Jameis Winston Odds to win the 2014 Heisman Trophy
by Dave Schwab - 7/2/2014
Following closely in the footsteps of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, who in 2012 became the first freshman to ever win the Heisman Trophy, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston kept this trend going by winning college football's most outstanding player award last year in his first season with the Seminoles.
Manziel finished a distant fifth in last year's voting, which could set the stage for Winston to become just the second player in the history of this prestigious award to ever win back-to-back Heismans after running back Archie Griffin accomplished this feat at Ohio State all the way back in 1975.
Winston will have his chance to impress the voters as the signal-caller for the nation's defending champions. Florida State rolled through the 2013 regular season with a perfect 14-0 record while going 8-0 in ACC play. The closest game the Seminoles played all season long was in the final BCS Championship Game with a 34-31 victory over Auburn as 10.5-point favorites on Bovada's closing betting odds.
While the official preseason college football polls have yet to be released, many experts expect Florida State to start the year at the top of the list. Bovada has set its moneyline odds for the Seminoles to qualify as one of four teams in the NCAA's new playoff system to determine the National Champion at -250 for "yes" and +170 for "no," so there is a pretty good chance that Winston will once again get the opportunity to shine on college football's biggest stage.
His 2013 numbers speak for themselves with 4,057 passing yards while completing 66.9 percent of his 384 attempts. Winston threw 40 touchdown passes against just 10 interceptions for a final quarterback rating of 184.8, which was over 10 percentage points higher than the next quarterback on the list. He rushed the ball only 88 times for 219 yards and four touchdowns, but he exhibited excellent mobility outside the pocket to extend the play. Winston's greatest attribute could be his presence of mind in the pocket, which led to numerous big plays downfield as the season wore on.
The biggest hurdle that he will have to face is the expectation level that the voters are bound to have coming into this season. There is reason that just one other person has won the Heisman Trophy more than once. There have been a number of repeat hopefuls in recent years as underclassmen have tended to dominate this award more so than they did in the past. However, none have been able to post back-to-back campaigns deemed worthy of a second Heisman Trophy. There is a chance that Winston could break the mold with another monster performance on the field, but it's still hard to find the value in his 3/1 odds as the favorite to get it done.
Another drain on these lofty odds that have probably helped to drag this number down from 2/1 when the betting odds were first released in January has been some of Winston's off-field behavior. Boys will be boys, but a recent shoplifting incident that followed a sexual assault investigation have raised a few red flags. While these have nothing to do with his performance on the field, there are numerous examples of high-profile athletes jeopardizing their career because of their off-field antics.
When you add in the fact that voters could start counting Florida State's soft schedule in both nonconference and ACC
play against Winston's gaudy numbers, you almost get the impression that they are waiting for some other player to step up and grab the spotlight away from
There are a number of quality Heisman candidates on this year's list with much higher odds to choose from that can easily win this award with a big year. For that reason alone, I am going to pass on Jameis Winston as a viable play to win another Heisman in 2014.
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Read more articles by Dave Schwab
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