Why Ole Miss QB Matt Corral Isn’t Worth a Heisman Trophy Bet
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Corral.
Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral is the conductor of arguably college football’s most exciting offense this season.
The Rebels rank first in the country in total offense at 635.6 yards per game while scoring 52.7 points per game. Corral ranks eighth with 332.3 passing yards per game and has thrown nine touchdown passes without an interception this season. He has also added 158 rushing yards and five more touchdowns on the ground.
Against Tulane, Corral accounted for 403 yards of total offense and a school-record seven touchdowns.
The ridiculous performance vaulted Corral into being the co-favorite to win the Heisman Trophy at +175.
If you bet Corral to win the Heisman in the offseason, you probably secured a price of 20-1 or better. It was a fun flier on one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the country. However, as the co-favorite, the value is gone on Corral’s odds.
Corral’s ascension up to the top of the list of Heisman favorites is partially due to the struggles of the preseason favorites. Spencer Rattler, DJ Uiagalelei, and CJ Stroud have not looked the part of Heisman winners this season.
However, Corral will have a hard time winning the award himself.
The Heisman Trophy Trust says the award is given to “the most outstanding player in college football.” But in reality, it is given to the most outstanding player on the best — or one of the best — teams.
In the last 20 years, 18 Heisman winners have played on 10-win teams. In fact, 13 of them played on teams that played in the National Championship. Things have been crazy in 2021, but I wouldn’t classify Ole Miss in either of those categories.
Additionally, its schedule is about to get a lot more difficult.
This week, Ole Miss travels to Tuscaloosa to battle the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. I could see Ole Miss covering as 14-point underdogs, but an outright win will be difficult to pull off.
A loss to the Crimson Tide would also allow Alabama quarterback Bryce Young to gain a leg up in the Heisman race. Young could potentially even have one of his Heisman moments in this game if Alabama wins in a high-scoring shootout.
After Alabama, Ole Miss faces a resurgent Arkansas team at home. It also has LSU and Texas A&M in Oxford but has road dates at Auburn and arch-rival Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl.
Those are all winnable games for Ole Miss, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if it dropped two. If Ole Miss did and lost to Alabama, the Rebels would then be 9-3 and Corral would be among the 10% of possible Heisman winners not on a 10-win team.
Corral’s best path to winning the Heisman would come by having a similar season to Johnny Manziel or Lamar Jackson.
Jackson was one of those two Heisman winners from a team that didn’t win 10 games. However, he also accounted for over 5,000 yards of total offense and 50 touchdowns in 2016.
Manziel was on an 11-win Texas A&M team in 2012. Manziel’s Heisman moment came when his Aggies went to Tuscaloosa and defeated No. 1 Alabama — like Corral has the chance to do on Saturday. Manziel still accounted for over 5,000 yards of total offense and 47 touchdowns.
So, if Corral is not on an elite team and he doesn’t topple the Crimson Tide, he needs to put up historic numbers.
He has a chance to do so. Corral is currently on pace for 5,003 total yards and 42 touchdowns if he can maintain his averages through SEC play. However, at +175, the value is no longer there.
I would look in a different direction if you are still looking to place a futures bet on the Heisman winner.