The college football season will be here before you know it. With the start of the season will come several ongoing debates for fans and the media to focus on. Many of them will center around how teams will perform. But there will be at least one that focuses on individual performance.
Who is going to win the Heisman Trophy in 2020?
Many will lead their arguments with one of the top tier contenders, like Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence. However, preseason favorites rarely (if ever) win. The last four winners all had preseason odds of +1000 or longer. Since 2009, four winners didn’t even have preseason odds.
The odds, according to WilliamHill.com, are as follows:
Heisman Trophy Odds:
- Justin Fields +350
- Trevor Lawrence +400
- Jamie Newman +1000
- Spencer Rattler +1200
- Sam Ehlinger +1800
- D’Eriq King +2000
- Mac Jones, Travis Etienne, Chuba Hubbard +2200
- Myles Brennan, Ian Book +2800
- Bo Nix, Kyle Trask, Sam Howell +3000
- Adrian Martinez +3500
- Kedon Slovis, Kellen Mond +4000
- Charlie Brewer, Spencer Sanders, Najee Harris, Sean Clifford +5000
- KJ Costello, Tyler Shough, Master Teague III, Brock Purdy +6000
- Zamir White, CJ Verdell, Dylan McCaffrey +7500
- Jaylen Waddle, Micale Cunningham, Ja’Marr Chase, Alan Bowman, John Rhys Plumlee +10000
- Jayden Daniels, Tanner Morgan, Dillon Gabriel, Brady White +12500
- Michael Penix Jr, Rondale Moore +15000
There are certain things to keep in mind when predicting Heisman winners. All but three have been either a running back or quarterback. Since 2000, quarterbacks have dominated the award, losing to a running back just three times.
Since the late 1980s, every winner has come from a Power Five school, and usually one not on the West Coast (because performances in late games do not garner as much attention).
In the last ten years, the winners have been guys with preseason odds as short as +425 and as long as +10000 making it hard to eliminate too many guys from consideration. But we do know he will have to come from a dominant team with few, if any, losses.
Oh—and don’t forget the stats. Voters like stats that slap them in the face and make them pay attention.
So, with all of that in mind, who should you bet on?
Justin Fields or Trevor Lawrence would be the safe bets, but safe bets don’t win the Heisman. Hopes are certainly high for Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman at Georgia. But it remains to be seen if he will be able to handle SEC defenses; ACC defenses, except for Clemson, don’t compare.
A quarterback needs to make a splash to be taken seriously as a contender. The guys more likely to do that will have longer odds like Bo Nix, Kyle Trask, Kedon Slovis, and Charlie Brewer. So, this may be a good year to go with a running back.
Chubba Hubbard led the nation in rushing last season, and Travis Ettiene has been a beast at Clemson. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him featured more early on since Trevor Lawrence seems to need a few weeks to warm up.
This season could also be a great year to bet on an Alabama running back, Najee Harris. Without a superstar at quarterback this year, the Tide will likely focus more on the run game. With all of the attention Alabama games get, if he performs, voters will see him.