The Offseason of Crazy Odds continues for Nebraska. The Huskers were given 25-1 odds to win the national title back in January by an offshore sports book. Those odds are now up to 33-1, but that's still the shortest price for any team with a losing record in 2018. USC (5-7) and Virginia Tech (6-7) are the closest to Nebraska and both are listed at 100-1.
Now we've got Heisman Trophy odds, too. And, yes, there's a little more buzz to be found there for Nebraska. According to BetOnline's odds, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence (7-2) is the favorite followed by Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (5-1) and Tua's backup, Jalen Hurts (13-2), now presumably the starter at Oklahoma.
Sophomore Adrian Martinez is among a group of players you could consider the fourth-choice at 12-1. He shares that spot with running backs Travis Etienne (Clemson), Jonathan Taylor (Wisconsin), D'Andre Swift (Georgia) and quarterbacks Justin Fields (Ohio State) and Jake Fromm (Georgia).
What would it take for Martinez to actually win it? A Playoff appearance for Nebraska, probably. Four of the five Heisman winners in the Playoff era have been from teams that were in the Playoff. You could probably go as far as saying that if the Huskers did make a CFP run it's a virtual lock that Martinez would be a Heisman finalist.
The more difficult, but perhaps more likely, route is to be so good at college football that college football simply can't ignore you. That's what Lamar Jackson did as a sophomore at Louisville. He had a breakout freshman season, averaging 233 yards of total offense per game with 23 total touchdowns. As a sophomore those numbers jumped to 393 yards per game with 51 touchdowns on a team that went 9-4.
For entertainment purposes only, Martinez averaged 295 yards per game as a true freshman with 25 total touchdowns.
Kill Kills Fleck
Do not big-time former Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill. He will murder you.
Metaphorically speaking, of course. Kill, now the athletic director at Southern Illinois, appeared on the SiriusXM show, Big Ten Today, on Tuesday and didn't hold back when asked about the Gophers current head coach, P.J. Fleck.
Fleck was a wide receivers coach for two years under Kill at Northern Illinois.
The Grab Bag
- Hmmm, how do I put this? Nebraska was casually involved in a basketball game last night. Here are three takeaways.
- The new Greg’s Guys are here! The Greg’s Guys are here!
- Kyle Kardell offers a preview of the Huskers’ weekend series with Oregon State.
- Things are looking good for Frank Solich at Ohio in 2019.
Today’s Song of Today
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.