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NCAAF · 19 days ago

Colorado Buffaloes Travis Hunter & Shedeur Sanders For Heisman

John David Yonke

John David Yonke

Colorado Buffaloes Travis Hunter & Shedeur Sanders For Heisman

Coach Prime and the Colorado Buffaloes shocked the world with a 45-42 upset over last year’s National Championship runner-ups, the TCU Horned Frogs, in Week 1. 

That’s led to some massive movement in the Heisman Trophy futures market, where star players Travis Hunter and Shedeur Sanders are receiving some strong backing following impressive debuts in their new uniforms. Does either stand a legitimate chance at winning the award?

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Your brightest stars must shine on the biggest stage when the game is in balance. That’s exactly what Hunter and Sanders did against the Horned Frogs, as both put forth memorable performances that will stick in voters’ minds for a long time. 

Hunter played on both sides of the ball as anticipated, but his sheer dominance at both positions was startling. He led his team in receiving at wide receiver, with 11 receptions for 119 yards, while consistently being used as a downfield threat who changed the way TCU played defense. At cornerback, he made three tackles and had an interception in the end zone while finishing third in the nation with three PBUs. 

Sanders thrived in coordinator Sean Lewis‘s up-tempo attack, completing 38 of 47 attempts for 510 yards and four touchdowns. He was efficient (80.9% completion percentage) and effective (12.7 AY/A) in a startling statistical display. 

So, how did the market react to these stellar debuts?

BetMGM College Football Insights: Heisman Trophy

Line movement (open, current)

  • Caleb Williams +500, +450
  • Travis Hunter +15000, +2500
  • Shedeur Sanders +12500, +3300

Highest Ticket%

  • Travis Hunter 16.5%
  • Shedeur Sanders 12.4%
  • Caleb Williams 7.6%

Highest Handle%

  • Caleb Williams 19.8%
  • Travis Hunter 12.7%
  • Shedeur Sanders 11.8%

Biggest Liability

  • Travis Hunter
  • Shedeur Sanders
  • Caleb Williams

That’s right, two Buffaloes now sit No. 1 and No. 2 atop BetMGM’s biggest liabilities in the Heisman futures market. Hunter has received the higher percentage of tickets (16.5%) and the more significant share of the handle (12.7%) of the two, but Sanders isn’t far behind with 12.4% of tickets (second-most nationally) and 11.8% of the handle (third).

While Week 1’s victory was impressive, the Buffaloes must win many more games for either player to be in Heisman consideration. This team will still have to fight to make a bowl game, and the schedule offers little reprieve. The defense has a lot of depth concerns that could play out throughout an entire season, but they must show a lot more after allowing 6.8 yards per play to the Horned Frogs. 

There’s a reason TCU running back Emani Bailey looks like an outlier on this list…

Hunter especially was prolific as he played 145 snaps in the Texas heat. That being said, one upset win does not make the Buffaloes a playoff contender, and this team likely won’t win enough games to have one player, let alone two, be atop the list of names in consideration for the Heisman Trophy. 

Heisman winners almost always come from one of the best teams in the sport, and they’re usually quarterbacks and virtually never defensive players. Hunter is a unicorn, which could set him apart from the pack, but he’ll need to prove his production consistently after posting 18 receptions for 190 yards and four touchdowns last year with Jackson State.

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