We're getting closer to the season, y'all. The bookies have released the early odds on this year's Heisman Trophy winner.
Blatant Homerism's official 2010 Heisman dark horse campaign will probably kick off within the week. Until then, here are some quick thoughts:
Landry Jones (+1800), DeMarco Murray (+1800)
For the blatant OU homers out there, here's what we're looking at. Of the two, I'd be more inclined to bet Murray. When even Bob Stoops is talking about Murray rushing for somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000 yards, you have to know that the senior running back is going to see the rock early and often. (Of course, he'll have to stay healthy.)
Clearly, the Sooners need Jones to play at a high level this year if they want to compete for a national title. However, with all the struggles in the running game last year, OU offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson will look to that back on track in 2010. Murray would be the primary beneficiary there.
The Real Favorite
Terrelle Pryor (+550)
To be honest, I'm somewhat surprised that Vegas is giving Pryor worse odds than Mark Ingram. The Buckeyes seem to have an inside track to the BCS title game, and you have to know Columbus' Heisman hype machine will be in full swing this fall. Plus, don't you just know Pryor will have some jaw-dropping "Heisman moment" at some point in the fall.
Mark Ingram (+380)
The voters' reluctance to bestow back-to-back Heismans is well chronicled. Ingram is good, but he'll have a hard time bucking that trend, especially splitting carries with talented backfield mate Trent Richardson.
Evan Royster (+1500)
Hey, Penn Staters, if you're just dying to give your money away...
Noel Devine (+1400)
During the season, Devine won't get the media attention necessary to win a Heisman just on his own merits. As such, you're really betting on an undefeated season for the Mountaineers as much as Devine himself. I don't like those odds.
Jake Locker (+800)
Locker is all the rage with the Mel Kipers, so you can count on him attracting all of Vinny from Parsippany's money. Locker's playing on a team that probably has a ceiling of eight regular season wins this year, which means he will have to be off the charts to merit serious consideration. Locker is good, but he's not that good. Go ahead and just cross him off the list.
Garrett Gilbert (+3000)
You're being adequately compensated for your risk here, but Gilbert is a name play. He's a year away from being a legitimate contender.
Damien Berry (+2200)
If The U has a bang-up year, Jacory Harris will be the one who gets the glory.
For Your Consideration
John Clay (+1500)
Couldn't you see Clay having a Ron Dayne-type year for Wisconsin? He'll be running behind arguably the best offensive line in the country, which returns all five starters from last season. Also, senior quarterback Scott Tolzien returns after a solid 2009 campaign, so defenses will be less inclined to stack the box against Wisky. I think there's great value here.
Kellen Moore (+1700)
Do you think Boise State can beat Virginia Tech on Labor Day? If so, then bet Moore. A win over the Hokies will put Boise in the express lane to the BCS title game. That's the kind of story the media will eat up, and Moore will be the face of the mighty underdog in that narrative. Additionally, will generate monster numbers as the Broncos lay waste to the WAC. That never hurts.
Jacory Harris (+1400)
Remember all the early hype Harris received last year? If Miami puts together a stronger season from start to finish, the voters could flock to the Hurricanes' quarterback. Harris has the kind of dynamic personality that the cameras eat up.