It's important to understand where the Heisman Trophy betting odds sit after each week of the College Football season. After Week 8, Mississippi State's Dak Prescott's the +140 favorite.
Trap Game Looming for Bulldogs?
Prescott's Bulldogs remain at No. 1 in the polls as they didn't play in Week 8. Mississippi State could be on upset alert this Saturday as it visits a vastly improved Kentucky team. MSU opened as a 13-point favorite on NCAA football odds. Well, it was a vastly improved Kentucky team I should say. The Wildcats didn't look very good in Week 8, falling 41-3 at LSU. Still, UK has already beaten South Carolina this season and should have won at Florida if not for a questionable call by the officials in the first overtime. Coach Mark Stoops has UK headed in the right direction.
Kentucky gave Mississippi State all it could handle last season, losing 28-22 in Starkville. The Cats' final drive fell short at the MSU 29-yard line with 21 seconds left. Prescott threw for 268 yards and two scores and also caught a 17-yard TD pass.
Mississippi State will be favored the following two weeks as well, at home against Arkansas and Tennessee-Martin. But the Bulldogs will be underdogs on Nov. 4 at Alabama. That game could be what determines Prescott's Heisman fate.
Expect Fireworks Friday for Mariota
Oregon's Marcus Mariota is the +180 second-favorite on College Football odds. The Ducks have put that Arizona loss in the rear-view mirror with back-to-back impressive wins over UCLA and, this past Saturday, against Washington. Mariota was 24 of 33 for 336 yards and two touchdowns vs. UW. Oregon had a whopping 22 plays of 10 or more yards against a pretty good Huskies' defense.
Mariota could put up huge numbers Friday night at California. The Bears are one of the worst defensive teams in the nation. It was against Cal where Washington State's Connor Halliday threw for an NCAA record 734 yards, along with six touchdowns, back on Oct. 4. Last year Oregon beat Call 55-16 in Eugene. Mariota was just 11 for 25 for 114 yards with two touchdowns, but that game was played in a monsoon. Oregon is an 18-point favorite this time around at sportsbooks.
Golson Nearly Leads Irish Upset
I wrote last week that Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson would get a huge Heisman boost if his Irish could pull the upset at Florida State. Golson and the Irish nearly pulled it off, falling 31-27 in perhaps the best game we will see all season. It appeared that Golson had his Heisman moment, hitting Corey Robinson on a winning 2-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left. However, the Irish were called for offensive pass interference. If you saw the play, it might have been the right call technically but it's something that happens all the time and isn't called.
The Irish were probably the better team and dominated both lines of scrimmage, outgaining FSU 470-323. Notre Dame also had 26 first downs to 18 for the Seminoles. Golson was 31 of 52 for 313 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He is now +2000 to win the Heisman. Winston is up to +1500 but, again, he's not going to get on many voters' ballots with College Football picks because of all the off-field problems. Every week it seems something new comes to light that threatens Winston's eligibility.
The Heisman is really down to a three-man race between Prescott, Mariota and Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon, who is +500 on NCAA football odds. Gordon's Badgers were off this past week. He has rushed for at least 175 yards in four straight games. Wisconsin faces Maryland this Saturday at Camp Randall. The Terps aren't a particularly good defensive team, allowing a combined 80 points in the past two games, a loss to Ohio State and win over Iowa.
College Football Free Pick: Those who have followed this stories all season know I was on Mariota until his Ducks lost to Arizona. Now I am back on him. I don't see Oregon losing again this regular season, but MSU could lose twice.