Mariota a Deserving and Welcome Sight as Heisman Winner; Jobs Still Open

Mariota is a humble and deserving winner of the Heisman Trophy.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota deserved the Heisman Trophy. Anyone denying that is an Alabama or Wisconsin fan or has no clue what they are talking about. I would have been more than glad to listen to arguments for either Amari Cooper or Melvin Gordon but at the end of the day, the correct selection was made.

Personally I could not have been more happy with his selection. I am not an Oregon fan and I’m not a fan of their plethora of uniform changes and styles either. What I’m a fan of is guys who play hard, take success in stride and aren’t a consistent problem off of the field for their university.

I know right? What an unbelievable concept!

Last year’s Heisman Trophy celebration featured Florida State’s Jameis Winston wining the award. While his on-field success was more than worthy of the award, his issues off the field were troubling and continue to be so today.

The man who won the award the year before Winston did was Johnny Manziel. Again, a guy whose accomplishments on the field of play were more than enough to warrant him getting the award. but like Winston, he was less than a true role model off of it.

I don’t expect every guy that plays college football to be an angel. I don’t have that expectation at all and not even the Heisman Trust has stipulations on character or being a perfect gentleman off the field in its’ award document either. I do however think if we are going to be presented with the best college football player in America it would be nice if they were in fact deserving for overall conduct.

Mariota's win is refreshing in light of recent Heisman winners Winston and Manziel.

Go back and watch the video of Mariota accepting the stiff-arming trophy and then compare it to video of Manziel and Winston receiving their trophies. In Mariota you’ll see a humble and almost embarrassed looking young man who can hardly believe what he is achieving while with the other two you say faces of kings being crowned.

Mariota can be demonstrative on the field but he doesn’t have a signature “money” sign like Manziel does because he acts like he’s been in the end zone before. I have no problem with guys celebrating but do it with teammates. Having your own “look at me” celebration is pathetic.

I’m glad that Mariota won the Heisman and for the record, both Gordon and Cooper would have been worthy winners as well based on everything I’ve seen and heard of them. Whether Mariota’s Ducks go on to win the title or whether he goes on to NFL stardom doesn’t matter – what matters is that good guys can finish first.

Michigan, Wisconsin Remain Open

Two big college football vacancies remain open today in Ann Arbor and in Madison but I think you’ll start to see some movement as early as this week however. For Michigan, their number one target is of course Jim Harbaugh. Despite reports that he wants to stay in the pro ranks, word has it that Michigan isn’t going to away quietly.

With Harbaugh’s 49ers officially out of the playoffs now, look for some more information to come out this week. One way or another, Michigan cannot wait to long for Harbaugh because they have to get back to business sooner or later.

Further West in the Big Ten, it looks like Wisconsin is ready to bring former offensive coordinator Paul Chryst back to take over. Chryst has been running things at the University of Pittsburgh where he hasn’t exactly gotten anyone excited for college football. The Panthers continue to draw pathetic crowds and fans are less than pleased with Chryst’s coaching and recruiting.

Either way, don’t be surprised if Athletic Director and former coach Barry Alvarez goes with the familiar Chryst although I don’t think it will be a warm welcome.

Marcus Mariota Heavy Favorite to Win Heisman Trophy This Weekend

The Heisman Trophy chase is coming to an end. Three finalists have been named and Marcus Mariota the talented quarterback from the Oregon Ducks is far and away the favorite.

During the chase for the Heisman this season, many players came upon tough times that made them fall off the pace.

Kenny Hill the quarterback for Texas A&M had the second-best odds on Bovada and topbet during late September. However, he ended his season as the backup quarterback for the Aggies.

Dak Prescott the signal caller for Mississippi State was one of the three top contenders for over two months. However, he lost his chance after suffering three interceptions in a loss to Alabama.

Jameis Winston the reigning Heisman Trophy holder could not stay out of the news for incidents off the field and unrelated to football and was intercepted 17 times while on the field.

Usually four and at times five players are selected as finalists and invited to the ceremony in New York City. However, this weekend only three will be in the Big Apple for the announcement.

Marcus Mariota

The Oregon quarterback is -900 chalk. If he does not win, it would be a huge shock. The junior quarterback led the Ducks to the College Football Playoff as the No. 2 seed.

Mariota has completed 68% of his passes, thrown for 3,772 yards and has 38 touchdowns passes to just 2 interceptions.

Mariota also had 669 rushing yards and 14 rushing touchdowns.

Amari Cooper

The talented wide receiver for Alabama is 20 to 1 to win according to betonline and Cooper, in three seasons has shredded the receiver’s record book at Alabama.

He has helped the Crimson Tide to the No. 1 seed for this year’s College Football Playoff. In three games, he had 200 or more yards receiving. He caught 8 or more passes in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He ended the regular season with 115 receptions.

Melvin Gordon

The running back for Wisconsin is 25 to 1 to win. Gordon was huge down the stretch. However, his team lost in the Big 10 championship.

Gordon broke the NCAA single game rushing mark with 408 yards rushing against Nebraska in only three quarters of playing.

He had 122 yards or more in 11 of the team’s 13 games. He ran for 5 touchdowns in one game. His 2,336 yards led the country. He added 26 touchdowns.

However, Mariota has performed at a high level in each of his team’s game this year. Even in a losing effort earlier in the season to Arizona, Mariota played well and was able to avenge that loss in last week’s Pac-12 championship by routing the Wildcats 51-13.

Marcus Mariota Shortens His Odds in Heisman Trophy Race

For some college football fans, the hype of the first College Football Playoff has overshadowed this season’s race for the coveted Heisman Trophy.

Nevertheless, odds makers have kept up with the race and have updated odds each week. Currently on Bovada and, Marcus Mariota the talented dual-threat quarterback for the Oregon Ducks is leading.

With another very good outing last week with Oregon winning straight up as well as against the spread, the Ducks junior quarterback has become a stronger favorite to win the coveted prize.

According to topbet and betonline, Dak Prescott the quarterback for Mississippi State is in second, but he does not have stats close to those of Mariota.

The only way it looks like Prescott might have a chance against Mariota is if Mariota loses over his last two regular season games or the Pac-12 championship and then it will be tough for Prescott to catch him.

 Current Top 5 for the Heisman Trophy

  1. Mariota is -300 Chalk. This week is a bye week for Oregon, but Mariota has hit 67% of his passes, has 2,781 yards passing and a 29 to 2 TD to interception ratio. Last week against Utah in a 51-27 win, he accounted for 4 touchdowns and 353 total all-purpose yards.
  2. Prescott is 4 to 1 to win. Last week he had two touchdown passes while running for another without throwing any interceptions in a rout over UT Martin. This season he has 18 touchdowns and 7 interceptions, 2,231 yards passing and 779 yards rushing.
  3. Melvin Gordon is 12 to 1 to win. Gordon, the talented running back for Wisconsin is the leading rusher in the nation. He ran for 205 yards and a touchdown versus Purdue last week. On the season, Gordon has rushed for 1,500 yards averaging 7.6 yards a carry. He has 21 touchdowns, which is second in the nation.
  4.  J.T. Barrett is 18 to 1 to win. Barrett was thrust into the spotlight as a redshirt freshman to start the season when Braxton Miller went down with a season ending injury. The Ohio State QB has 26 touchdown passes and 7 interceptions. He has rushed for 582 yards and 8 TDs.
  5. Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper is 20 to 1 to win. Cooper has caught 79 passes for 1,216 yards with 10 touchdowns. To have the slightest shot at winning he will have to have great games versus Auburn and Mississippi State.

The race looks to be Mariota’s to loss. If he continues playing well and the Ducks when their last two regular season games in which they are heavily favored, he should take home the coveted trophy handed out by the Downtown Athletic Club.

The Heisman Trophy Race is On

The college football season is just two weeks old, but the race for the Heisman Trophy has four players who are early season top candidates thanks to the play of their play and that of their teams.

Wagering online at Bovada and topbet is increasing as the odds for who will win the Heisman have been released.

Of course, with just two games played by most teams, there is a great deal of football left to determine who will win the coveted trophy.

Here are the top four, at least for this week.

1.     Todd Gurley

The Georgia running back is 5 to 1 on betonline and to win. He has no nagging injuries that bothered him last season. In the first week of the season, he had 198 rushing yards and 3 TDs, as well as a kickoff return for a touchdown. Georgia was idle last week, but faces South Carolina in an important showdown in the SEC.

2.     Marcus Mariota

The Oregon Ducks quarterback is second at this point in the Heisman race. He has a completion record of 65% and 585 yards with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions after two games. Mariota has rushed 85 yards on 15 carries with one touchdown.

3.     Kenny Hill

The Texas A&M quarterback is making it easy to forget Johnny Manziel. In the first two starts of his career, Hill has hit completed 71% of his passes with 7 touchdowns and no interceptions. He has accumulated 794 yards passing which is third in the country.

4.      Jameis Winston

Reigning Heisman Trophy holder Winston had a better second week than his opening week. He threw two interceptions in week 1 against Oklahoma State. If Florida State remains undefeated, Winston will be a top candidate all season.

Many others that should be mentioned did not make my top 4.

Bryce Petty the talented quarterback from Baylor did not have a great stat day during Week 2 due to an injury against Northwestern. However, this season his numbers should be off the board. If the Bears can win in November at Oklahoma, he likely will get an invite to the Heisman presentation in New York.

Nick Marshall, the dual threat quarterback for Auburn, will have a chance if his Tigers can carry a strong record through the SEC this season.

Brett Hundley the versatile quarterback for UCLA has not started the season strong but remains unbeaten and has plenty of time to put up the numbers he is capable of.

Other players worth a mention: Trevor Knight, QB Oklahoma, Christian Hackenberg QB Penn State, Taysom Hill QB BYU, Dak Prescott, QB Mississippi State and T.J. Yeldon, RB Alabama.

Your Never-Too-Early Look At Heisman Trophy Favorites

Jameis Winston's biggest problem in defending his Heisman Trophy may be himself.

It may seem like Kelvin Benjamin just came down in the end zone to give Florida State a national championship win over Auburn but in reality, training camps will open across the country in just a couple of months. While I’ll be certainly going over national title contenders throughout the summer, today I’m giving you a very early look at the favorites for college football’s biggest individual award.

In my own personal view, the Heisman Memorial Trophy has become relatively meaningless these days. I say that because no longer does the award truly honor the nation’s best college football player. Instead it honors the nation’s best player on the best team or at the very least, one of the best teams. Certainly a candidate for the Heisman Trophy should be on a good team, but many of the country’s greatest players are often overlooked because of their position an because of the poor surrounding cast.

I hope that changes some day and I just might suggest this is the year for it to happen. Read on won’t you?

Jameis Winston, FSU QB, 5/2 – Reigning Heisman Trophy Winner Jameis Winston’s biggest threat will be himself. He can ill-afford any more legal issues because already people are hammering at Florida State for their continued protection of his behavior. On the field, Winston must deal with the loss of Benjamin, plus his top two running backs.

The schedule is a tad more grueling that last year as well with a neutral site game to open the season against Oklahoma State plus road games at NC State, Miami and Louisville. The Noles will also have to play Clemson, Notre Dame and Florida at home.

Braxton Miller, OSU QB, 11/2 – Miller’s biggest enemy in 2013 was himself as injuries plagued him throughout the season. Should he be able to stay healthy all season then his chances to win the Heisman run parallel to those of Winston. Miller will no longer have Carlos Hyde in the backfield and the defense has many members to replace as well.

The Buckeyes have home dates with Virginia Tech, Big Ten newcomer Rutgers and rival Michigan. Away games include a rematch with Michigan State, a trip to Penn State and a first-ever conference game at Maryland.

NFL scouts love Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Heisman voters might too.

Marcus Mariota, Oregon QB, 11/2 – The Ducks’ signal-caller will enter the 2014 season as the NFL’s highest rated QB prospect because of his ability to both run and pass with power and accuracy. While top offensive weapons like D’Anthony Thomas are gone, Oregon will reload and provide Mariota with plenty of skill guys. The problem facing Mariota is his location. Can he generate enough buzz on the West Coast to be a factor?

The Ducks have just two road trips between their opener on August 30th and October 12th. Home dates include Big Ten Champion Michigan State, Arizona and Stanford. Road trips include visits to UCLA and Oregon State. The schedule actually sets up pretty good for the Ducks.

Bryce Petty, Baylor QB, 10/2 – Let’s get right to it with Petty. His Bears must travel to Austin, Norman, Morgantown and Lubbock. Petty will put up big numbers in Coach Art Briles’ offense but his team is not goo enough all-around to get him to New York.

Todd Gurley, UGA RB, 12/1 – Since 1998, only three running backs have won the Heisman Trophy (R. Williams, R. Bush and M. Ingram). That stat alone should drip Gurley significantly. Also throw in the fact that he’ll have to deal with a quarterback not named Aaron Murray and it could be a tough year for Gurley.

The guy to keep an eye on… Myles Jack, UCLA LB 33/1 – Linebackers typically have no shot but consider Jack’s contribution to the Bruins’ offense last year. If that happens again and UCLA is having a big year, then watch his candidacy rise drastically.


Winston Tops 2014 Heisman Trophy Futures

The 2014 NCAA Football season is still three months from starting. However, that has not stopped online bookmakers Bovada, betonline, topbet or from having futures odds for the National championship to be played in mid January of 2015.

In addition, these same odds makers have released the futures for the 2014 race for the Heisman Trophy that is awarded to the most outstanding collegiate football player in the nation.

Last season the trophy was awarded to another freshman when Florida State’s talented quarterback Jameis Winston won the prestigious award.

The year previous to Winston winning, freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel won the award while at Texas A&M, he played his sophomore year at A&M and last week was drafted by the Cleveland Browns.

While many continue to believe Winston is the nation’s top quarterback and one of the best NCAA Football players in the country, he has not done himself any favors in the news of late.

During the offseason, Winston has been accused of shoplifting which is not a good way to start the defense of the Heisman Trophy.

On four occasions to since the start of the decade, the winner of the Heisman Trophy has returned to his school the next season in an attempt to win for a second time to join Archie Griffin from the Ohio State Buckeyes as the only two-time Heisman winner.

The big question leading up to this season is whether Florida State’s Winston can do what the likes of Tim Tebow, Matt Leinart, Sam Bradford and Manziel could not. According to the new 2014 Heisman Trophy futures Winston enters the season as the favorite to repeat.

Over 12 of the last 14 seasons, a quarterback has won the trophy. In each of the past 5 seasons, it has gone to a quarterback as well.

Todd Gurley the Georgia Bulldogs’ talented running back is the highest rated player who is not a quarterback at 9 to 1 to take home the hardware.

Perhaps it will not be Winston but another quarterback could step up such as Marcus Mariota from Oregon is 7 to 1 and Braxton Miller from Ohio State is also at 7 to 1.

Latest 2014 Heisman Trophy Futures

Jameis Winston (Florida State) 7 to 2

Marcus Mariota (Oregon) 7 to 1

Braxton Miller (Ohio State) 7 to 1

Todd Gurley (Georgia) 9 to 1

Bryce Petty (Baylor) 10 to 1

T.J. Yeldon (Alabama) 15 to 1

Trevor Knight (Oklahoma) 17 to 1

Brett Hundley (UCLA) 18 to 1

Melvin Gordon (Wisconsin) 18 to 1

Nick Marshall (Auburn) 22 to 1

The Heisman Trophy Has Become Embarrassing

Winston celebrates with his Heisman Trophy.

Congratulations to Jameis Winston who ran away with the Heisman Trophy last evening. He was far and away the winner with 668 first-place votes to A.J. McCarron’s 79 and he was the second-place person. Winston more than deserved the honor with an outstanding season in his first year as starting quarterback at Florida State.

Winston becomes the second and second-straight freshman to win the award following Johnny Manziel who finished fifth in this year’s balloting. He has led the Seminoles to the BCS Title game amidst looming charges for a sexual assault that occurred a year ago. The state of Florida recently announced there was not sufficient enough evidence and the case was dropped.

I do not know what happened on that day a year ago and regardless of what I think of the situation, Winston was not charged. He knows the truth and the rest of us do not so we must focus on what we know move on. For Winston of course that means the BCS Title game.

The Heisman Trophy in general has become a sham in my opinion. It claims to honor the country’s best collegiate football player and Winston was certainly one of the top players deserving of the attention. The problem is that the award is no longer based on “the best player.” Instead, it’s based on the best player on one of the best teams.

Would a better record have helped Manziel do better in the Heisman balloting?

Look back at recent winners and check their team’s records. Whether it’s Winston, Manziel, Ingram or RGIII, the success of the team is as important as the player being “worthy.” Go back to 1997 for example. Odds on favorite heading into the season was Tennessee’s Peyton Manning. A loss to Florida and a poor performance to boot set him back behind flourishing Charles Woodson of Michigan.

Woodson played for Big Ten Champion and more importantly, undefeated Michigan while Manning had suffered that one loss. Woodson, behind a massive hype machine because of his numerous positions played, won the Heisman Trophy.

Another major factor in the Heisman being overblown is media bias. Ever heard of “East Coast Media Bias?” It exists and any journalist who has worked on both coasts will tell you as much. Outside of Los Angeles, the rest of the West gets very little attention. Consider that since 1990 when Ty Detmer won the Heisman, only three players from West of the Rocky Mountains has won the award.

Can you guess what school holds the distinction of having all three of those winners? The University of Southern California is the answer and what city is this school located? Los Angeles.

I used to watch the Heisman Trophy presentation when I was younger but like everything else, it has become long and drawn out and in most cases lacks any drama. Leave it to ESPN to create this monster…

For me, the best college football is not always the one with most glorifying statistics. A true football player is one who accomplishes more for his team than anyone else for starters. That describes Jameis Winston and many other past winners though doesn’t it? Yup, sure does but what about the receivers Winston throws to? They had big years worthy of consideration.

What about UCLA’s Myles Jack who returned the game of football to its’ two-way days by playing both offense and defense? To me, that’s a great football player. This doesn’t take anything away from Winston, but is he on par with a guy who plays both sides of the ball equally as well?

When the media and Heisman folks finally recognize there are people worthy of the award who aren’t quarterbacks or running backs, then maybe I’ll tune in again. Until then, I find it embarrassing.

Negative News Lengthens Winston’s Odds for Heisman

News can make you a superstar one day and bring you crashing down to earth the next. The Heisman odds for Jameis Winston were adjusted this week after news of his alleged sexual assault.

Winston’s odds to be the winner of the Heisman Trophy were lengthened this week when news broke of his alleged involvement in a sexual assault from close to one year ago.

The redshirt freshman quarterback from Florida State however still is the favorite in the race for college football’s highest individual award.

On sites such as Bovada,, topbet and betonline, Winston’s odds for the Heisman Trophy went from 1 to 4 to 1 to 8 after the news.

Johnny Manziel the sophomore quarterback for Texas A&M and the current holder of the Heisman Trophy saw his odds shortened to 3 to 1 from 5 to 1. Odds for A.J. McCarron the Alabama quarterback dropped to 4 to 1 from 5 to 1.

Reports are than Winston will not be suspended due to the alleged incident, but like the situation in 2010 with Cam Newton, there are some uncertainties going forward.

Some odds makers had Winston at -150 to win the coveted trophy and are now considering moving him down to even money.

Other books online have McCarron as second and moving closer to Winston. As the tougher matchups approach in conference games, the jockeying around of favorites will occur even more.

The most likely outcome will be Heisman voters will judge Winston on his on the field play and not the alleged assault. That is of course, if no further word involving the incident comes to light between now and when the voters must submit their votes.

Florida State’s next opponent this Saturday is Syracuse. The Orange is drawing some play at sportsbooks like Bovada, betonline and topbet, since the news about Winston broke.

On Thursday, the point spread went down a point from -38.5 to -37.5 for Florida State. That type of movement comes after any negative situation takes place, as bettors believe the team might not be as focused on the game as before.

Not affected yet by the news about Winston are the odds for Florida State to win the national championship. The Seminoles are still 3 to 2 and the second favorite to win behind just 2 to 3 Alabama.

Changes could be made to the national title odds after seeing the way Florida State plays this weekend and how well their next opponent Florida plays against South Carolina.

Big Thursday Schedule in NCAA, Heisman Watch

The BSC should be a bit clearer after Thursday when two undefeated teams battle in their respective conferences.

The Oregon Ducks will take on the Stanford Cardinal, while the Baylor Bears face the Oklahoma Sooners. Both the Ducks and the Bears are double-digit favorites.

On Wednesday morning on online sports books Bovada, betonline and topbet, Baylor was favored by 15-points over the Sooners, while Oregon is currently an 11-point favorite at Stanford.

Oregon is 11-0 in their past 11 games as a favorite on the road, while Stanford has won straight up the only time they have played at home under David Shaw as an underdog.

Last season Oregon lost to Stanford in OT 17-14. However, the last time Oregon faced Stanford in Palo Alto, the Ducks crushed the Cardinal 53-30, as an underdog of 3.5 points.

Baylor has a record of 16-6 ATS as a favorite at home since Art Briles became the Bears head coach. Oklahoma is 5-2 ATS in its seven games as an underdog on the road over the past 8 eight seasons.

Fans from Florida State will be cheering on Stanford as their Seminoles are ranked one spot in front of Oregon in the latest BCS standings, but if both teams remain undefeated, the Ducks will finish in front of Florida State.

Florida State’s easy schedule that features the likes of Idaho, Nevada and Bethune-Cookman is detrimental to the Seminoles when it comes time for the BCS rankings.

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota is the odds on favorite at this time to win the Heisman with his 20 passing and 9 rushing touchdowns. However, his No. 1 status in the Heisman race is predicated on his team winning on Thursday against Stanford.

Jameis Winston is 3 to 2 to win the Heisman but dropped a bit further behind Mariota this week after tossing two picks against Miami last weekend. However, with Wake Forest, Idaho and Syracuse as his next three opponents he should pad his statistics going forward.

In third in the race for the Heisman is Bryce Perry the talented quarterback for Baylor. He is 8 to 1, but his hopes also depend on his team defeating Oklahoma on Thursday in his biggest test of the season thus far.

In fourth is A.J. McCarron who is at 10 to 1. The Alabama quarterback must put up big numbers to have a chance against Mariota and that is difficult in Alabama’s offensive scheme.

In fifth is the defending Heisman Trophy holder Johnny Manziel for Texas A&M. Manziel is 15 to 1 but he needs other teams to lose so he can move up the ladder.

SEC East Race Tightens, Hesiman Watch Continues

The SEC East remains a wide-open race thanks to the amazing comeback last weekend by South Carolina over Missouri.

Early in the game’s fourth quarter, the Tigers led the Gamecocks 17-0 and appeared ready to all but clinch the East title in October. However, Connor Shaw the senior quarterback for South Carolina had other thoughts on his mind.

Shaw, who was expected to be sidelined for the game due to an injured knee, suffered all of weekend with the flu and could not even make the teams walk through prior to the game.

However, on just one leg, Shaw was able to orchestrate what could be defined as one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the football program at South Carolina.

Shaw ended up completing 20 of his 29 passes for 201 yards He threw three for touchdowns with no interceptions leading his team to a double overtime 27-24 win.

Missouri still is in control of its own destiny for the SEC East title, but has difficult games ahead. The Tigers take on Ole Miss on the road November 23 and host Texas A&M at home to end the regular season.

South Carolina only has two SEC games to play, facing Mississippi State and Florida both at home.

Currently for future games, sports books such as Bovada, betonline and topbet have South Carolina favored by 7.5 points over Florida and Missouri as a 3-point underdog against Texas A&M.

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota moved back up to first place in the Heisman watch at +150, with his 20 touchdowns passes with no interceptions and nine rushing touchdowns. He has also rushed for 511 yards on the season.

Jameis Winston moves down one spot to second at 2 to 1 odds. He had three touchdown passes last week and has 23 for the season with just 4 interceptions.

In third, this week is Bryce Petty the quarterback for Baylor, who on Bovada is 8 to 1 to win the Heisman. With a strong game against Oklahoma next Thursday, Petty will be in the race. Petty has thrown 18 touchdowns and just 1 interception while rushing for six touchdowns as well.

Slipping to fourth at 10 to 1 is A.J. McCarron the quarterback for Alabama. McCarron is 33-2 at Alabama and has 16 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions this season.

Fifth place is held by the defending Heisman trophy holder Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback. He has incredible numbers but his team has lost twice and that lowers his hopes of winning the title for a second straight season.