (Montee Ball). They sure do like totin that pig up in Madtown.— Dan Tracy (@dtracy89) November 24, 2012
The Heisman is a single-season award, though, and despite scoring 39 times last season, he missed his opportunity.
Odds of Being Invited to New York: 100:1
Arizona plays on the West Coast and is not part of the SEC or Big Ten, so Carey flew largely under the radar this season.
He scored 20 times on the ground and amassed 1,757 yards on the ground while averaging a ridiculous 6.4 yards per carry.
He won't win the Heisman, not enough hype, but as a sophomore, he deserves some attention heading toward the 2013 season.
Odds of being invited to New York: 100:1
Again the Heisman is not a career-long popularity or accomplishment contest.
He has been largely unheralded this season, playing in a conference littered with stud defensive players and punishing running backs, but even the casual observer would have to agree he has had an excellent season.
To date, with two games left, Murray has 3,201 yards through the air, has thrown 30 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions.
He's been shredding defenses all season and Alabama is going to be a tough test, but certainly not one that Murray is not up to passing.
Odds of being invited to New York: 50:1
Clemson is having a pretty good year.
Outside of tough losses to Florida State and instate rival South Carolina, the Tigers are undefeated.
Much of the credit can be given to an explosive offense led by quarterback Tajh Boyd.
Boyd has thrown for over 3,500 yards on the season, while ringing up 34 touchdowns through the air and nine more on the ground.
Because he plays in the week ACC and does not have video-game like numbers against stiff competition, his shot at winning the Heisman has slowly melted away.
Even so, with DeAdnre "Nuke" Hopkins and Sammy Watkins returning at receiver next year, if Boyd hangs around, he will be near the top of the Heisman voting next season.
Odds of being invited to New York: 40:1
Oregon's national title chances have faded away into the distance.
So to, the chance of a Duck winning the Heisman.
Kenjon Barner may sneak in as a finalist, but he has no shot of winning the award.
He's put up some extremely good numbers this season, amassing over 1,600 yards on the ground and scoring 22 total touchdowns, but does not have the stats to take home this hardware.
He's done great things in his career at Oregon, including tying LaMichael James' record for rushing touchdowns in a season:
Kenjon Barner: 2 rushing TD for Oregon. His 21 this season ties LaMichael James' single-season school record #CivilWar— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 25, 2012
Even with such an excellent season, Barner will find it difficult to make it to New York, much less win the Heisman.
Odds of Being Invited to New York: 10:1
Lee has put up ridiculous numbers, including an average of nearly 30 yards per return on kick returns and 1,680 yards receiving.
He has certainly done his part, but history is against him winning the award.
No wide receiver has won since Desmond Howard in 1991.
Even so, Lee's numbers could warrant an invite, if the association decides to invite more than three players to the event.
Odds of being invited to New York: 5:1
The perfect 12-0 season that Urban Meyer's Buckeyes pulled off this season should not be diminished by the postseason ban with which the team has to deal.
And through the course of this season, no player has provided us with more jaw-dropping, did-you-see-that moments than OSU quarterback Braxton Miller.
The odds that voters will tab him as the next winner of the award on a team that is banned from the postseason are slim, but an invite to the Big Apple is probable.
Odds of being invited to New York: 5:2
You might call Collin Klein "The Forgotten Man."
Since Kansas State fell from the ranks of the unbeaten courtesy of Baylor, the buzz surrounding Klein's Heisman campaign has fallen off considerably, to the point where he is considered third in the race at this point.
There is absolutely no way to diminish his accomplishments this season.
They are many and very, very impressive.
Klein has rushed for 20 touchdowns and 787 yards this season, while throwing for 2,300 yards and 14 touchdowns.
His leadership ability and on-field accomplishments have the Wildcats on the verge of a Big 12 title, if they can knock off Texas in the season finale.
Odds of being invite to New York: 1:2
Manti Te'o's Heisman candidacy goes so far beyond his number of tackles.
Te'o has been the consummate leader, directing a defense that has been by turns, salty, stifling and stingy all season long.
Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly expressed the sentiments of many, as has been tweeted several times:
"If a guy like Manti Te’o is not going to win the Heisman, they should just make it an offensive award ... just cut to the chase." –Kelly— Irish Illustrated (@NDatRivals) November 25, 2012
Te'o will certainly be invited to New York, especially when one considers he has more interceptions (7) than any linebacker since 2002.
Odds of being invited to New York: 2:5
Johnny Manziel has a great shot at being the first freshman to take home the award.
Twitter exploded when Manziel broke the SEC record for total yards against Missouri, and he has provided plenty of entertaining moments this season.
The fact that he is a freshman should not limit Manziel from winning this award, especially when one considers that he just shattered that SEC yardage record set by Cam Newton in 2010 in 12 games when Newton set the bar in 14.
Manziel's ability to extend plays and make guys miss have been making our jaws drop all season long, and will continue throughout his career.
His on-field achievements even spawned "Johnny Football: The Video Game."
With the talent he has exhibited this season in Kevin Sumlin's high scoring system, Manziel should be a multiple-time Heisman finalist.
Odds of being invited to New York: 1:4