Aabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray will attend the Heisman Trophy 2018 in New York City on Saturday night as finalists for college football’s top individual award.
Murray and Tagovailoa — who will meet in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Capital One Orange Bowl on Dec. 31 — have long been the favorites to win the award, with both posting the highest QBRs in the FBS entering bowl season since ESPN began tracking the statistic in 2004 with 96.0 and 94.2 respectively.
The two quarterbacks are also expected to have a higher passing efficiency than former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield’s record set during his Heisman Trophy-winning season last year.
If Murray wins, the Sooners would become the first program to have back-to-back quarterbacks win the award and the fifth school in FBS history to have consecutive Heisman winners, joining USC’s Matt Leinart (2004) and Reggie Bush (2005, though later vacated), Army’s Doc Blanchard (1945) and Glenn Davis (1946), Yale’s Larry Kelley (1936) and Clinton Frank (1937) and Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75), the only individual two-time winner.
Murray was selected ninth overall by the Oakland Athletics in the 2018 MLB Draft last summer and said he plans to stop playing football after the season in order to focus on his professional baseball career. Oklahoma has produced six Heisman winners, which includes three quarterbacks (Jason White, Sam Bradford and Mayfield) since 2003.
Tagovailoa would be Alabama’s first quarterback to win the award and third player in history, joining running backs Mark Ingram and Derrick Henry, both of whom also played under head coach Nick Saban.
The Hawaii native is the favorite to win the award with 36 touchdwons and only two interceptions, while leading the Tide to the No. 1 overall ranking in 2018. Alabama defeated every opponent by 22 points prior to Saturday’s SEC Championship Game.
Haskins led Ohio State to a No. 6 ranking and a dominant victory in the Big Ten Championship Game, which included throwing for 499 yards and five touchdowns. The redshirt sophomore leads the FBS with 47 touchdowns and 4,580 yards in 2018.
Haskins’ recent performances helped him edge out other quarterbacks for the third finalist spot including West Virginia’s Will Grier and Washington State’s Gardner Minshew, who led the FBS with 433 completions while completing 71 percent of his passes.
Here’s all the info you need to know about Saturday’s broadcast:
Time: 8 p.m. EST
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Finalist Odds via Bovada: Murray (-190), Tagovailoa (+150) and Haskins (+6000)
Location: Marriot Marquis in Times Square (New York City)