Heisman Trophy Finalists 2011: Odds for Each Finalist to Win
The 2011 Heisman Trophy finalists were announced on Monday, with Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, Robert Griffin III, Montee Ball and Tyrann Mathieu headed to New York in search of becoming the 76th player to win college football's most esteemed individual award.
And while the term "wide open" is thrown around a lot in sports, in this case it fits. Unlike in past years, everyone seems to have a different opinion.
Will it be the consensus No. 1 pick of the 2012 NFL draft, Andrew Luck, Baylor's highlight-reel quarterback Robert Griffin or will Trent Richardson be the second Alabama running back to win the award in three years?
Of course there's always the possibility that LSU's Honey Badger comes out of left field and steals the award, though we wouldn't bet on that to happen.
Here's Bleacher Report's odds for each of the finalists to take home the award.
Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Stats: 71 Tackles 1.5 Sacks, 2 INT, 420 Punt Return Yards, 2 Return TD
LSU's Honey Badger has gathered a cult following in his two years in Baton Rouge quite unlike anyone else in the country.
The electric return man has been a highlight reel, taking back punts all season and gave voters one last look with a touchdown against Georgia and a second long return that might have been even more impressive.
It's just not his time yet. Mathieu is just a sophomore. He'll be back. Expect LSU to give him some spot appearances on offense in 2012 and a legit shot at winning the Heisman next season.
Odds to Win: Very Low
Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
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Stats: 1,759 Rushing Yards, 32 Rushing TD, 255 Receiving Yards, 6 Receiving TD
Ball's 1,759 rushing yards led the nation this season and his 32 touchdowns on the ground were six more than anyone else mustered.
Statistically, he's arguably your most impressive candidate, though Wisconsin's two losses on the year as well as the presence of star quarterback Russell Wilson in the Badgers offense hurts his case.
Remember, Ball has emerged as the Heisman contender on that roster, but earlier this year everyone was touting Wilson as the favorite.
Odds to Win: Low
Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
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Stats: 3,996 Passing Yards, 36 Passing TD, 6 INT
Griffin means more to his team than any player in the country. Take him off Baylor's roster, and the Bears plummet into oblivion.
Super athletic, accurate and full of highlights, Griffin is the darkhorse with a legit shot in this race. While Luck and Richardson have dominated the main Heisman stage, RGIII has put up huge numbers all year and led Baylor to an impressive 9-3 season.
With a massive game against Texas to wrap up his campaign, voters will think twice before they vote for Andrew Luck.
Odds to Win: Above Average
Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama
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Stats: 1,583 Rushing Yards, 20 Rushing Touchdowns, 327 Receiving Yards, 3 Receiving Touchdowns
Richardson has been on an absolute tear in his first season as a full-time starter now that former Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram is with the New Orleans Saints.
He's consistently played big in big games and wrapped up his campaign with a career-high 203 rushing yards in the Iron Bowl.
Critics will say Richardson is just a cog in the machine, but we're not buying that. He's a special talent and right now is nearly on level ground with Andrew Luck as the favorite.
Odds to Win: Very High
Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Stats: 3,170 Passing Yards, 35 Passing TD, 9 INT
Luck has been the experts' consensus No. 1 overall NFL draft pick for two years now. That alone drives a hype machine that's very difficult to match.
But Luck isn't hype, he's the real deal. His Cardinal have lost only two games over the last two seasons with him behind center. He's broken John Elway's long-standing school records and there's no denying that the Cardinal wouldn't be headed to their second consecutive BCS bowl without him.
No one's campaign has been as steady all year. If not for the loss to Oregon, Luck would be a shoe-in.
Odds to Win: Very High