The past four winners of the Heisman Trophy—Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Johnny Manziel and Jameis Winston—were not considered preseason favorites for the award. They won despite being thought of as dark horses (Newton, Griffin and Winston) or not being thought of at all (Manziel).
Part of that was due to their own dominance, but part of it had to do with the performance of the players who were considered preseason front-runners. Many of those players played well, but none were able to perform like true Heisman candidates over an entire season.
This year's Heisman front-runners face a similar threat. Their biggest challenge is the emergence of another Newton, Griffin, Manziel or Winston, but they also have intrinsic questions to answer.
Whether it be skills that they must improve, stigmas that they must shake or pitfalls that they must avoid, even the strongest candidates have something standing between them and posting Heisman-worthy numbers. There are obstacles they must overcome.
On that note, let's look at the 10 betting favorites to win the 2014 Heisman, per Vegas Insider, and highlight their biggest challenge.
Sound off below, and let me know where you disagree.