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Heisman Futures: Love The Way-Too-Early Favorite

Bryce Love is coming off a masterful season at Stanford. The running back finished second in the nation in rushing yards, third in all-purpose yards and tied for fifth in touchdowns. However, Love was overshadowed by the absurdly good season that eventual Heisman winner Baker Mayfield had for Oklahoma.

After finishing second in Heisman voting last year, Love decided to return to Stanford for his senior season and has found himself as the early favorite to claim the top individual prize in college football next season.

Aside from his obvious individual talent, he will be returning to what should be one of the better offenses in the country. Quarterback K.J. Costello will continue to grow while four of the five starting offensive linemen from 2017 will return for the Cardinal in 2018. 

Love is not the only running back set to make waves, as Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor had an absolutely stellar freshman season. Taylor finished third in the nation in rushing yards and fourth in attempts while eclipsing at least 200 yards rushing in three contests. The bulk of the offense returns around Taylor, including the entire offensive line.

Of course, quarterbacks tend to take home the Heisman, with signal-callers taking seven of the last eight awards. The best odds of any quarterback in the nation belong to Arizona’s Khalil Tate. If you somehow don’t know who Tate is, I would highly recommend you go watch some of his highlights. Tate was absolutely electric last season and averaged nearly 320 yards of offense in his nine games as the starter.

2018 Heisman Trophy Winner
Bryce Love (RB Stanford)+700
Jonathan Taylor (RB Wisconsin)+800
Khalil Tate (QB Arizona)+900
Tua Tagovailoa (QB Alabama)+900
J.K. Dobbins (RB Ohio State)+1200
Jake Fromm (QB Georgia)+1200
Jarrett Stidham (QB Auburn)+1200
Will Grier (QB West Virginia)+1500
Justin Herbert (QB Oregon)+1500
Kelly Bryant (QB Clemson)+1500
McKenzie Milton (QB UCF)+1800
Trace McSorley (QB Penn State)+1800
Cam Akers (RB Florida State)+2200
Jake Browning (QB Washington)+2200
Rodney Anderson (RB Oklahoma)+2500
Ryan Finley (QB NC State)+2500
Brandon Wimbush (QB Notre Dame)+3500
D’Andre Swift (RB Georgia)+3500
Nick Fitzgerald (QB Mississippi State)+3500
Trevor Etienne (RB Clemson)+3500
David Sills (WR West Virginia)+4500
Ed Oliver (DL Houston)+5500
Nick Bosa (DL Ohio State)+7500

Odds as of January 23 at Bovada

Archived Articles

With less than a month left in the college football regular season, it has become abundantly clear that Baker Mayfield deserves the Heisman. The Oklahoma quarterback has produced ridiculous performances week in and week out all season long while carrying the Sooners to victory more than once.

In the past two weeks, Mayfield was expected to face maybe the toughest two-game stretch of the season. First, there was Bedlam vs Oklahoma State, then a date with TCU, which owned the best passing defense in the Big 12. The senior calmly threw for a combined 931 yards and eight touchdowns while completing 66.7 percent of his passes.

Mayfield is first in the nation in completion percentage, first in quarterback rating, second in passing yards and third in touchdown passes. He has done so despite the fact that Oklahoma entered the season missing four of its top five receivers from 2016.

Because of his consistent excellence, Mayfield finds himself as an overwhelming -2000 favorite to finally win the Heisman after finishing third and fourth in voting the past two seasons.

Expect even more big numbers from Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense this weekend, as they play the lowly Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas has the 199th-ranked passing defense in the country and has allowed 26 passing touchdowns while managing just four interceptions.

2017 Heisman Trophy Winner
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma)-2000
Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State)+1000
Bryce Love (RB Stanford)+1000

Odds as of November 13 at Bovada

Archived Articles

For weeks, it seemed as though Saquon Barkley was going to cruise to the Heisman Trophy. But back-to-back mediocre performances have led to a new front-runner emerging from the pack.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield now finds himself as a -175 favorite to finally win the Heisman after finishing third and fourth in voting the past two seasons. Barkley’s recent struggles have occurred just as Mayfield has really found his groove. The OU signal-caller has accounted for 891 yards and 11 touchdowns in the past two games – including a record-setting performance in Bedlam.

Some will want to dismiss Mayfield’s absurdly good numbers as a byproduct of playing within the Big 12 – aka the defense-optional conference. However, the senior threw for 386 yards with three touchdowns against Ohio State and tallied 363 yards and three touchdowns vs Iowa State, who ranked in the top 20 in the nation in defense at the time.

You should not expect Mayfield’s dominance to end any time soon, as Oklahoma’s final three regular-season opponents rank 56th, 99th and 118th in passing defense this season.

With the likes of Barkley and Bryce Love faltering, Mayfield is set to continue his assault on the record books and toward a Heisman.

2017 Heisman Trophy Winner
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma)-175
Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State)+150
Josh Adams (RB Notre Dame)+800
Bryce Love (RB Stanford)+1000
Mason Rudolph (QB Oklahoma State)+2800
J.T. Barrett (QB Ohio State)+3300
Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville)+4000

Odds as of November 6 at Bovada


Maybe it is because Notre Dame has gone under the radar for most of the season. Maybe it is because other running backs are getting more notoriety. But after over two months of play, Josh Adams is finally getting his respect as a fringe Heisman candidate.

The Fighting Irish running back has been absolutely decimating competition, as Adams is fifth in the nation in rushing yards and third in yards per attempt. His marquee performance came this past weekend, as Adams rushed for 202 yards and a touchdown against NC State – a top 25 rushing defense in the nation.

Of course, not all the credit goes to Adams. Though the junior has been performing on a fantastic level, his offensive line is mauling opponents. Left tackle Mike McGlinchey and guard Quenton Nelson form one of the best offensive line duos in the country and both will get first-round buzz in the upcoming NFL draft.

Don’t expect Adams’ dominance to slow down any time soon, as Notre Dame’s final four regular-season opponents all rank outside the top 50 in rushing defense. And with quarterback Brandon Wimbush still more of a runner than a passer, expect the offense to continue to revolve around Adams as the season comes to an end.

I’m not going to advocate that Adams should win the Heisman over Saquon Barkley or Bryce Love but the Notre Dame back should be listed on every voter’s ballot. 

2017 Heisman Trophy Winner
Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State)-175
Bryce Love (RB Stanford)+400
J.T. Barrett (QB Ohio State)+450
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma)+450
Josh Adams (RB Notre Dame)+1000
Mason Rudolph (QB Oklahoma State)+3300
Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville)+4000

Odds as of October 31 at Bovada


It is surprising that it took this long but Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is now the odds-on favorite to win the Heisman. Though Barkley was dominating every defense he faced this season, it was a date against a top-ranked squad in Michigan that cemented his place atop the Heisman odds.

Michigan’s defense led the nation in total yards entering their contest with Penn State. That did not stop Barkley, as the junior racked up 161 yards of offense and three touchdowns on just 18 touches. That means he averaged 8.9 yards per touch against one of the stoutest defenses in the nation.

Barkley leads the nation in all-purpose yards with 1,478 through just seven games. At this pace, he would amass 2,534 all-purpose yards and 19 touchdowns during the regular season. That would not be including a potential Big Ten title game and bowl outing.

Seemingly the only player within striking distance of Barkley is Bryce Love of Stanford. Love is averaging a ludicrous 10.3 yards per carry and is second in the nation in all-purpose yards. Expect the Stanford back to pad those stats even more this week, as he will be facing off against an Oregon State defense that is surrendering 200.1 rushing yards per game.

2017 Heisman Trophy Winner
Saquon Barkley (RB Penn State)-275
Bryce Love (RB Stanford)+300
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma)+1200
J.T. Barrett (QB Ohio State)+1400
Jalen Hurts (QB Alabama)+2000
Mason Rudolph (QB Oklahoma State)+3300
Lamar Jackson (QB Louisville)+3300

Odds as of October 24 at Bovada