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Heisman Watch 2019: Predictions in Race for College Football's Prestigious Award

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2019

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) runs against Georgia during the second half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, in Atlanta. Burrow is a unanimous selection as the offensive player of the year on The Associated Press All-Southeastern Conference football team, Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart, File)
Mike Stewart/Associated Press

We're one step closer to finding out which player will take home college football's greatest individual honor this year. 

ESPN announced the Heisman Trophy finalists on Monday Night Countdown ahead of Saturday's ceremony.

Three of the finalists play for or used to play for Ohio State, but despite that program's recruiting dominance, the Buckeyes just may come away empty-handed for letting the likely winner walk away. 

Let's break down the four nominees for this year's Heisman Trophy, their odds of winning and make final predictions on the outcome. 

      

2019 Heisman Trophy Finalists' Odds

The Heisman Trophy @HeismanTrophy

Congratulations to the 2019 Heisman Finalists! https://t.co/X59a6OpbyF

Joe Burrow, QB, LSU (-2500; bet $2,500 to win $100)

Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State (+1200; bet $100 to win $1,200)

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State (+2000)

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (+2500)

Is Burrow going to prove to be the one who got away? The former Ohio Gatorade Player of the Year and 4-star recruit committed to the Buckeyes in May 2014, but after redshirting his first year in 2015 and backing up J.T. Barrett the following two seasons, Burrow was ready for his chance to shine.

Burrow transferred to Baton Rouge in May 2018 as a graduate transfer and proceeded to light up the SEC this year. In 13 games, Burrow completed 77.9 percent of his passes for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns to only six interceptions. He rushed for another three touchdowns.

The 6'4", 216-pounder has quarterbacked LSU to the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff and set the all-time SEC record for single-season passing yards before claiming the SEC single-season touchdown record in the SEC Championship Game, a 37-10 victory over Georgia.  

Can you imagine anyone surpassing Burrow for this year's Heisman honor?

Let's start with the quarterbacks. Ohio State sophomore Justin Fields, a UGA transfer in January, threw an impressive 40 touchdowns to just one interception this year. He threw for 2,953 yards and rushed for 471 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Hurts is also a transfer, going from Alabama to Oklahoma in January. He impressed right off the bat in September when he broke former OU quarterback Baker Mayfield's single-game yardage record of 396 when he had 508 yards of total offense against Houston. He finished his season with 3,039 yards and 28 touchdowns to five interceptions. 

But no picture of Hurts' Heisman bid would be complete without his rushing efforts, which netted him 983 yards and another 15 touchdowns. 

Then there's Young, who, if he doesn't win this year's Heisman award, will almost certainly be the No. 1 overall pick in next year's NFL draft. That's not a bad consolation prize.

Young leads the nation in sacks with 16.5 in 11 contests after missing two games because of a suspension.

All three Heisman-nominated quarterbacks are also finalists for the Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award.

Burrow, Hurts and Young, meanwhile, have been named finalists for the Maxwell Award, given to the college player of the year.

The Heisman nominees have had fantastic seasons, no doubt, but it's hard to imagine anyone topping Burrow. 

Prediction: Joe Burrow

    

Odds per Sports Betting Dime and current as of Dec. 9.