Mark Bradley

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Your Heisman Trophy frontrunner? UGA's Gurley


Todd Gurley ascendant. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC)

According to Jimmy Shapiro of Props PR, Georgia's Todd Gurley is now the Heisman Trophy betting favorite, at least according to Bovada. Perhaps this should be taken with a pound of salt, seeing as how Texas A&M's Kenny Hill, who has played two collegiate games, ranks third, one spot ahead of Florida State's Jameis Winston, who already has a Heisman.

From Kenny Bradley, manager of Bovada's sports book:

An influx of money on (last week's) second favorite Todd Gurley has catapulted him to the top of list all alone now at 5-1. While we are more likely to move off money and adjust to betting trends with something like the Heisman because of the subjectivity of it all and how it is not as mathematical as some of the other props we offer, to move a Heisman candidate this much in two days is very unusual.

The top dozen, per Bovada:

1. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia  5/1

2. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon  11/2

3. Kenny Hill, QB, Texas A&M  15/2

4. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State  8/1

5. Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA  16/1

5. Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame  16/1

5. Nick Marshall, QB, Auburn  16/1

8. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor  20/1

9. Trevor Knight, QB, Oklahoma  20/1

10. Cameron Artis-Payne, RB, Auburn 25/1

10. Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin  25/1

10. T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama  25/1

A note or two about this: As great as Gurley was against Clemson, Georgia's intention to use four tailbacks could prove harmful, Heisman-wise if not team-wise. Gurley carried 15 times against the Tigers. Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and Keith Marshall carried a total of 16 times. That's a far cry from a Herschel-type workload. (Then again, if Gurley averages 13.2 yards per carry over an entire season, he won't just win the Heisman -- he'll be the first unanimous choice.)

And there's a part of me who wonders how much of what Gurley and Georgia did against Clemson had to do with Clemson, which as we know can collapse like nobody else. (Final score from last year: FSU 51, Clemson 14. And that was in Pickens County, S.C., with Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins playing for the Tigers.)

I'm also surprised that Gurley jumped ahead of Mariota the week after Oregon ran through Michigan State in the fourth quarter, pretty much the same way the Bulldogs trampled Clemson. Mariota was splendid against the Spartans, which I guess means that Gurley must have enjoyed an even better week in practice. (Georgia had a bye.)

Understand: I'm not trying to suggest that Gurley isn't great (he is) or Georgia isn't very good (it is). But I await the result from Columbia, S.C., before allowing myself to get too carried away. We'll know a lot more in 51 hours.

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About the Author

Mark Bradley is a sports columnist and blogger for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has been with the AJC since 1984.