2008 Heisman Trophy Predictions
by Matt Severance - 08/11/2008
Could Florida's Tim Tebow join former Ohio State great Archie Griffin as the only players to win multiple Heisman Trophies? The Gators' dual-threat quarterback is the betting favorite on betED.com's odds for the 2008 Heisman.
Here is a look at betED.com's favorites and a breakdown of their chances of hoisting college football's most prestigious award.
Tim Tebow, Florida QB - +250: In 2007, he was a one-man wrecking crew for the Gators, passing for 3,286 yards and 32 touchdowns and rushing for 895 yards and 25 more scores. Tebow's top three receivers return, including star Percy Harvin. So every 2008 Heisman Trophy Prediction list must start with the reigning winner. But Tebow wore down a bit last year, and Urban Meyer has said he doesn't want his bruising lefty to run the ball as much this year and thus save him from punishment. So with Chris Rainey, Emmanuel Moody and even Harvin getting plenty of carries, there's no way Tebow's 2008 numbers will match last season's, even though the Gators are likely a better team. Make or break game: 10/11 vs. LSU.
Chase Daniel, Missouri QB - +400: Daniel finished fourth in last year's voting, and four other players who have finished fourth in Heisman voting have won it the next year, with the last being USC's Charles White in 1978. The reigning Big 12 offensive player of the year could get a major campaign boost if he somehow leads the Tigers to a BCS title game. He will need to get people to forget last season's Big 12 title game performance against Oklahoma. Make or break game: 10/18 at Texas.
Chris Wells, Ohio State RB - +400: Could a Buckeye win the Heisman Trophy for the second time in three years? Wells could certainly surpass 2,000 yards on the ground this season as the loaded Buckeyes beat up on the weak Big Ten. However, Ohio State's bowl failures recently could sway voters against "Beanie." If Wells goes off on USC in that mega-matchup on Sept. 13, then watch out. But if the Buckeyes lay another big-game egg, it will be hard for Wells to recover. Make or break game: 9/13 at USC.
Knowshon Moreno, Georgia RB - +500: Moreno was brilliant as a freshman, but will Heisman voters award this trophy to a sophomore for the second straight year after having never done it previously? In addition, Moreno will have to compete for votes on his own team with quarterback Matthew Stafford. Surprisingly, no SEC running back has won the Heisman since a certain Bo in 1985. These odds are too high. Make or break game: 10/25 at LSU.
Matthew Stafford, Georgia QB - +800: Georgia is a running team, and Stafford's not even the most hyped, or best, player on his own offense (see above). Hard to believe no Bulldog has won the Heisman since Herschel Walker. One won't this year either. Make or break game: 9/20 at Arizona State.
LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh RB - +800: You could argue McCoy was better than Georgia's Moreno in their freshman seasons last year. But Pitt is way off the national radar, and while it may be improved this year the Heisman voters won't give the award to a player on a middling team not named Notre Dame. Make or break game: 10/2 at South Florida.
Percy Harvin, Florida WR - +800: It would seem Florida would have too many weapons for Harvin to get enough touches to put up monster numbers. This is a decent price for a sleeper who is as electrifying as any player in the country. But Harvin can't stay healthy for a full season, and he is coming heel surgery in the offseason. If he can stay healthy, this is a good value bet. Make or break game: 9/20 at Tennessee.
Graham Harrell, Texas Tech QB - +800: This guy will put up better numbers than any quarterback in the country, but that's part of the problem: Most think Harrell is just a product of Mike Leach's system. In addition, Michael Crabtree could steal Harrell's thunder. Make or break game: 11/1 vs. Texas.
Pat White, West Virginia QB - + 800: Of the 2008 Heisman Trophy Predictions, I left the best price on betED.com's board for last. White is the best running quarterback in the country, and he won't have to share the spotlight with Steve Slaton any longer. Noel Devine is another story. If the Mountaineers can run the table they become the story of the year in the wake of Rich Rodriguez bolting the program for Michigan. And no one would benefit more from that publicity than White. In addition, the Mountaineers say they will throw downfield a bit more this season, so that will help White's typically average passing stats. Make or break game: 10/23 vs. Auburn.