Coming into the 2019 college football season, the Heisman Trophy race looked to be an easy choice among the last two National Championship winning QBs, Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama) and Trevor Lawrence (Clemson). But Lawrence has failed to impress and Tua’s high ankle sprain last Saturday figures to sideline / hamper him for weeks.
So who is the new frontrunner and what will it take going forward for each of the top candidates to get it done? My breakdown is as follows:
Jalen Hurts (QB, Oklahoma) (1.9-1 odds)
In seven games, the former Alabama QB has thrown for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 700 while combining for an astounding THIRTY TDs! There are some tricky conference games remaining but I would be surprised if the OU QB isn’t among the top-two Heisman candidates when the dust settles. If OU goes undefeated and wins the Big XII Championship Game, Hurts will become the third straight Sooners QB to win college football’s most prestigious individual award.
Joe Burrow (QB, LSU) (1.25-1)
The Ohio State transfer is averaging nearly 350 yards passing per game and 4 TDs and has vaulted his way to the betting favorite courtesy of oddsmaker Bovada. To me though, the numbers won’t mean much in the Heisman race unless Burrow can lead his team to a victory on November 9th against Alabama. LSU needs to finish the regular season undefeated or he’s not going to win.
Jonathan Taylor (RB, Wisconsin) (16-1)
The junior RB is an absolute machine with 19 TDs scored in only seven games. But the Badgers’ loss to Illinois plus their impending demise this weekend against Ohio State will pretty much eliminate him from contention despite the gaudy numbers.
Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State) (9-1)
Similar to Hurts, this Georgia transfer has been a revelation at his new school. He lacks the dynamic yardage totals of his Oklahoma counterpart though the 30 combined TDs is still mind-blowing. There’s good value on Fields here as Ohio State might be the best bet to go 13-0 heading into the CFB Playoff.
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon) (60-1)
Oregon’s senior QB is a talent but has virtually no chance to win because his numbers don’t pop out compared to the others and frankly the Pac-12 is much weaker than the other conferences. Toss.
Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson) (90-1)
Clemson may still be really good but unfortunately its QB has seen his Heisman odds slip from 5/2 before the season to 90/1 now. With a 14-8 TD-to-INT ratio, Lawrence’s might as well no longer be on the board.
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama) (6-1)
His 29 TDs are terrific but doesn’t it always seem that the WRs are the ones doing all of the work and not Tua making the tremendous throws? Plus with the ankle injury, I just don’t see a path for him to win considering the other strong contenders.
My current Heisman prediction:
1. Jalen Hurts
2. Justin Fields
3. Joe Burrow
4. Tua Tagovailoa
5. Jonathan Taylor
Looking ahead to Week 9 – we’re bringing back the guest pickers – either Fanatic personalities or Super Fans for the remainder of the regular season. First up is the producer of “Bruce Jacobs and Helly”, weekdays from 5:30-10am, Jason “Chief” Carter.
Week 9 Picks
This Week’s Bold Predictions
EC: Call me crazy but this week is the last stand for Khalil Tate at Arizona. If he doesn’t show respectably in the first half against Stanford, it will be his final appearance on the field for the Wildcats (barring injury). With that said, I expect Tate to perform better under pressure and lead the ‘Cats to a victory on The Farm.
JB: My bold picks have gone the other way…maybe this will too. Who am I kidding?Illinois, what a joke. Get ready for a Minnesota- Ohio State big ten championship game.
(JB is a depressed Wisconsin Badger…poor guy.)
Wisconsin got caught looking ahead to a guaranteed top 6 showdown vs Ohio State and was exposed by a disastrous Illinois team in inglorious fashion. The Badgers limp into Columbus with their tail between their legs, and what would have been a good old fashion grinder and close game turns into a Buckeye blowout, ushering in the Graham Mertz era (at QB) a season earlier than expected.
SM: After an incredibly embarrassing performance last Friday, Northwestern gets a huge boost by beating Iowa at home.
WF: Khalil Tate is back and he rises above the noise. I think that’s what I’ve seen out of him lately. I think most UofA fans are leaning towards (Grant) Gunnell, but I have a feeling, as a Sun Devil, I always see an envious UofA win every season. Thought it would come against USC, but a win over Stanford is always good, no matter how bad they are.
JC: I know I’m from Texas but I’m tired of hearing about the Longhorns and the whiny Orange! They barely avoided defeat last weekend when they needed to win big. Now they’re going to Fort Worth this weekend to play Gary Paterson and TCU. Have you seen the uniforms the Horned Frogs are wearing? They are absolute FIRE and after this weekend, Tom Herman will have a seat to match down in Austin! TCU WINS BIG! 35 – 10!