The odds are in and Johnny Manziel is the favorite to win the 2013 Heisman Trophy, according to USA Today sports handicapper and alleged Twitter-follower purchaser, Danny Sheridan. Let’s remind ourselves that it is, in fact, June, and that there hasn’t been a repeat Heisman winner since Archie Griffin in 1975.
On June 13, Sheridan announced his early odds to AL.com’s Don Kausler Jr. After Manziel, a 6:1 favorite, Sheridan lists Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller at 7:1, followed by Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon and Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray at 8:1, respectively.
Here is Sheridan’s complete list:
• Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M, 6:1
• Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State, 7:1
• T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama, 8:1
• Aaron Murray, QB, Georgia, 8:1
• Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville, 10:1
• De’Anthony Thomas, RB, Oregon, 10:1
• Marqise Lee, WR, USC, 12:1
• Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina, 12:1
• AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama, 15:1
• Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson, 15:1
Sheridan assures Kausler Jr. in the interview that his odds are only odds, not predictions. These players have the best chance to win based on their own circumstances. But he breaks down how the schools will – or won’t – promote these individual players for the Heisman.
“Ohio State will spend six figures promoting [Miller] for the Heisman, how he has won 82,000 games at the last second,” Sheridan said. “Alabama won’t spend a penny on Yeldon. Georgia isn’t going to go crazy on Murray and Clowney’s going to get his publicity anyway. Alabama’s not going to spend anything on McCarron. They just don’t do that.”
The issue with handicapping the Heisman race is that the players who are the odds-on favorites rarely win, unless they have immaculate seasons. Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley know what it’s like to be the consensus Heisman favorite. One misstep and their campaign is over. The pressure on Johnny Manziel to be perfect this year will be immense. Even the greatest living American college quarterback with the first name Tim, Tim Tebow, couldn’t win two Heismans in a row.
In this era of media over-saturation, the Heisman winner will not be the favorite, he may not even be on this list. Is it too early to pick Marcus Mariota?