As American sports begin to try to navigate a return to action amid the Coronavirus pandemic, the most American sport of them all has their eyes on their own return. Now August, college football has yet to make a definitive statement on how they will approach the upcoming season, though most conferences have agreed to only play an interconference schedule.
What that means for the postseason, including prestigious awards such as the Heisman Trophy, is anyone’s guess; but if the powers that be have their ways, which they usually do, we’ll still have both.
For the Heisman, two familiar names lead the way as the favorites to be announced come December, regardless of what their regular-season schedules ultimately look like. The favorite, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (+300) leads the way after a 40+ touchdown season, with Clemson quarterback and future #1 pick Trevor Lawrence (+600) trailing shortly behind.
For my money, in a season where literally anything can (and probably will) happen between the start and the planned finished, I’m heading a bit further down the board for what I see as the best value pick going.
Let’s take a closer look.
Odds courtesy of FanDuel Sportsbook. You can also check out our consensus odds to win the Heisman Trophy here.
Best Value Bet to Win the 2020 Heisman Trophy
Finishing last season as the #6 team in the country, the 2019 Florida Gators only lost twice on the season, both to future conference finalists (and National Champion) in Georgia and LSU. Returning as now a redshirt senior, quarterback Kyle Trask didn’t begin the season as the starter, but he finished it as the de facto man in charge.
While his 2,951 yards through the air and 25 touchdown passes didn’t register on many Heisman radars, Trask came into the season with virtually zero first-team reps and just 14 collegiate completions to his name. In what is no doubt the most stout conference from an aggregate defensive standpoint in the nation, Trask navigated a three-game stretch against Auburn, LSU, and South Carolina in October throwing for nine touchdowns and an average rating of 147.
In addition to having the benefit of three of his primary offensive lineman returning from last season, Trask also will get future first-rounder tight end Kyle Pitts and wide receiver Trevon Grimes back as targets. At the running back position, Miami Hurricanes transfer Lorenzo Lingard, a former five-star prospect, looks to give the Gators a boost at the position which will create more chances for Trask downfield.
Looking across the SEC, especially the East, are very few returning quarterbacks the caliber of Trask and I expect that to be the difference for the Gators this season. If he can lead them early as they get warmed up against what will be immediate conference play, Trask will have the national spotlight late in the season to prove to voters it’s his award to lose.
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