Bovada's early odds for the 2016 Heisman Trophy are out, and Calvin Ridley's freshman campaign turned some heads in Vegas.
Some familiar names take the pole: Watson, Fournette and McCaffrey, with Ridley just in the second-third tier of candidates at 12/1:
Deshaun Watson (QB Clemson) 9/2
Leonard Fournette (RB LSU) 5/1
Christian McCaffrey (RB Stanford) 5/1
JT Barrett (QB Ohio State) 10/1
Baker Mayfield (QB Oklahoma) 10/1
Nick Chubb (RB Georgia) 12/1
Dalvin Cook (RB Florida State) 12/1
Royce Freeman (RB Oregon) 12/1
Chad Kelly (QB Mississippi) 12/1
Samaje Perine (RB Oklahoma) 12/1
Calvin Ridley (WR Alabama) 12/1
Joshua Dobbs (QB Tennessee) 16/1
Brad Kaaya (QB Miami) 25/1
For my dark horse money, Dalvin Cook and Chad Kelly, each at 12/1, and Baker Mayfield at 10/1, seem to be the strongest contenders, particularly if Cook can stay healthy and the 'Noles can rebound. Your smartest money is still going to be on Watson though. With Clemson's defense apt to take a step back, Watson should be able to put up video game statistics.That, and the fact he's really, really good.
Meanwhile, 2016b McCaffrey suffers the same problem that faced Cook and Fournette this season: the Cardinals are losing a bunch and may not be in the playoff limelight in the long run. For all the talk about what the Heisman is, we do know one thing: it usually goes to the best offensive player on a national title contender. The Cardinals are probably not that heading into 2016.