Jameis Winston and Florida State odds-on favorites to repeat

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Florida State's returning star quarterback Jameis Winston is the favorite to be named the winner of next year's Heisman Trophy, according to multiple betting sites.

The Tallahassee Democrat is reporting that one betting website picked Winston to repeat with 7-to-2 odds, which would make him the first two-time Heisman Trophy winner since Ohio State's Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975.

Another website posted 2-to-1 odds for the redshirt sophomore.

But recent history suggests that it might be tough for Winston to defend his position as college football's top player.

After all, he wrested the title away from Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who won the award in 2012 but didn't receive it last year. Manziel was a 4-to-1 favorite to repeat, and is now in Cleveland, drafted with the No. 22 pick of the NFL Draft to become that franchise's new savior.

Before that, Mark Ingram, Sam Bradford and Tim Tebow returned for another season after winning college's greatest individual award, only to be rebuffed.

Winston threw for 4,057 yards and 40 touchdowns, to only 10 interceptions, in his first season leading the Seminoles. His offseason has been fraught with controversy though, from the serious accusations of rape toward the end of the year to the not-as-serious charges of crab-leg theft.

As a team, Florida State is also highly-favored to repeat its success from a year ago.

The Seminoles benefit from one of the most lopsided schedules in college football and betting sites have noticed. The Golden Nugget casino in Las Vegas released betting lines for eight Florida States games and the Seminoles were favored by at least two touchdowns in each of them.

The three scheduled games not included — against The Citadel, Wake Forest, Virginia and Boston College, all at home — are likely to be double-digit spreads as well.

The Atlantic Coastal Conference is not a traditional powerhouse in football - you can thank their basketball-crazed fans for that. Still, it's surprising to see a league so weak that it can't make a single competitive match-up against Florida State, even if they are the returning champs.

Surveying the field

Who will create a challenge for the Seminoles?

The opening game on the schedule, against Oklahoma State, looks competitive on paper. The Cowboys finished 10-3 (7-2 Big 12) last season and played in the Cotton Bowl. But the team lost its starting quarterback, fifth-year senior Clint Chelf, and Florida State's fearsome pass rush is not a group you want to face in your first collegiate start.

There's a Notre Dame team that was a contender two seasons ago, but hasn't been dominant since. There's Florida, which is always a tough out, but the Gators also are in a slump. Perhaps a revamped Louisville team, with a talented if not experienced defense, could run with them for a few quarters.

And then there's Clemson, who would normally give Florida State the most trouble. The Seminoles also catch the Tigers at a bad time, after having lost supremely talented wide-out Sammy Watkins and veteran quarterback Tajh Boyd to the NFL.

No, there's a good reason why Florida State has the best chances to repeat on paper.

Now let's see if they can back their favorite-status up with another championship.

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