No Shot For Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey To Win Heisman Trophy
When the 2016 college football season began, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey was the third-favorite at SBR Forum’s best sportsbooks to win the Heisman after McCaffrey finished second to Alabama’s Derrick Henry last year. McCaffrey, who was named the Associated Press National Player of the Year in 2015, broke the NCAA record for all-purpose yards. He probably would have declared for the draft if eligible.
Looking at the current college football odds, the Heisman favorite in a runaway is Louisville sophomore quarterback Lamar Jackson at -2000. Barring him getting hurt in the Cardinals’ next game, Jackson is going to win this award in potential record-setting fashion. And as dynamic as Jackson has been, he should win. He has been responsible for a national-leading 45 touchdowns, a Louisville record.
Jackson’s 19 rushing scores — remember this is a quarterback — are four shy of the school record and one shy of tying the ACC rushing TD record by a quarterback of 20, set by Georgia Tech’s Tevin Washington in 2012. The ACC record of 47 total touchdowns responsible for is going to fall as well; that was set by Clemson’s Deshaun Watson last year. Watson is currently the +1000 second-favorite on Heisman odds even though his Tigers beat Jackson’s Cardinals earlier this season.
As for Stanford’s McCaffrey to win the Heisman, well, he’s not even going to get a trip to New York City as a return finalist. The Cardinal have disappointed this season at 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-12 entering Week 11. They had won the Pac-12 Championship Game three of the past four years, including in 2015 when McCaffrey was the game’s MVP. But a lot of roster losses off that team to the NFL Draft, mainly quarterback Kevin Hogan, crippled this year’s club.
Injuries also have hampered McCaffrey, who is still having a fine season. He has rushed 175 times for 980 yards and six touchdowns while catching 26 balls for 213 yards and two scores.
McCaffrey returned both a punt and a touchdown for scores in 2015 but hasn’t done so this year. He missed a game at Notre Dame last month in October was hampered the game before by injury. McCaffrey still leads the Pac-12 in rushing yards (122.5) and all-purpose yards (190.1) per game.
Now healthy, McCaffrey is closing strong as he has rushed for at least 169 yards in the past two games, both Cardinal wins. Expect more big numbers the rest of the regular season as Stanford closes with terrible defensive teams Oregon, California and then a non-conference game against Rice.
McCaffrey to win the Heisman Trophy next year would be possible as he would be an early favorite, but it’s expected that McCaffrey will enter the NFL Draft. He is projected as a mid-to-late first-round pick because he can do it all in terms of running the ball, catching passes and returning kicks.