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NCAAF Odds: Early Look at Heisman Trophy Hopefuls

Alabama QB Young Bidding to Win Award in Back-to-Back Seasons

For those who like to get a jump on the competition, our advice is to put money down on a former California high school quarterback to win the 2022 Heisman Trophy.

That would have worked wonders last year as Alabama’s Bryce Young won the award in his first season as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback. Currently, Young is running second to another California QB – Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide runs with the ball while trying to make a two point conversion in the fourth quarter of the game against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images/AFP

According to the college football odds, Stroud comes in at +175 followed by Young at +375 in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy.

Here is one person’s take on the top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates at the current time.

10. Braelon Allen | RB, Wisconsin Badgers

Braelon Allen had 12 carries in Wisconsin’s first four games of the season and he still finished with 1,268 yards and 12 touchdown runs as a freshman. Imagine what Allen will be able to do as the No. 1 back from the start of the season.

Wisconsin loves to run the football and a 2,000-yard season is not out of the question for Allen.

Running backs don’t receive the love from the Heisman voters that they once did. Still, Allen seems very undervalued at +3300 in the current Heisman Trophy odds according to the college football predictions.

9. Jahmyr Gibbs | RB, Alabama Crimson Tide

Being the go-to running back at Alabama automatically makes you a Heisman candidate in the eyes of people who make the college football picks.

The leading rusher for Georgia Tech in 2021, Jahmyr Gibbs still has to go in there and win the job with the Crimson Tide. If he does that, as expected, he could have a huge year both as a runner and as a receiver for an Alabama team that the Las Vegas odds list as the favorite to win the national title.

8. Dillon Gabriel | QB, Oklahoma Sooners

Another transfer lands in the top 10. Dillon Gabriel threw for more than 7,000 yards during the 2019 and 2020 seasons at Central Florida with 61 touchdown passes and 11 interceptions. Just imagine what he can do with the talent Oklahoma will have at receiver.

Gabriel was limited to just three games during the 2021 season as a result of injury. It has been two seasons since an Oklahoma quarterback finished in the top 10 in the Heisman voting. That streak could end in 2022.

Gabriel is currently at +3300 in the Heisman Trophy odds. Don’t be surprised to see that number improve rather quickly once the season starts.

Dillon Gabriel #11 of the UCF Knights delivers a pass in the first half against the Florida Atlantic Owls at FAU Stadium on September 07
Mark Brown/Getty Images/AFP

7. Jaxson Dart | QB, Ole Miss Rebels

Matt Corral finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2021. Now Jaxson Dart, the former USC quarterback, figures to be running the Ole Miss offense. Dart threw for 391 yards in his collegiate debut in place of the injured Kedon Slovis. He finished with 1,353 yards in six games for the Trojans.

Once it became evident that Caleb Williams would be following head coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC, Dart looked for the perfect landing spot and ended up at Ole Miss.

His Heisman odds are +2200.

6. Tyler Van Dyke | QB, Miami Hurricanes

There was a time when Miami was viewed as Quarterback U with Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar and Heisman Trophy winner Vinny Testaverde putting the Hurricanes on the map. When D’Eriq King’s 2021 season ended prematurely, a new QB took over in Coral Gables.

Tyler Van Dyke threw for nearly 3,000 yards despite attempting only 12 passes in the Hurricanes’ first four games of the 2021 season. Many of his top receivers are coming back so this could be a huge year for Van Dyke and the Miami offense.

5. Bijan Robinson | RB, Texas Longhorns

Bijan Robinson burst onto the scene in 2020 when he averaged 8.2 yards per carrying. That set the stage for Robinson to run for 1,127 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2021 despite missing the last two games of the season.

It is uncertain how the offense will look following the transfer of highly touted quarterback Quinn Ewers. It seems more than likely that Robinson will see an increase in his workload.

Robinson had been behind Ewers in the Heisman odds but that has changed as he dropped to +1400 from +2800.

 Bijan Robinson #5 of the Texas Longhorns
Tim Warner/Getty Images/AFP

4. Will Anderson Jr. | LB, Alabama Crimson Tide

Dating back to the days when Hugh Green finished second in the 1980 Heisman Trophy balloting, one had to wonder if a defensive player would win the Heisman. Charles Woodson did win the Heisman in 1997 as a cornerback. His play as a receiver and on special teams return played a role in his Heisman candidacy.

Will Anderson Jr. will miss Christian Harris and Phidarian Mathis, as well as the other players gone from the defense. It could still be another sensational season for Anderson.

3. Caleb Williams | QB, USC Trojans

Caleb Williams burst onto the scene as a Heisman candidate as a freshman at Oklahoma, even though he wasn’t even the Sooners’ starting quarterback when the season started.

Williams joined former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley at USC. Jordan Addison, who had 100 catches a season ago at Pittsburgh, is among the other players to transfer to USC since Riley took over.

There will be an adjustment period playing in a different conference and with new teammates. It helps to have Riley there to guide him.

Williams comes in third at +800 in the Heisman odds. As long as he stays healthy, he figures to be there all season long in the Heisman race.

2. Bryce Young | QB, Alabama Crimson Tide

Bryce Young was the overwhelming choice in the 2021 Heisman balloting. However, he is currently second in the Heisman odds.

Some key pieces are gone from the Alabama offense. Receiver Jameson Williams and starting offensive tackle Evan Neal were taken in the top half of the first round in the NFL Draft. Receiver John Metchie is also off to the NFL so there are some positions at Alabama that need some addressing.

A Week 2 game against Texas could be interesting although the early portion of the season is not exactly loaded with tough tests for the Crimson Tide.

No player has won back-to-back Heisman Trophies since Ohio State running back Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975.

With the Crimson Tide’s top two receivers, leading rusher and best blocker all gone, it won’t be easy for Young. This is still a team loaded with talent so another Heisman runs for Young is not only possible but likely.

1. C.J. Stroud | QB, Ohio State Buckeyes

At this time last year, only those who followed the high school career of C.J. Stroud envisioned that the freshman would put up one of the best seasons in Ohio State history.

Stroud ranked in the top five in the country with 4,435 passing yards, a 71.9 completion percentage, 10.1 yards per attempt and a passer rating of 186.6.

That resulted in Stroud finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting. Even though 2021 Heisman Trophy winner Young is back at Alabama, it is Stroud who currently has the best odds to win the Heisman.

About the only question for Stroud is how much will he miss Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, who were the second and third receivers taken in the 2022 NFL Draft. Jaxon Smith-Njigba is back after leading Ohio State with 95 catches and 1,606 receiving yards. With the way Ohio State recruits, there will be other pass catchers to emerge.

It won’t take long for Stroud to have a national platform to display his talents. Ohio State welcomes Notre Dame to Columbus for the 2022 season opener.

Garrett Wilson #5 celebrates with C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images/AFP

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