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2010/11 Heisman Odds – Handicapping The Favorites

2011 Heisman Trophy Contenders & Free Pick

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With all our conference previews in the books and the college football season starting soon, it’s time to look at the individuals.

Who has the best shot to win the Heisman Trophy?


Here’s a breakdown of the popular picks.

1. Mark Ingram (RB) – Alabama Crimson Tide

Heisman Trophy odds: +350

Even though it would be a rare feat to win the Heisman Trophy in back to back years, Alabama’s Mark Ingram remains the favorite to do so.

The reason: his situation remains extremely favorable. He was a beast in 2009, topping 1,600 yards on the ground and scoring 17 times. All the Crimson Tide’s key offensive weapons – Greg McElroy, Julio Jones – return, so it’s not like Ingram will see eight-man fronts this year.

He could duplicate last season’s performance.

2. Terrelle Pryor (QB) – Ohio State Buckeyes

Heisman Trophy odds: +500

I’m surprised Pryor isn’t the overall favorite right now – not because I necessarily think he deserves to be but because of the hype he and his school are receiving.

Many bettors think OSU can win it all this year and that Pryor showed late last season that he can lead them to the promised land. The only problem is that Jim Tressel teams are so run-oriented that I’m not sure Pryor can post big enough QB numbers.

Troy Smith did it – but only in the touchdown category, which could’ve been a fluke.

3. Ryan Mallett (QB) – Arkansas Razorbacks

Heisman Trophy odds: +1000

Physically, Mallett is the most imposing guy on this list and perhaps the best built to win the Heisman this season. He’s a towering pivot at 6’7” and he posted some awesome numbers last year, including 3,600 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

But winning still means a lot in the Heisman race and Arkansas may not do enough of that this season thanks to a suspect “D” that ranked 99th in the nation last year.

4. Jake Locker (QB) – Washington Huskies

Heisman Trophy odds: +1200

He’s the golden boy, the man who could get the most hype come NFL draft day next spring. That could make the media are predisposed to build him up as the Heisman winner. He was good last year, throwing 21 touchdown passes and protecting the ball fairly well. But those numbers have to improve if he wants to win the Heisman.

Does he have enough support around him at Washington?

5. Dion Lewis (RB) – Pittsburgh Panthers

Heisman Trophy odds: +1200

We could pick a number of different guys to round out the top five; Noel Devine, Jacory Harris, Christian Ponder and John Clay all have virtually the same odds as Dion Lewis at most books.

But I like Lewis because he joined the nation’s elite even as a freshman last year. He ran for as many scores as Ingram and actually rushed for 100-plus yards more than him, finishing with 1,799.

Lewis is just  5’8” and 195 pounds but he’s a wild man; he carried the ball 47 times against Cincinnati last December 5.

He’ll get a ton of touches and he’s a dynamic player who broke a run of at least 30 yards in seven different games last year.


The more I write about Lewis, the more I get excited about him as a player. At the same time, seasons full of explosive plays and long touchdowns are hard to duplicate. Just ask the NFL’s DeAngelo Williams. For that reason, I like the bigger, sturdier, more consistent blunt instrument in Mark Ingram.

He has a great supporting cast and plays on a great team so I believe he can win the Heisman again.

Pick: Mark Ingram +350

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