Heisman Trophy races save for one leader with a week to go

There’s a week of college football left before bowl games begin next month. A handful of conference championship games over the first weekend in December will likely determine the finalists for the sport’s Heisman Trophy. However, sportsbooks pretty much believe there is one player who is a slam dunk for the award.

University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams shot to the lead after leading his Trojans to a 38-27 win over Notre Dame in front of a nationally televised audience on Saturday night. His passing stats were solid, his running game was stunning, and his lead was noticeably stellar.

Williams completed 18 of 22 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown, and he rushed nine times for 35 yards and three more touchdowns. He has his team ranked 4th in the latest rankings and they will face Utah for the Pac-12 championship this Friday in Las Vegas. A win in this game will surely guarantee USC a spot in this year’s College Football Playoffs, which features the top four teams in the country.

Williams played at the University of Oklahoma in 2021 but switched to USC after coach Lincoln Riley made the same lateral move to the West Coast. Riley had two Heisman quarterbacks in Oklahoma — Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018. He also had a Heisman finalist in quarterback Jalen Hurts during the 2019 season.

USC quarterback Caleb Williams
USC Trojans’ Caleb Williams #13 carries the cue ball after defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 26, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was the preseason favorite to win this year’s Heisman Trophy and has been the leading oddsmaker for most of the year. Stroud’s Buckeyes were the nation’s No. 2 ahead of Saturday’s mega matchup with No. 3 Michigan. He passed for 348 yards and two touchdowns but had two costly interceptions in the game. Ohio State is now on the outside looking for the playoffs and they won’t be in a conference championship game.

Here are Sunday afternoon’s odds (according to FanDuel.com).

Caleb Williams (USC, QB) -2200
CJ Stroud (Ohio State, QB) +2500
Max Duggan (TCU, QB) +2500
Stetson Bennet IV (Georgia, QB) +10000

No. 1 in the country, Georgia will play LSU for the SEC championship on Saturday. No. 3 TCU plays Kansas State in Saturday’s Big 12 Championship.

How do odds work? A $100 bet for a player with +2500 would result in a payout of $2,500 plus the $100 wagered. A $100 bet on +10000 would return $10,000 plus the original $100. For someone with -2200 it would take $2,200 to win $100 plus the refunded stake.

Here are some other players Heisman voters could likely consider:

Blake Corum (Michigan, RB)
Bo Nix (Oregon, QB)
Bijan Robinson (Texas, RB)
Marvin Harrison Jr. (Ohio State, WR)
Bryce Young (Alabama, QB)
Jalin Hyatt (Tennessee, WR)
Jayden Daniels (LSU, QB)
Drake Maye (UNC, QB)
Will Anderson Jr. (Alabama, DE)
Harold Perkins Jr (LSU, LB)

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was last year’s winner and a favorite for a top-three finish this season, but he fell out of the top 10 after two narrow away losses this season.

The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football. The vote includes 870 media members from six geographic regions, 58 living Heisman winners, and one ballot from a collective fan vote.

Heisman voters can choose their top three candidates (in order) for college football’s most coveted individual trophy.

The 2022 Heisman Trophy finalists will be named on December 5, the same day as the voting deadline. The ceremony will take place on Saturday December 10th when the winner will be announced.

https://www.newsweek.com/heisman-trophy-race-down-one-front-runner-one-week-go-1762574 Heisman Trophy races save for one leader with a week to go

Rick Schindler

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