Could the Heisman Trophy race be all but over this early in the college football season? If you check out the updated NCAA odds, the answer appears to be yes with Oregon's Marcus Mariota now the heavy betting favorite.
Mariota Pulling Away From Field
I have been on Mariota since before the season began and now he's the clear guy to beat for college football's top award. He was a slight +550 favorite last week at the site ahead of Florida State's Jameis Winston. However, now Mariota is +225 and Winston a long shot. More on him in a minute.
The Ducks were given a scare on Saturday, winning 38-31 at Washington State. It was the fewest points scored so far this season for Oregon, and the Cougars aren't exactly a good defensive team. Oregon beat its first three opponents this season by an average score of 52-18. Mariota was sensational against Wazzu, going 21 of 25 for 329 yards and five touchdown passes. He also ran 13 times for 58 yards. The likely No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 draft, Mariota is completing 74 percent on the season for 1,135 yards, 13 touchdowns and no picks. HIs 218.0 QB rating leads the nation. Mariota also has run for 214 yards and three scores. He is not in action this week as Oregon is off before hosting Arizona on Oct. 2, which should be a major shootout.
Winston was in the news for all the wrong reasons -- again -- last week as he was suspended by the team initially just for the first half of Saturday night's game against Clemson. Predictably, a lot of backlash followed that decision by Florida State and the suspension was extended to the full game. FSU escaped against the Tigers, winning 23-17 in overtime as backup Sean Maguire played pretty well. Winston has dropped all the way to +2000, and I believe he has no shot at this award. His behavior has turned off too many voters. Winston will start this week at North Carolina State. The Wolfpack are much better this season and it could be a major trap game for the Seminoles in their first road test.
Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill is now the +800 second favorite on college football odds. Hill completed 16 of 22 for 265 yards with two scores and an interception in a 58-6 blowout of Rice. He rushed two times for 57 yards. Now comes the tough part of the schedule with Arkansas up next in Dallas, followed by ranked teams Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama.
Speaking of Mississippi State, the big jump on the Heisman odds this week belongs to Bulldogs quarterback Dak Prescott, who is now +1200. MSU has never had a Heisman winner. The Bulldogs had perhaps the most impressive win of Week 4, a 34-29 stunner at then-No. 8 LSU. It was MSU's first win in Baton Rouge in 23 years. Prescott, who is from Louisiana, completed 15 of 24 passes for 268 yards and two scores while rushing for 105 yards and a 56-yard touchdown. It was the most rushing yards by a QB at Tiger Stadium in the Les Miles era. The Bulldogs now get two weeks to prepare for Texas A&M as they are off this week.
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson, BYU signal-caller Taysom Hill and Georgia running back Todd Gurley are at +1200 with Prescott. Hill's Cougars just might go unbeaten and crash the college football playoff after rallying past Virginia on Saturday. BYU next plays Oct. 3 at home against Utah State.
Golson was off this past week with the Irish taking on Syracuse at MetLife Stadium this Saturday. Gurley had a quiet game in a destruction of Troy, rushing just six times for 73 yards. He was pulled early with the Dawgs rolling. Georgia hosts Tennessee on Saturday.
College Football Pick: Here's hoping you got Mariota at a better price weeks ago. He remains the guy for your college football picks.