Heisman Watch 2019: Examining Odds and Highlights for Finalists

Jake RillSenior Analyst IDecember 12, 2019

FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2019, file photo, LSU quarterback Joe Burrow (9) warms up before the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game against Georgia, 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/John Bazemore, File)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

For the first time since 2016, the Heisman Trophy winner is likely to be a player who isn't an Oklahoma quarterback. But it's not much of a surprise who it's going to be.

LSU quarterback Joe Burrow has been the most dominant player in college football this season, and he's led the Tigers to the SEC Championship and their first College Football Playoff appearance.

In his second season at LSU after transferring from Ohio State, the 23-year-old put together one of the best quarterback campaigns in SEC history.

In addition to Burrow, Ohio State signal-caller Justin Fields, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts are also Heisman finalists and will be at the ceremony on Saturday night in New York City.

Hurts will be looking for an upset to keep the Sooners' streak alive. Baker Mayfield won the Heisman in 2017, and Kyler Murray claimed the award in 2018.

Here are the odds for each of this year's four finalists, followed by highlights from the season for each player.


2019 Heisman Trophy Odds (via Sports Betting Dime)

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

Justin Fields QB, Ohio State (+2500; bet $100 to win $2,500)

Chase Young, DE, Ohio State (+2000)

Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma (+2500)


Joe Burrow, LSU

From early on in the season, it became apparent this was going to be a special year for Burrow.

In LSU's second game of the season, it went on the road and picked up a big non-conference win at Texas. Burrow led the way by going 31-for-39 for 471 yards and four touchdowns. The only time he threw for more yards this year was when he passed for 489 yards vs. Ole Miss on Nov. 16.

He has passed for more than 300 yards in 11 of his 13 games, and he's passed for four or more touchdowns seven times. He threw a season-high six touchdowns at Vanderbilt on Sept. 21.

On big stages, Burrow has continued to excel. He passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns in LSU's victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Joe Burrow with all the time in the world. Not fair. (via @CBSSports) https://t.co/hWnBJxKwAq

His 4,715 passing yards rank second in the country, while he's thrown 48 touchdowns—the most in the nation. Both of those marks are SEC single-season records.


Justin Fields, Ohio State

In his first season at Ohio State after transferring from Georgia, Fields is proving the Bulldogs may have made a mistake in not starting him.

The 20-year-old has passed for 2,953 yards, 40 touchdowns and only one interception while leading the Buckeyes to the Big Ten championship. The sophomore has also rushed for 471 yards and 10 touchdowns.

It didn't take long for Fields to feel comfortable in Ohio State's offense. In his first game for the Buckeyes against Florida Atlantic on Aug. 31, he had five total touchdowns (four passing and one rushing) to tie Dwayne Haskins' school record for most touchdowns by an Ohio State quarterback in his first career start.

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Justin Fields making BIG impressions early in OSU debut Touchdown on 1st drive 🚨 (Via @CFBONFOX) https://t.co/L6HMcKfJPl

Fields never slowed down, either, even in the biggest games of the season. He passed for 302 yards and four touchdowns versus Michigan on Nov. 30, then threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin.

It's unlikely Fields will beat Burrow for the Heisman this year. Fortunately for the Buckeyes, though, he'll be back next season.


Chase Young, Ohio State

The first defensive lineman to be a Heisman finalist since Ndamukong Suh in 2009, and only the fourth ever, Young has big things in his future. The Ohio State defensive end will likely be one of the first picks in the NFL draft in April.

Even though the 20-year-old knew he was a top draft prospect, he still had an impressive final season at Ohio State. He had 16.5 sacks this term—the most in the country—despite playing in only 10 games. He missed one game due to injury and two due to an NCAA rules violation.

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Chase Young can't be contained 😤😳 (via @CFBONFOX) https://t.co/7h37KSxpsT

Late in the season, Young was at his best. He had four sacks and two forced fumbles against Wisconsin on Oct. 26. When he returned to action against Penn State on Nov. 23, he had three sacks and a forced fumble. Then, he had six tackles and two pass deflections in the Big Ten Championship Game against Wisconsin.

Young likely won't win the Heisman, but it takes an impressive defensive season to even be a finalist for the award. And that's exactly what he had.


Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma

Unlike some transfers, people knew what Hurts was capable of. We've seen it at times over the previous three years when he was at Alabama.

So, when the Crimson Tide turned to Tua Tagovailoa and Hurts opted to transfer to Oklahoma, Sooners fans were expecting big things.

The 21-year-old delivered while leading Oklahoma to the Big 12 championship and a CFP berth. He did it with his arm and his legs, as he had 3,634 yards and 32 touchdowns through the air along with 1,255 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. All of those numbers were career highs.

In his Sooners debut, Hurts had a huge game against Houston on Sept. 1, passing for 332 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 176 yards and three touchdowns. The only other time he rushed for three scores in a game was Oct. 26 at Kansas State.

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Jalen Hurts was doing it all for the Sooners ⚡️ https://t.co/jyGuGjZHop

One of his best performances came on Nov. 16 at Baylor, where he passed for a season-high four touchdowns while leading Oklahoma to a comeback victory. Hurts and the Sooners trailed by 25 points but rallied for a 34-31 victory that kept them alive in the playoff hunt.

Hurts' only season at Oklahoma was memorable, but it likely won't earn him the Heisman. However, he'll have a chance to knock off Burrow and LSU in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28, when Oklahoma will try to earn the opportunity to play for the national title.