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Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Michigan’s McCarthy Makes Move

There was some movement at the top after a rough outing by Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. knocked him out of the No. 1 spot in the Heisman Trophy odds. A pair of Big Ten stars moved up with strong showings in Week 8.

The odds for USC quarterback Caleb Williams, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, continue to head in the opposite direction and it is looking like former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin will remain the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy.

Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Michigan’s McCarthy Makes Move
J.J. McCarthy #9 of the Michigan Wolverines | gregory shamus/getty images/afp

Cross Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers off the list of Heisman candidates after he was knocked out of the Week 8 win over Houston. Ewers will miss an undetermined amount of time.

Michigan (+225), Georgia (+265), Florida State (+700) and Ohio State (+700) not only lead the way with the best odds to win the 2023 NCAA football championship, but also have Heisman Trophy candidates.

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

We Have a New Heisman Leader

With some of the other top Heisman Trophy candidates trending in the wrong direction, the door has opened for a new front-runner.

Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy, who hasn’t thrown an interception in his last five games, is now priced at +250 by our sportsbook to win the Heisman.

It is an interesting development as his dreadful effort against Bowling Green (143 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions) is being ignored while other quarterbacks are being penalized despite putting up better numbers than that against better competition.

McCarthy’s numbers are impressive as he is completing 78% of his passes for 1,799 yards with 18 touchdowns and three interceptions. However, that has come against East Carolina, UNLV, Bowling Green, Rutgers, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana and Michigan State.

McCarthy will have two high-profile games in November against Penn State and Ohio State. If he lights it up against those teams, he should move up in the Heisman race. It feels like this is a little early for him to make this move.

A Chip Off the Old Block

The son of one of the best receivers in NFL history might do something his father never managed – be a Heisman Trophy finalist.

In a world where the Heisman Trophy candidate list is dominated by quarterbacks, a running back or receiver needs to put on a show in certain games.

Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. did just that.

Harrison caught 11 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown in a 20-12 win over Penn State in a matchup of top-10 teams.

Harrison, who was held in check in a win over Notre Dame, has gone over 100 receiving yards in five of his last six games to see his odds of winning the Heisman Trophy move to +2000.

Say Goodbye to Back-to-Back Heismans

For the first half of the season, Caleb Williams was sitting pretty as the leading candidate. The USC quarterback was bidding to join former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin as the only two-time winner of the Heisman Trophy.

In a narrow escape against Arizona followed by back-to-back losses to Notre Dame and Utah, Williams has completed 63.5% of his passes (61 of 96) for 674 yards to go with two touchdown passes and three interceptions.

Not even four scoring runs in those three games could keep Williams’ Heisman odds from going from +225 to +8000.

Another Heisman Candidate Out of Race

A second prominent Heisman Trophy candidate saw the bid to win the top individual honor in college football end as a result of injury.

First, it was Georgia tight end Brock Bowers going down with an ankle injury. After undergoing surgery, he is not expected to return to the field until late November.

Now it is Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers who is sidelined.

Ewers suffered a shoulder injury in a Week 8 win over Houston and there is no timetable for his return.

Ewers completed 70.9% of his passes for 1,915 yards, 13 touchdown passes and three interceptions in seven games. He is 16th among qualified FBS players with a 163.7 passer rating. Ewers was priced at +5000 by the college football betting lines in the Heisman odds going into the Houston game.

Who’s Rising in the Heisman Trophy Race?

Other than McCarthy, nobody made a bigger jump among the quarterbacks than LSU’s Jayden Daniels. His odds moved from +1400 to +350 even though he wasn’t asked to do much in a 62-0 win over Army.

Daniels was 11 of 15 passing for 279 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He also had a TD run.

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix saw his Heisman odds go from +2500 to +1400 after he passed for 293 yards and two TDs in a 38-24 win over Washington State. He has 19 TD passes and one interception this season.

Georgia quarterback Carson Beck’s odds have gone from +5000 to +3000 despite throwing an interception for the fourth game in a row. He has thrown for 2,359 yards with 14 touchdown passes.

Who’s Falling in the Heisman Trophy Race?

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. is no longer the leading candidate after throwing for a season-low 275 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a 15-7 win over Arizona State. His odds went from -140 to +300.

After facing Stanford this weekend, Washington plays three straight games against ranked teams so Penix can make another move.

Drake Maye of North Carolina’s odds have gone from +1600 to +5000 after his late interception resulted in the previously undefeated Tar Heels being upset by unranked Virginia.

Penn State’s DrewAllar attempted a season-high 42 passes against Ohio State but he completed just 18 of those passes for 191 yards as his odds went from +6000 to +15000.

Quarterbacks Jalen Milroe of Alabama (+5000 to +8000). Oregon State’s D.J. Uiagalelei (+6000 to +10000) and Ohio State’s Kyle McCord (+5000 to +10000) all saw their Heisman odds take a tumble.

Matchup of the Week

  • Oregon Ducks at Utah Utes (-7)
  • Saturday, Oct. 28, 3:30 p.m. ET (FOX)

Utah is a tough team to play at this time of the year and the Utes are especially dangerous playing at home.

Coming off a win over Southern California, the Utes would love to repeat that feat against Nix and the Ducks.

Nix threw for 287 yards with one touchdown and an interception in a 20-17 win against Utah in 2022. If he leads Oregon past the Utes again, that figures to help his Heisman Trophy odds.



Questions of the Day

Whose Heisman Trophy candidacy is most likely to be boosted by a strong performance in a key game?

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. plays three of his next four games against ranked opponents so he could make a move back into the top spot in the Heisman Trophy odds.

Who are the Heisman Trophy sleepers to watch in the 2023 season?

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis are lurking as Heisman Trophy candidates to keep an eye on.


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