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Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Odds Tumble for SEC QBs

The more things change, the more things stay the same when it comes to the college football predictions. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of the USC Trojans continues to have the best odds to win another Heisman Trophy.

The Southern California quarterback is priced at +400 to become just the second player to win back-to-back Heisman Trophies.

Heisman Trophy Stock Up, Stock Down: Odds Tumble for SEC QBs
Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans-Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images/AFP

There was plenty of movement when it came to the Heisman Trophy contenders after Week 2 of the college football season, with many familiar names trending in the wrong direction.

There is still plenty of football yet to be played so making declarations based on one or two games is not the best way to proceed. Still, when it comes to the college football betting lines, it is never too early to take a look at the trends when it comes to the Heisman Trophy odds.

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

Williams Better Than Ever

Life isn’t always easy when a Heisman Trophy winner returns to college rather than embarking on a pro career, and that has played a role in the fact that Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only back-to-back Heisman Trophy winner.

There are still some challenging games on the schedule, but USC quarterback Caleb Williams has done little to suggest that he isn’t the player to beat in the Heisman race.

In three games, Williams is completing 78.6% of his passes for 878 yards with 12 touchdown passes and no interceptions. When looking at the college football odds, Williams went from +450 to +400 in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy.

Playing San Jose State, Nevada and Stanford, Williams should be able to put up some impressive numbers and that is exactly what he has done. His gaudy stats have him as the player to beat according to college football predictions.

Williams leads the nation with a passer rating of 240.50. It is not as if he is just dumping the ball off – his average of 12.5 yards per attempt is also the best mark among Football Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks.

Williams already has four completions of at least 40 yards, and USC’s top three players in terms of receiving yards are averaging 25.9, 23.3 and 24.8 yards per reception.

Next up is a matchup with Arizona State. The Sun Devils are second in the Pac-12 in passing defense, allowing 165 yards per game.

Who’s Rising in Heisman Trophy Race?

There were plenty of questions about the Texas Longhorns and quarterback Quinn Ewers coming into the season. With touted freshman Arch Manning showing up on the preseason Heisman odds and with college football predictions listed for when the nephew of former Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning would take over as the Texas QB, expectations were low for Ewers in the eyes of some who bet online.

He silenced many of those doubters by going into Tuscaloosa and throwing for 349 yards. Ewers, who was knocked out of last year’s game against Alabama, threw three touchdown passes and had no interceptions as Texas handed Alabama a rare double-digit point loss (34-24) at home.

Ewers saw his Heisman odds move from +1600 to +900.

While there was quite a bit placed on Ewers’ shoulders, it was a different story for Oregon State’s D.J. Uiagalelei. Facing UC Davis out of the Football Championship Subdivision level, the former Clemson quarterback only attempted 13 passes in a 55-7 win as Oregon State covered against the college football predictions once again.

There were questions about Uiagalelei’s accuracy as a passer coming into the season. That hasn’t been an issue as he is completing 73.7% of his passes in the first two games of the season.

Uiagelelei has seen his Heisman odds go from +9000 to +6500.

Speaking of Pac-12 quarterbacks, nobody has helped themselves more since the season began than Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders. Sanders followed his father, Deion, from Jackson State to Colorado. In two games, he has thrown for 903 yards while completing 77.5% of his passes for six touchdowns and no interceptions.

His Heisman Trophy odds moved from +2600 to +1800.

Who’s Falling in Heisman Trophy Race?

The good news is that when you win the starting quarterback job at Alabama, you immediately become a Heisman Trophy candidate. The bad news is that failure to live up to the lofty expectations can send those odds tumbling.

Welcome to Jalen Milroe’s world. Milroe was 14 of 27 passing for 255 yards with two touchdown passes and two interceptions in the loss to Texas, when the college football predictions listed the host Crimson Tide as a seven-point favorite.

Of all the quarterbacks who saw their Heisman Trophy odds head in the wrong direction, nobody took a bigger hit than Milroe as his odds went from +2000 to +10000. Fellow Alabama quarterback Tyler Buchner‘s odds went from +6000 to +12000.

With Alabama coach Nick Saban addressing Buchner’s work in practice, the quarterback position is worth watching. It is a far cry from when Bryce Young was the starter at Alabama over the previous two seasons.

Other SEC quarterbacks saw their odds tumble. LSU’s Jayden Daniels went from +2800 to +4000. Tennessee’s Joe Milton’s odds moved from +2000 to +3500 and Kentucky’s Devin Leary saw his odds go from +8000 to +1200.

Texas A&M’s Conner Weigman’s odds went from +5000 to +8000 after the Aggies lost at Miami. Milton and Leary are the two lowest rated starting quarterbacks in the SEC. Clemson’s Cade Klubnik had a nice bounce-back game, but still his Heisman odds went from +1600 to +8000.

Little Love for RBs, WRs in Heisman Odds

There are 40 players who have more receiving yards than Ohio State’s Marvin Harrison, who has needed to adapt after quarterback CJ Stroud moved onto the NFL.

The competition level wasn’t the best as Ohio State rolled past FCS Youngstown State in Week 2, but Harrison was much more involved with 160 yards on seven catches to go with two touchdowns in the 35-7 win.

Harrison, being touted as one of the top pro prospects at the receiver position in recent memory, made a move from +4000 to +2800 in the Heisman odds.

Other non-quarterbacks were not as fortunate.

Running backs Nick Singleton of Penn State (+6500 to +10000), Braelon Allen of Wisconsin (+6500 to +10000), Will Shipley of Clemson (+6000 to +10000), Blake Corum of Michigan (+4000 to +6000), TreVeyon Henderson of Ohio State (+6000 to +8000) and Quinshon Judkins of Ole Miss (+5000 to +10000) are falling even further behind in the Heisman race.

Georgia tight end Brock Bowers saw his odds go from +6500 to +8000.

Matchup of the Week

Washington Huskies at Michigan State Spartans

There’s not much to pick from this week. Among the ranked teams in action, there are just three featuring a pair of undefeated teams from Power-5 conferences.

Washington quarterback Michael Penix has thrived since leaving Indiana for Washington and he returns to Big Ten country to face a Michigan State program in a state of disarray after head coach Mel Tucker was suspended after abuse allegations surfaced.

Penix has thrown for 859 yards and six touchdowns in the first two games of the season. He will be facing a Michigan State team that ranks second in the Big Ten in passing defense.

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