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Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Flight of the Penix

With Heisman Trophy front-runner Caleb Williams and Southern California not playing this week, it was pretty quiet when it came to the Heisman Trophy best bets in Week 3.

That will not be the case this week thanks to the Ohio State -Notre Dame, Alabama-Mississippi, Florida State-Clemson and Colorado-Oregon matchups.

Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Flight of the Penix
Quarterback Caleb Williams | Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images/AFP

When looking at the college football odds, Ohio State is favored by 3½ points, Alabama is a seven-point favorite, visiting Florida State, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Jordan Travis, is a 2½-point favorite and Oregon is favored by 21 points

Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and fellow quarterback Quinn Ewers of Texas are tied for second in the Heisman Trophy lines, trailing only Williams. Both are priced at +600 to win the most prestigious individual award in college football. Williams, who is looking to become just the second player to win back-to-back Heisman Trophies, is leading the way at +380 in the Heisman odds.

With conference play starting to ratchet up, this is the time of the year when there can start to be some clarity when it comes to the Heisman Trophy pecking order

Let’s take a look at the movers and shakers in the Heisman Trophy odds.

Here’s a look at the latest edition of the Heisman risers and fallers of the 2023 season.

Sequel Can’t Top the Original

Many of the top rushers in college football have moved onto the NFL. However, expectations were high for Michigan’s Blake Corum, Quinshon Judkins of Ole Miss, Raheim Sanders of Arkansas and Wisconsin’s Braelon Allen.

Corum just posted his first 100-yard game of 2023 with 101 yards on 12 carries and a pair of touchdowns in Michigan’s win over Bowling Green.

He is the only one of the four with more rushing yards through the first three games in 2023 than he had at the same point in 2022. That shows up in the Heisman Trophy odds as Corum moved from +6000 to +5000 in the Heisman odds over the past week.

Judkins has probably been the biggest disappointment. He had 289 on 33 carries at this point last season compared to 145 yards on 44 attempts in 2023. His Heisman odds remained at +10000.

Injuries have impacted Sanders so far this season while Allen is adjusting to a new coaching staff and a different offensive philosophy.

Allen had 332 yards in the first three games as a sophomore. He is at 255 in 2023. He is averaging 7.1 yards per carry so it is more of a case of him sharing the running duties with Chez Mellusi than failing to produce. Still, his Heisman odds went from +10000 to +15000 in the last week.

Fellow returning 1,000-yard rushers Will Shipley of Clemson and Nick Singleton of Penn State are also off to slow starts.

Shipley’s numbers have dropped slightly as he had 249 yards through Week 3 in 2022 and he is at 225 this season.

Singleton has 154 yards in Penn State’s first three games after rushing for 334 yards in the first three games in 2022.

The Heisman odds for Shipley and Singleton remained at +10000.

Who’s Rising in Heisman Trophy Race?

Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Flight of the Penix
Heisman Trophy | Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

It is the era of the transfer portal so it seems only fitting that three of the players moving up in the Heisman race all started their careers elsewhere.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. saw his college football odds to win the Heisman go from +900 to +600 after he completed 27 of 35 passes for 473 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions in a 41-7 win over Michigan State.

The former Indiana quarterback has thrown for 1,332 yards and 12 touchdowns while completing 74.3% of his passes.

Sam Hartman’s move from Wake Forest to Notre Dame is off to an impressive start as he is third nationally (one spot ahead of Penix) with a 217.8 passer rating, 1,061 passing yards, 13 touchdowns and no interceptions in four games. His Heisman odds moved from +2000 to +1000.

LSU’s Jayden Daniels, the former starter at Arizona State, has 976 yards passing and 157 rushing as his Heisman odds jumped from +4000 to +2000. The loss to Florida State earlier in the season pushed him back a bit in the Heisman race, but he has time to move back up and he is doing just that.

Who’s Falling in Heisman Trophy Race?

No player took a bigger step backward than Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton.

Milton threw for 287 yards with two touchdown passes and an interception. However, Tennessee lost at Florida 29-16. That was enough to send his Heisman odds from +3500 to +10000.

With Georgia, Florida State and Penn State having closer than anticipated games in Week 3, the starting quarterbacks paid the price.

Georgia’s Carson Beck’s Heisman odds went from +3000 to +6000 despite completing 77% of his passes in a win over South Carolina.

FSU’s Jordan Travis has thrown for a total of 387 yards with four TDs in the last two games. With the Seminoles narrowly escaping an upset bid by four-touchdown underdog Boston College, Travis saw his odds move from +800 to +1400.

Penn State’s Drew Allar was just 16 of 33 from 208 yards with no touchdowns in a 30-13 win over Illinois. His odds went from +2000 to +3500 and could easily have dropped even more even though. according to the sportsbook, the Nittany Lions took care of business as 14-point favorites.

A Painful Turn

Two players showing up among the list of Heisman candidates have to deal with more than opposing defensive game plans.

Running back Raheim Sanders, who was second in the SEC in rushing yards a season ago, hasn’t played since Arkansas topped Western Carolina in the season opener.

Sanders, who had 15 carries for 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 56-13 win, did not play in the win over Kent State or in the loss to Brigham Young.

Colorado’s Travis Hunter has made headlines as a two-way star for the undefeated Buffaloes. However, he is expected to miss multiple weeks.

Hunter was priced at +3000 in last week’s Heisman odds but he is coming off the board due to his injury.

Hunter has 16 catches for 213 yards. On defense, he has nine tackles, two pass breakups and an interception.

College Football Matchup of the Week

  • Game: Ohio State Buckeyes (-3) vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish
  • Date/Time: Saturday, Sept. 23. 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Ohio State vs Notre Dame Live Stream: ESPN


It could easily have been the Colorado-Oregon game as well, but with receiver Marvin Harrison and running back TreVeyon Henderson on the Heisman radar for Ohio State and Notre Dame countering with Hartman, plenty of eyes will be on this top-10 matchup.

The odds for Harrison (+2800), quarterback Kyle McCord (+4000) and Henderson (+8000) didn’t move a week ago despite the Buckeyes putting up 63 points up on Western Kentucky. That won’t be the case after this much-anticipated matchup

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