2013 Heisman Odds Post College Football Spring Practice
Now that spring practice has come to end, we can talk about Heisman Trophy odds. It is important to note that the performance in the spring shouldn't change the favorites that much. Glorified scrimmages don't prove anything and really shouldn't change your opinion of a certain player.
The top guys are going to remain some of college football's best, and it wouldn't be wise to shy away from a certain player simply because he didn't light it up in a spring game. When the regular season rolls around, there will only be a handful of legitimate candidates for the most prestigious award in college football.
With that said, here are the 2013 Heisman Trophy odds with spring practice in the books.
De'Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon
There is not one player in the country flashier than De'Anthony Thomas. A true threat to score from anywhere on the field, he averaged more than seven yards a carry and nearly 10 yards a reception and was a nightmare on special teams. Everybody knows he is one of the fastest players in the country and a highlight play waiting to happen.
All of these factor into him being a Heisman candidate, but what doesn't help him is the fact that quarterback Marcus Mariota is on his team. A quarterback has won 11 of the last 12 Heisman Trophies (not including Reggie Bush), and with the numbers Mariota put up a season ago, he would likely be considered over the Black Mamba.
Thomas is fun to watch and should have another great year, but it would take an off-the-wall year for him to win the award.
Marqise Lee, WR, USC
There is not one wide receiver in the country better than Marqise Lee. With his speed, sure hands and leaping ability, he not only can take over a game by himself, but also will be selected rather early in next year’s NFL draft.
Last season, he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and hauled in 14 touchdowns. He was also a factor on kickoff returns and rushed for more than 100 yards.
However, there are a few things working against him. One of those is that a wide receiver has not won a Heisman since Desmond Howard in 1991. Another is that USC has no idea who the starting quarterback is going to be, and that could cause growing pains early in the season.
There is also a good chance Lee doesn't improve last year’s numbers, as they were terrific and it still wasn't good enough to earn an invite.
Lee is a ridiculously talented wide receiver, but his position doesn't receive much love from Heisman voters.
Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Teddy Bridgewater has become somewhat of a fan favorite ever since he led the Cardinals to a BCS bowl victory over the Florida Gators. For a dual-threat quarterback, he completes a high percentage of his passes (68.5) and carries himself with a little bit of swagger. Bridgewater is somebody the Heisman committee could fall in love with rather easily, and that certainly plays into his chances.
The downside with the Cardinals quarterback is that he doesn't play anybody. Games against Houston, USF and Temple aren't sexy enough to warrant serious consideration. This also impacts the limited exposure Bridgewater will receive. You have to believe a Louisville-FIU matchup won't be on ESPN.
Bridgewater has the skill set and the numbers to make a case, but the lack of quality opponents makes him a long shot for the trophy.
A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
A.J. McCarron will remain a Heisman candidate because of the team he plays for and the fact that he is a two-time national champion. But for him to actually have a chance to win the award, he must have better numbers and produce more highlight-reel plays.
The Alabama quarterback showed signs of taking his game to the next level last year, but 2,933 passing yards just isn't enough. McCarron doesn't have the eye-popping numbers that other quarterbacks do, and that can be a turnoff when it is time to fill out those ballots.
Although he wins games at a high rate, a conservative play style doesn't win Heismans in today's age.
You still like his chances as a long shot, but you would think the leader of a national championship would have better odds.
Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
It is nearly impossible for a defensive player to win the Heisman. However, if anybody could become just the second defender to win the hardware, it would be South Carolina defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney. In fact, he has been eying the award for the longest time and believes he has an honest shot to win it.
Clowney finished last season with 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss. He also provides game-changing plays and monster hits such as this one in last year's bowl game. There is really no offensive lineman that can slow this guy down, and his overall impact on the field is simply incredible.
Arguably the best college defensive player of the last decade, Clowney needs to be taken seriously as a Heisman candidate.
Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon
This is a quarterback-driven game, and the winner will likely come from this position.
Putting Marcus Mariota in the conversation makes perfect sense. Last year, he threw for 2,677 yards, ran for 752 yards and scored 38 total touchdowns.
Did I forget to mention that he was a freshman?
The only thing that prevented the Ducks quarterback from going to New York was that another freshman (Johnny Manziel) was having a season for the ages. Now that Mariota has gotten everybody's attention and has had a year to learn the system, don't be surprised if he is flying across the country for the ceremony at the end of the season.
Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson
Tajh Boyd plays on an offensive-friendly team under Chad Morris, which allows him to toss the ball around and produce impressive numbers.
Last season, he threw for 3,896 yards and 36 touchdowns while improving his completion percentage to 67 percent. With those numbers added to his 514 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground, Boyd could have received an invite last season.
The only thing holding the Clemson signal-caller back is that his team can't seem to get over the hump. They are always losing a big game to a ranked opponent. Boyd is never able to earn the Heisman moment that can really help put his campaign over the top.
He may finally be given that chance with the Clemson defense improving and making strides at the end of last year.
Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia
The only knock anybody can have on Aaron Murray is that he can't win the big game. Even with that being the case, he has topped 3,000 passing yards in three straight seasons and tossed 95 touchdowns in his career. He is the definition of consistent and is guaranteed to put up solid numbers again with nearly his entire offense returning.
So he can't win the game that truly matters. Well, he was a hair away from knocking off Alabama and securing a bid to play in the national championship. Maybe that was the last baby step needed before getting the job done.
Big games or not, Murray puts up those gaudy statistics, and that is at least half the battle to getting to New York.
Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
What? This can't be right. Johnny Manziel not the favorite to win the Heisman? Relax.
Manziel is not considered the front-runner because he has already won the award. While you may say this isn't fair, many voters will do anything to prevent the same player from walking across that stage twice.
Only one player has been fortunate enough to win the Heisman two times (Archie Griffin), and it would take another ridiculous season to change history.
However, Manziel has more offensive weapons around him and hasn't faced a defense yet that can slow him down. If "Johnny Football" can pull off another miraculous season, the award is his.
But what are the chances of lightning striking twice?
Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State
People are going to criticize Braxton Miller and his inability to throw the football until the cows come home.
Guess what? He still rushed for 1,271 yards, passed for 2,039 yards and scored 28 total touchdowns. He also led his team to an undefeated season, which isn't done a whole lot nowadays.
Heisman voters mainly look at two things: statistics and winning. With the schedule the Buckeyes have, there is a good chance they could run the table once again. There won't be any SEC team finishing the season undefeated, which gives Miller a great chance over Manziel.
Miller may struggle passing the ball consistently, but he provides the highlight plays and leads his team to victory. This seems to be the formula for winning the hardware and puts the junior quarterback in the driver's seat heading into the season.