Don’t sleep on Myles Brennan for the Heisman

Myles Brennan, LSU Tigers. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Myles Brennan, LSU Tigers. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Myles Brennan has big shoes to fill in Baton Rouge, but let’s not sleep on the new LSU Tigers starting quarterback’s Heisman Trophy candidacy for 2020.

Until last year, the LSU Tigers hadn’t had a Heisman Trophy winner since the late 1950s.

Joe Burrow brought a swift end to that, as he put together one of the greatest seasons college football has ever seen. The former graduate transfer quarterback from Ohio State emerged as the best player in the sport last fall, culminating in a national championship, winning every major award and being the No. 1 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals.

While Burrow begins his NFL career in Cincinnati, the Bayou Bengals look to repeat with a new quarterback under center. Myles Brennan has his work cut out for him, but he’s ready to seize the throne that once belonged to “The Geauxt.” What are the chances Brennan gives LSU back-to-back Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks? Let’s check out the early odds for the Heisman.

Here are the latest 2020 Heisman Trophy odds, via William Hill.

2020 Heisman Trophy odds

Brennan isn’t the favorite to win the Heisman — far from it, actually, at +2800. However, it wasn’t like Burrow was expected to bring LSU its first Heisman Trophy since Billy Cannon starred for the Tigers in the late 1950s. There are a few things serving Brennan’s chances of helping LSU go back-to-back, as well as a few major obstacles he may not be able to overcome as a first-year starter.

The most important thing Brennan has going for him is he plays the marquee position at not just a traditional power like LSU, but on the team that is the reigning national champion. Though we can’t expect LSU to go 15-0 en route to another national title, doing so with a team that lost so much talent to the 2020 NFL Draft might be the reason Brennan emerges as a candidate.

LSU may have lost great offensive players like wide receiver Jordan Jefferson, running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire and tight end Thaddeus Moss this offseason, but the Bayou Bengals still have the best receiver in the game in Ja’Marr Chase. He’ll be a top-five pick next year, as he would have been the No. 1 wideout off the board had he been draft-eligible.

LSU did lose two key coaches from the national title team to better jobs. Defensive coordinator Dave Aranda now runs the ship with the Baylor Bears. While he replaces Matt Rhule in Waco, the new Carolina Panthers head coach landed former LSU passing game coordinator Joe Brady to run his NFL offense in Charlotte. Seeing Aranda go is tough, but losing Brady might be even worse.

Then again, LSU did a great job replacing its two key coaching staff departures. Head coach Ed Orgeron was able to pry former Nebraska Cornhuskers/Youngstown State Penguins head coach Bo Pelini to run the defense. Replacing Brady on offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger‘s staff is former Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Scott Linehan. Brennan is in good hands here.

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Admittedly, Brennan may only be a top-half quarterback in the SEC this year. The conference has plenty of talented signal-callers the likes of Jamie Newman at Georgia, Kyle Trask at Florida and Kellen Mond at Texas A&M. We’d also be foolish to overlook Feleipe Franks at Arkansas and Bo Nix at Auburn. Burrow might be gone, but the SEC has some good quarterbacks ready for 2020.

And it’s not just the SEC where Brennan will need to be the best quarterback. Players like Trevor Lawrence at Clemson, Justin Fields at Ohio State, Spencer Rattler at Oklahoma and Sam Ehlinger at Texas all have cases to contend for the Heisman Trophy, too.

Ultimately, Brennan should only be looked at as a dark horse Heisman candidate at this time. He’s got a mountain to climb to even get in the conversation. But Burrow was able to do it. Maybe he showed Brennan the way in the LSU quarterback room last year? All we know is if LSU is in position to defend its national title, Brennan will have asserted himself into the Heisman race.

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