Southern Cal quarterback Matt Barkley finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting last season, but with expectations running high for his Trojans team for this year he’s been pegged as the favorite on the odds to win that award for 2012.
Barkley earned 11 first-place votes for the Heisman Trophy last year, which put him behind each of Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson, Montee Ball and Tyrann Mathieu. Of those five players, however, only Ball is also going to be in the field again this year as Griffin, Luck, and Richardson are all now in the NFL and Mathieu was booted from LSU.
In fact, Barkley and Wisconsin running back Ball are the only ones from the Top 10 of last year’s Heisman Trophy voting to return to school – Case Keenum, Kellen Moore, Russell Wilson and LaMichael James are all gone as well.
And that has Barkley as the 3/1 favorite on the Heisman Trophy odds right now, with Ball second on that list at Bovada at 6/1 odds. Barkley posted a QB Rating of 161.2 for Southern Cal last year, with 3,528 passing yards, 39 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.
Ball rushed for 1,923 yards last year for Wisconsin and ran for 33 touchdowns, while also picking up 307 receiving yards and catching six TD passes for the Badgers in 2011; that was enough to earn him 22 first-place Heisman votes and put him fourth in that tally.
Quarterbacks make up the rest of the top favorites on the odds to win the Heisman Trophy this season, with Michigan’s Denard Robinson at 15/2, West Virginia’s Geno Smith and Oklahoma’s Landry Jones both at 8/1, and Georgia’s Aaron Murray at 15/1. South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore is the next RB on the list; he’s at 18/1 odds to win the award.
The last time a wide receiver won the Heisman Trophy was in 1991 (Michigan’s Desmond Howard). Clemson’s Sammy Watkins is the top WR on the list right now at 35/1 odds; Watkins had 82 catches for 1,219 yards with 12 touchdowns for the Tigers last season.