The five Heisman Trophy finalists have been announced, and we must say that we are a bit surprised as to who the five players are. Check out the chances that each of the five have of winning college football’s most illustrious individual honor, and their odds to win the Heisman Trophy.
Robert Griffin III, Baylor Bears (-950): RG3 stated his intent to be a Heisman Trophy finalist this year right at the beginning of the year when he dominated against a TCU Horned Frogs defense that always is amongst the best in the country. That being said, it wasn’t until this week that it became clear that Griffin was going to be the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but it is hard to deny him. He is leading the second best offense in the country at 570.9 yards per game, and he came up with 3,998 passing yards, 655 rushing yards, 36 TDs through the air, and nine on the ground, and he basically did it all in 11 total games played. Griffin completed 72.4 percent of his passes, and he averaging 10.8 yards per pass attempt. He resurrected the Baylor football program, and took it from a joke that was getting blown away by 50 in basically every conference game to one that seriously contended for a BCS bowl bid this year. We don’t see it being justified that Griffin is a nearly 1 to 10 favorite, but it seems clear that he is the overwhelming favorite at this point.
Trent Richardson, Alabama Crimson Tide (+450): When you look back at the numbers that RB Mark Ingram came up with two years ago when he won the Heisman Trophy as a sophomore, and then look back at the numbers that Richardson came up with this year, you can’t help but wonder whether the Tide have their second Heisman Trophy winner in three years. The Alabama back rumbled for 1,583 yards and 20 TDs this year, and he also had another 327 yards and three TDs. The problem that Richardson has is that he didn’t play in the last week of the season, something that the rest of the Heisman Trophy candidates did, and though Alabama is heading to the BCS National Championship Game, it didn’t win the SEC and didn’t get a chance to play for the SEC title because of its loss to LSU at home a month ago. Richardson will get some votes because he probably put together the best performance that an offensive player had against the Tigers all season long, but in the end, he’s got that bias against him since it will have been two weeks since anyone has seen him play.
Andrew Luck, Stanford Cardinal (+500): All season long, Luck wasn’t just the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, but he was the overwhelming favorite to win it. There is no doubt that the Stanford quarterback is going to end up being the top pick in the NFL Draft this year as long as QB Peyton Manning doesn’t have his say about it. However, in the end this year, his numbers just don’t stack up to those of the top quarterbacks in the land, including those of QBs Brandon Weeden, Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, and Matt Barkley, and none of them are here in the Big Apple. Luck threw for 3,185 yards and 35 TDs this year, but he has the same problem that Richardson does. He didn’t play last week. Stanford lost its one big game of the year, and it lost that game at home to Oregon. Just on the grace of that alone, we are surprised that RB LaMichael James wasn’t invited to New York, but we do think that the only reason Luck is here is because of the type that he had during the whole season, not so much about what he accomplished legitimately on the field.
Montee Ball, Wisconsin Badgers (+5000): Even though no one really saw Ball being a Heisman Trophy finalist, it’s hard to argue with anything that he has done this year. In a backfield that included a lot of rushing yards for both RB James White and QB Russell Wilson, Ball still led the nation in rushing with 1,759 yards, and he still had 38 TDs, a dozen more than anyone else in the nation. That didn’t come against a creampuff schedule either. The Big Ten is rough and tough, and there is no one that is doubting the level of competition that he played against. That being said, the Badgers were beaten in two of their toughest games of the season, and they only won two road game all year. The numbers are nice for Ball, but when push comes to shove, we aren’t so sure that that is enough to really warrant him being here in New York over someone like a LaMichael James, who put up comparable numbers in almost three fewer games.
Tyrann Mathieu, LSU Tigers (+12500): The Heisman Trophy is often awarded to the best player on the best team in America. There is no doubt that LSU has a gripe to not just be the best team in the land, but the best college football team that we have seen in quite some time. There is also no doubt that Mathieu is one of the best players on the team, and he is certainly the MVP of the squad over the course of the last few weeks. Mathieu has broken a slew of punt returns this year for big yards and touchdowns, and he has been a tremendous ball hawk on defense. That being said, we have a hard time justifying that a defensive player that has simply caught fire on national television the last few weeks is deserving of being a finalist for the Heisman Trophy when he was suspended earlier in the year. We hate to keep bringing up Brandon Weeden and LaMichael James, but these two had a much better gripe to be in New York than Mathieu does.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.