Marcus Mariota, Everett Golson Surge in Heisman Odds

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Bovada’s Heisman odds were updated through Week 3, and Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota is now the favorite to hoist the hardware at season’s end at 11-to-2. Mariota–who also leads The College Football Huddle’s Heisman Top 5–jumped ahead of Georgia running back Todd Gurley. Gurley dropped to 7-to-1 following the Bulldogs’ Week 3 loss at South Carolina.

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson is gaining serious momentum after three weeks, surging to the fourth-most favorable odds (10-to-1), tied with the falling, defending Heisman winner Jameis Winston.

Another independent quarterback, BYU’s Taysom Hill, joins Golson on a meteoric rise through the first quarter of the season. Hill gashed Texas in Week 2 and had another great rushing performance in a Week 3 win over Houston, going for 160 yards and a touchdown. He also threw for one score.

Hill’s Heisman stock is likely to decline as the season progresses. The Cougars host a suddenly salty Virginia team in a revenge game on Saturday, but don’t see another Power 5 opponent until Cal in the final week of the regular season. Last year, BYU played Georgia Tech, Wisconsin and Notre Dame in the second half of the season.

Any slim Playoff aspirations BYU harbors or Heisman hopes for Hill hinge on upcoming opponents Nevada, Boise State and UCF all excelling in the rest of their games.

Assorted thoughts on the updated Heisman odds:

• Thomas Tyner is Oregon’s fourth-leading rusher behind Royce Freeman, Byron Marshall and Mariota, yet is the second Duck to appear on Bovada’s board. Tyner checks in at 75-to-1, ahead of South Carolina’s Mike Davis and Miami’s Duke Johnson.

• USC has two players on the board: quarterback Cody Kessler and running back Buck Allen. Interestingly, Kessler has more favorable Heisman odds than Allen at 50-to-1 vs. 66-to-1. In my own humble opinion, Kessler would rank fourth among Trojans, behind Allen, Leonard Williams and Nelson Agholor.

• Alabama’s Amari Cooper is an astounding 33-to-1. Cooper leads the nation in receptions and is third in receiving yards. He checks in at No. 2 on The College Football Huddle’s Top 5 and, of course, has the support of the always boisterous Crimson Tide fan base.

Wide receiver is so exceedingly difficult to gain any traction for the Heisman, even at a program as high profile as Alabama. His low Heisman odds suggest Cooper needs a season like 2012, when a number of front-running quarterbacks and running backs faltered late in the season. Oregon and Kansas State’s losses helped Manti Te’o, a linebacker, ascend to second place in the voting.