With last week’s Championship drama behind us, we now turn out attention to the second most important trophy in College Football – the Heisman.
This year’s three finalists were announced on Tuesday, pitting two of next month’s playoff foes against one another as Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray enter as the short-priced favourites ahead of their December 30 date with destiny, while Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins completes the trio.
So who’s leaving New York as the 84th winner of the Heisman Trophy?
We’ve analysed each finalist and our complete preview can be seen below!
Oklahoma Sooners – Kyler Murray @ $1.90
A gifted athlete drafted Top 10 in the MLB Draft by the Oakland A’s last year, Kyler Murray now has the chance to make Oklahoma history.
One year on from Baker Mayfield’s Heisman glory, a win for Murray on Sunday would see him complete the first back-to-back Heisman Trophy winning quarterback duo of any school in the history of College Football.
Murray’s stats don’t lie, and in fact, they’re almost Mayfield-ish. He finished with 4,053 regular season passing yards and a touchdown/interception ratio of 40-7.
Better yet, the 21-year old appears to be equipped with the tools and accuracy to make it big in the NFL. In 13 games, Murray led the nation in passing yards per-attempt (11.9), passing efficiency rating (205.7) and also managed to find time to run for 892-yards and 11 touchdowns.
The stat that sets Murray apart, and perhaps gives him a slight upset edge over Tua, is completion percentage. He completed 70.9 per cent of his passes this year compared to Tagavailoa’s 67.7.
Now with a Big 12 title to his name and a much deserved Playoff berth, Murray stands a huge chance.
Alabama Crimson Tide – Tua Tagovailoa @ $1.90
Prior to last week’s narrow 35-28 win over Georgia in the SEC Title game, Tua Tagavailoa hadn’t thrown a single pass in the fourth quarter.
Thanks to Tua’s scoring ability and dominance over every opponent this season, Alabama not only went 13-0, they never found themselves in a position that required their starter to be on the field late in the game.
In case you missed last week’s win though, it wasn’t all peaches and cream. It may not hurt his chances, but before Tua’s injury, there was no doubt Georgia’s pressure rattled the sophomore enough to force two interceptions on just 10 completions before Jalen Hurts stepped in.
Tua deserves all the credit in the world, however. He finished the season averaging 11.4 yards per-passing-attempt, good for 3,353 passing yards and 37 touchdowns – three less than Murray, which is impressive considering he hardly played in the fourth quarter.
Ohio State Buckeyes – Dwayne Haskins @ $26.00
It might feel like a two-horse race, but Dwayne Haskins has a couple of worthwhile accolades worth mentioning that, in any other year, would more than likely earn him the Trophy.
Haskins lead the nation in passing yards (4,580) and touchdowns (47) last season. All of that led to a second consecutive Big Ten title for Ohio State in a win over Northwestern last week, as well as a new single-season Big Ten record for, yep you guessed it, passing yards and touchdowns.