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FSU QB Jameis Winston Leads Early 2014 Heisman Odds

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 14:  Jameis Winston, quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles, poses with Head coach Jimbo Fisher and the trophy during a press conference after the 2013 Heisman Trophy Presentation at the Marriott Marquis on December 14, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2014

Statistically, the chances of a player winning his second Heisman Trophy are not very good. For recent examples, look at the close-but-no-cigar campaigns of Johnny Manziel and Tim Tebow.

But that won't stop Jameis Winston from being declared the early favorite to repeat in 2014, according to Bovada, which recently listed the early odds for next year's award.


Update: Feb. 6, 2014 – 12:35 p.m.

Bovada has updated their Heisman odds, adding a few names to the field and changing the line on certain players.

Here's a look at the new list:

Bovada Heisman Odds (as of Feb. 6, 2014)
QB Jameis WinstonFlorida State12/5
QB Marcus MariotaOregon5/1
QB Braxton MillerOhio State11/2
QB Bryce PettyBaylor9/1
RB Todd GurleyGeorgia12/1
QB Brett HundleyUCLA14/1
RB T.J. YeldonAlabama14/1
RB Melvin GordonWisconsin16/1
QB Connor CookMichigan State18/1
RB Mike DavisSouth Carolina18/1
QB Everett GolsonNotre Dame22/1
RB Ameer AbdullahNebraska25/1
RB Derrick HenryAlabama25/1
QB Sean MannionOregon State25/1
QB Taylor KellyArizona State25/1
QB Trevor KnightOklahoma25/1
QB Dak PrescottMississippi State33/1
RB Duke JohnsonMiami (FL)33/1
RB Karlos WilliamsFlorida State33/1
LB Myles JackUCLA33/1
QB Nick MarshallAuburn33/1
QB Rakeem CatoMarshall66/1
QB Matt JohnsonBowling Green66/1
Source: Bovada



Here are the original, pre-update odds:

Bovada Heisman Odds (as of Jan. 24, 2014)
QB Jameis WinstonFlorida State2/1
QB Marcus MariotaOregon3/1
QB Braxton MillerOhio State11/2
RB T.J. YeldonAlabama5/1
QB Bryce PettyBaylor6/1
QB Brett HundleyUCLA12/1
RB Todd GurleyGeorgia12/1
RB Mike DavisSouth Carolina15/1
RB Melvin GordonWisconsin16/1
QB Everett GolsonNotre Dame25/1
QB Trevor KnightOklahoma25/1
RB Duke JohnsonMiami (FL)33/1
RB Karlos WilliamsFlorida State33/1
QB Matt JohnsonBowling Green66/1
QB Rakeem CatoMarshall66/1
Source: Bovada

Winston was the easy choice among a weak field in 2013, leading his Florida State Seminoles to a 14-0 record and BCS National Championship. He finished the year with a quarterback rating of 184.85, which was best in the country by a wide margin.

Next season, the cast around him will be a little different, as guys like Kelvin Benjamin, Devonta Freeman, Kenny Shaw and James Wilder Jr. are all no longer with the team. However, left tackle Cameron Erving shocked many by forgoing the NFL draft, while John Mackey Award finalist Nick O'Leary and leading receiver Rashad Greene are still around to provide quality receiving targets.

Winston should be just fine.

Marcus Mariota and Braxton Miller are understandable options for Nos. 2 and 3. Each was a Heisman candidate at the start of last season, but petered out during the year. Miller was hurt by an injury that affected his final numbers, while Mariota lost steam after getting dominated by Stanford.

Still, Mariota and Miller quarterback two of the best teams in the country, both of which are expected to compete for a spot in next year's College Football Playoff. If either or both can guide their team to a conference championship, they will be suitable alternatives to Winston.

The most curious inclusion is T.J. Yeldon at 5-1. Yeldon doesn't lack for talent and there's certainly a precedent for winning this award in Nick Saban's offense, but after Derrick Henry's breakout performance in the Sugar Bowl, the breadth of his workload remains to be seen.

A 60-40 timeshare is not out of question and might even be preferred by Tide fans.

Props to Bovada for listing Marshall's Rakeem Cato and Bowling Green's Matt Johnson as long shots, capitalizing on the third-place finish of Northern Illinois' Jordan Lynch in 2013. But even at 66-1—and with all due respect—anyone who takes those bets is a sucker.

If Winston repeats, he would become the second two-time winner in history. The feat has not been achieved since Archie Griffin in 1974-75.


Follow Brian Leigh on Twitter @BLeighDAT.

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