An entirely too early look at Trace McSorley’s place in the 2018 Heisman Trophy race
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley celebrates his 48-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver DaeSean Hamilton during the first quarter at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Dec. 30, 2017. Joe Hermitt | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new year means a new offseason of award predictions, watch list fodder, preseason All-American teams, and more will soon be on the horizon.
Is it ever too early to look ahead to that time of year?
Sports Betting Dime, an industry website that “highlights the critical information sports bettors need to know,” took what appears to be the Internet’s first crack at figuring out the pecking order for the 2018 Heisman Trophy race, and Penn State’s Trace McSorley is right in the thick of things.
The outlet lists Georgia’s Jake Fromm as the 10-to-1 favorite, which indicates there isn’t a clear group of frontrunners like there was at this time a year ago, when eventual winner Baker Mayfield, now the former quarterback at Oklahoma, was 5.5-to-1 while four other players checked in with odds of 10-to-1 or lower.
McSorley is the outlet’s co-second choice with odds of 14-to-1; Wisconsin back Jonathan Taylor and Georgia running back D’Andre Swift are listed there with him, while Stanford ballcarrier Bryce Love is listed as the 15-to-1 third choice.
Those odds differ greatly from College Football Talk’s John Taylor’s rundown; he has McSorley outside of his nine-member contenders list because “Saquon Barkley’s presence in the backfield will be McSorely missed by the entire Nittany Lions offense.”
The play on words aside, losing Barkley, along with Mike Gesicki and DaeSean Hamilton, combined with Joe Moorhead’s departure, will arguably be the biggest reason McSorley’s Heisman hype, if he garners any at all (and he should) will be limited, even if he threw for 3,570 yards in 2017 to go along with a 28-to-10 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
Official odds should be out soon, and they will offer greater clarity on things, but in this second week of 2018, it’s safe to assume that there will be a divide when it comes to assessing McSorley’s Heisman chances between those who believe Penn State will continue firing with Ricky Rahne and a cast of new faces versus the group that wants to see it to believe it.