The 2022 Heisman Trophy Race is the ultimate head scratcher as voting closes

The college football regular season and conference championships have concluded and the bowl fixtures have been announced. This week is awards week, crowned by the Heisman Trophy ceremony on Saturday December 10th.

Nearly 1,000 Heisman voters are looking at their blank ballots, trying to figure out who needs to come first, second and third. Mine is still empty with a day before the deadline.

Trying to pick out the odd Heisman frontrunner was trickier in 2022 than most seasons. USC quarterback Caleb Williams was the frontrunner en route to last weekend, but his Trojans lost 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 championship. Despite rushing for 363 yards and three touchdowns on a shaky leg, Williams threw an early interception and didn’t bring his team back to victory.

Preseason favorite Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud did not play this weekend. That took the opportunity to excite voters one last time. His last game was a 45-23 home loss to Michigan.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan led the Horned Frogs into overtime in the Big 12 championship on Saturday. TCU brought the ball down inside the 2-yard line in third in overtime, and the Frogs tried twice in two games in progress, and neither was Duggan. Duggan might have had a Heisman moment with a score, but TCU was stopped instead. TCU lost to Kansas State 31-28.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV
Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs celebrates a touchdown against the LSU Tigers during the fourth quarter of the SEC Championship game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 03, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett IV improved his stock Saturday with a 50-30 win over LSU in the SEC championship. Bennett passed for 274 yards and four touchdowns with a 96.7 quarterback rating. Bennett was the MVP of last year’s national championship game and has the Bulldogs ranked No. 1 in the country en route to the college football playoffs.

Michigan running back Blake Corum was injured at an awkward time this season, missing some marquee moments on the national stage. North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye ended up losing three games. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels had a tough loss at Texas A&M before the loss in Georgia.

Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, lost two games, which knocked him out of the mix. No defensive player has fought his way into the fray this season.

Texas running back Bijan Robinson could find himself along with Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker, Washington quarterback Michael Penix, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, and receivers Jalin Hyatt of Tennessee and Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State in the Heisman find mix.

In 2022 there are many more candidates who may or may not be legitimate contenders. Now the voters have to decide.

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. The 2022 Heisman Trophy Race is the ultimate head scratcher as voting closes

Rick Schindler

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