Jalon Daniels’ Heisman odds keep shifting. What does history say about his chances?

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels throws during the second half of an NCAA college football game...
Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels throws during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Duke Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Lawrence, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)(Charlie Riedel | AP)
Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 10:34 AM CDT
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LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCTV) - Arguments of the best player in the country residing in Lawrence, Kansas, aren’t unfamiliar to college sports fans. Usually, those conversations are held in and around Allen Fieldhouse, with Ochai Agbaji, Frank Mason and Thomas Robinson past subjects.

Now, Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels has shifted those conversations to David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and made national noise as a potential winner of the nation’s most prestigious football honor.

Through four weeks, Daniels has risen from longshot to lovable contender. In two consecutive games, the Jayhawk signal-caller has tallied five touchdowns.

Prior to the season, various sportsbooks listed the Lawndale, California, native with odds above of more than 100/1 to win the Heisman Trophy. When Daniels took Kansas on the road for its second consecutive road win in a 48-30 victory over Houston, his five-touchdown performance shifted the odds to 80/1 on DraftKings. After a repeat touchdown performance and 35-27 victory over Duke, Daniels’ odds to win the most famous trophy in college football moved to 25/1.

Daniels doesn’t fit the typical mold of a Heisman contender. The five players sportsbooks list ahead of him are CJ Stroud, Bryce Young, Caleb Williams, Hendon Hooker and Stetson Bennett. Each of those five quarterbacks play for teams ranked in the top 10 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Despite leading the nation’s fourth-ranked scoring offense with 48.5 points per game, Daniels faces an uphill battle if he wants to win the award. Since the sport began the College Football Playoff in 2014, only Louisville’s Lamar Jackson -- a future NFL MVP -- won the Heisman without playing for a team that appeared in the four-team postseason event.

Daniels has already racked up numerous awards this season. Through four games, the 6-foot, 215-pound quarterback has completed 71 percent of his passes while throwing 11 touchdowns and one interception. He’s also been dangerous with his feet, rushing for 320 yards and four touchdowns.

In the last 20 seasons, only Jackson in 2016, Baylor’s Robert Griffin III in 2011 and Florida’s Tim Tebow in 2007 were able to win the Heisman during a season in which their team lost more than two games. Put frankly, if Daniels is going to win the award, history says he’ll need the Jayhawks to continue their winning ways in a big way.