There were no surprises when the Heisman Trophy finalists were announced with the top four players in the Heisman Trophy odds are the four players invited to Saturday’s Heisman Trophy presentation.
LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr and Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. are the Heisman Trophy finalists.
There will be no repeat champion as last year’s winner, Caleb Williams, is well back in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy. That means that former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin will remain the only back-to-back Heisman Trophy winner.
Penix is the only one of the four finalists who has a chance to lead his team to the national title with Washington joining Michigan, Texas and Alabama in the College Football Playoffs.
When looking at the best college football teams, Michigan (+180) and Alabama (+190), lead the way with the best odds of winning the 2023 NCAA football championship.
The Heisman Trophy winner will be announced on Saturday. The Heisman Trophy show begins at 8 p.m. ET and will air on ESPN.
Daniels, Nix Topping the Charts
It would seem that the hopes of Oregon’s Nix winning the Heisman Trophy ended when the Ducks fell to Washington in the Pac-12 title game.
Nix had a solid performance in the 34-31 loss to Washington as he was 21 of 34 passing for 239 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He also had 69 yards on six carries.
No. 5 Jayden Daniels
That Kid is the best QB in the country.
That Kid is the best player in the country.
That Kid a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. pic.twitter.com/8SH4CAzqRP
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) December 4, 2023
Daniels and Nix are first and second among Football Bowl Subdivision players in quarterback rating and they are also the only FBS players with 40 touchdown passes.
Daniels has 10 touchdown passes and two interceptions in four games against ranked opponents this season.
In those four games, Daniels has also run 56 times for 456 yards and four touchdowns. He was just named the Associated Press Player of the Year.
He leads the nation with a passer rating of 208.1. The last two quarterbacks from Power-5 conferences to post a passer rating over 200 were Alabama’s Mac Jones in 2020 and 2019 Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow of LSU.
Nix has a higher completion percentage (77.2 to 72.2) and more passing yards (4,145 to 3,812) while Daniels has the edge yards per attempt (11.7), and touchdowns responsible for (50 to 46).
Daniels is priced at -1200 while Nix comes in at +1800 in the odds of winning the Heisman Trophy. Nix’s odds have seen a dramatic shift.
A Bigger Trophy In Penix’s Sights
Penix was a distant third among the top three quarterbacks in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy but has moved past Nix with +800 odds.
While Daniels figures to finish atop the Heisman Trophy voting. However, Penix still has a chance to get the prize that eluded Daniels and Nix.
LSU’s hopes of reaching the College Football Playoffs likely ended with a season-opening loss to Florida State. Defeats to Ole Miss and Alabama definitely sealed the deal.
It was hard to find much fault with Daniels and the LSU offense in the Ole Miss game as the Tigers scored 49 points. Daniels threw for 414 yards and four touchdowns. He added 99 rushing yards and another score.
Daniels ran for 163 yards in the loss to Alabama but wasn’t as effective throwing the ball.
Nix had five touchdown passes and just one interception in the two losses to Washington. Perhaps in some years, his numbers would be enough for Nix to win the Heisman.
Penix leads all FBS players with 4,218 passing yards to go with 33 touchdown passes. Penix did have nine interceptions and he had two games with no touchdown passes.
Harrison Coming Back For More?
There are some rumblings that Harrison, who is considered one of the top prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft, might go back to Ohio State as he is driven to taste victory against rival Michigan.
Among the players with at least 1,000 receiving yards, only UTEP’s Kelly Akharaiyi and Reggie Brown of James Madison have a higher yard-per-reception mark than Harrison’s 18.1.
His 14 touchdown catches are one off the FBS lead.
There are players who have better stats than Harrison, namely LSU’s Malik Nabers. Nabers leads all FBS players with 1,546 receiving yards but that wasn’t enough to land him an invitation to New York. He has +8000 odds to win the Heisman.
A Look at the Other CFP Quarterbacks
Penix is the only finalist among the four starting quarterbacks in the College Football Playoff.
Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy, Quinn Ewers of Texas and Alabama’s Jalen Milroe have spent multiple weeks among the players with the top odds according to the college football betting lines.
Milroe was well back in the Heisman odds and there is a chance he could land in the top five in the voting.
What About Travis?
It could be argued that Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis should be a Heisman finalist. After all, his injury was the reason given for an undefeated Florida State dropping to No. 5 in the final College Football Playoff rankings despite winning the ACC title without suffering a loss.
If he is held in that high esteem by those deciding who will be the final four teams standing in the race for the national championship, shouldn’t that translate into Heisman Trophy votes?
Questions of the Day
Would you recommend betting on the Heisman Trophy outcome?
The pecking order seems pretty obvious now so the best rewards will come to those who placed bets weeks and months ago.
Will the Heisman Trophy winner go on to play in the NFL?
Heisman Trophy front-runners Jayden Daniels of LSU and Bo Nix of Oregon should get the chance to play in the NFL.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.