We are down to the closing moments of the Heisman race. Ballots are due on Monday. That means that some players - including the four favorites according to the odds - get one more chance to impress voters, while others have to hope that what they have done is enough to at least get them to New York for the ceremony. It doesn't appear to be a race with a whole lot of drama - but then they often aren't at this point in the season. One player controls his destiny, and a few others just have to hope that everything goes just their way. Here's how the race breaks down ( Odds are from 5Dimes):
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Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (-415): Henry is in the driver's seat - as the odds suggest. He has gotten red hot at the right time and was just dominant in the Iron Bowl last time out. He could blow it with a dud performance in the SEC Championship, but if he has at least a decent game then he should win it all. He'd be the first running back to win the Trophy since fellow Alabama back Mark Ingram in 2009.
Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson (+395): Given how much voters love quarterbacks - five winners in a row, and 13 of the last 15, have taken the snap - it is surprising that Watson isn't a stronger contender. He's a very talented player leading the clear No. 1 team in the country. His numbers are solid, too - though perhaps not flashy enough for people who like the video-game numbers of the more aggressive offenses. At this point he needs a decisive win with huge numbers on Saturday coupled with a weak game from Henry. And that might not even be enough. Watson's problem was that his campaign took too long to get rolling - he was higher than +3000 heading into Halloween weekend. That left him too much ground to make up without some truly eye-popping numbers. Merely being excellent hasn't been enough.
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford (+1580): Only three guys in history have had 3,000 all-purpose yards in a season. McCaffrey is one. Barry Sanders is another. Not bad company. He doesn't stand a chance this year. If he played on the East Coast it might be a whole different story, but two things have ultimately hurt him against Henry - he only has 10 touchdowns compared to 22 from Henry, and Stanford has two losses. He's only a sophomore, though, so this excellent year sets him up very well as a contender next season. Of course, Watson is a sophomore, too.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State (+2050): Cook's numbers are just a notch below Henry's, but he has never been a serious contender this year. That has as much to do with his team as anything. Voters have grown tired of Florida State after two years of Jameis Winston consideration, and the team has underwhelmed by losing two ACC contests. It's just not his year - though he could get a trip to New York out of the deal.
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU (+2175): It's amazing how things can change. It long seemed like Fournette was a lock for this award. As recently as the week before Halloween he was at -250, and was the runaway favorite. Then he slowed down at the wrong time, his team started losing and got mired in ridiculous coaching drama, and his campaign came crashing down.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (+2175): I don't get this one. If I had a vote I would probably pick Henry at this point, but Mayfield would be a clear second choice, and I would really ponder before filling out my ballot. Thirty-five touchdowns. Only five picks. Eleven wins. Seven more touchdowns on the ground. A trip to the College Football Playoff. A championship in a very tough conference. And he's a whole lot of fun to watch. He should be a more serious contender, but the problem is that people didn't take note until it was too late. He was +5000 before beating Baylor on Nov. 14, and +1350 after. His chances are completely gone now because he doesn't have another game to play, so he gets no more chances to impress.
Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (+2400): Two things stand in the way of Elliott's success, and both are damning. First, his numbers aren't as good this year as they were last year. Considering his team isn't as good either, that will be impossible to overcome. Second, and more significantly, in his biggest game of the year against Michigan State he rushed 12 times for just 33 yards. That was just two weeks ago, so that ended any small chance he had.
Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (+4950): The last wide receiver to win the hardware was Michigan's Desmond Howard back in 1991. Coleman has not had the season to change that. He has cooled off in the last three weeks - quarterback injury woes certainly haven't helped - and he just hasn't done enough. People do not seem hungry for a WR winner, so he doesn't have the momentum he needs. No chance.
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