With less than 100 days until the 2023 college football season kicks off, it’s time to start looking at some favorites for the big awards. In this case, the Heisman Trophy.
University of Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams earned the honor last year, despite Heisman Trophy odds having Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud as the favorite, and college football news believes he is a strong contender to repeat and become the second player to win the award twice. Ohio State’s Arche Griffin is the only player to win the coveted award twice.
With a 2022 Heisman Trophy finalist class of Stroud, Williams, TCU quarterback Max Duggan and Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, there appeared to be no clear frontrunner.
Though the College football odds favored Stroud, the Buckeyes missing out on the Big Ten Championship with a loss to Michigan at home didn’t exactly help his case. Duggan, meanwhile, had a great run with TCU, though the Horned Frogs fell short in the Big 12 Championship, while Bennett was a key component in the Bulldogs’ run to the championship game.
Ultimately, however, the trophy went to Williams, who was invaluable to the Trojans, despite their loss in the Pac-12 title game, leading the nation with 42 passing touchdowns and finishing third with 4,537 passing yards.
Now, Williams is favored to win the Heisman again as he returns to USC for his junior season, with the sportsbook giving him +450 odds to win.
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However, in order to do that, Williams will first have to replace his No. 1 receiver Jordan Addison, who led the Trojans with 875 receiving yards and eight touchdowns last season and left for the NFL.
He’ll also have to surpass the bar he set from his performance last year after finishing top three in passing statistics with over 40 touchdowns and 4,000 yards, as well as lead the Trojans to another successful season to ensure his stock continues to rise.
In the meantime, Williams will be facing a whole new slew of potential Heisman contenders this season after the previous three finalists made their way to the NFL.
Currently, Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis and Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. are the next in line as favorites for the award, with each at +1000 odds, while Oregon’s Bo Nix is another quarterback who could be a finalist, with +1200 odds.
Will Michael Penix Jr. be a first-round pick next year? 👀
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) May 31, 2023
Travis returns to Florida State for his sixth season after being the first Seminole to throw for at least 20 touchdowns and run for at least seven more in a season, while Penix finished last season second in passing yards with 4,641 yards. Nix is also a returning player, receiving Heisman hype after leading the Ducks to a 9-1 record before a leg injury derailed his play.
Despite being the favorite, with the added hurdles Williams may need to clear after winning his first Heisman, one of the other three players mentioned may be a better college football bet for those betting on the Heisman.