College football Week 7 delivered up a feast of offensive explosion, with high-scoring clashes and high-tension finishes. While the garbage rained down in Knoxville, did anyone elevate their standing in the Heisman Trophy odds race with an exceptional performance?
Heisman Trophy odds following Week 7 of college football
- Bryce Young, QB, Alabama +180
- Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss +190
- C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State +900
- Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State +1600
- Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati +1800
- Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas +2000
- Kenny Pickett, QB, Pittsburgh +2200
- Caleb Williams, QB, Oklahoma +2500
- TreVeyon Henderson, RB, Ohio State +3500
- Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Alabama +4000
Kenny Pickett is a legitimate Heisman contender
Hands up if you had the Pittsburgh Panthers as the team to beat in the ACC this season? I don’t believe you. After Week 7 of the college football season, the Panthers are destroying everyone (except Western Michigan, of course). The reason? Kenny Pickett is emerging as a riser in the 2022 NFL Draft class and a genuine Heisman contender.
The Pitt passer produced another consummate performance in Week 7 as the Panthers brushed aside an offensively dire Virginia Tech Hokies team to notch a 28-7 win. The final score doesn’t truly reflect Pickett’s (and Pitt’s) dominance in Saturday afternoon’s all-ACC affair. Pitt was up 21-0 by the half, and early in the third quarter, struck for the final time.
Pickett once again showed poise, pocket awareness, and passing prowess. Although his 203 passing yards won’t attract attention in the same way that Eric Barriere’s 600+ performance for Eastern Washington might, his methodical picking apart of defenses combined with his mobility and creativity make him an alluring prospect. In addition to his 2 passing touchdowns, he found the end zone with his legs.
Don’t believe that Pickett is a genuine contender? DraftKings has slashed his Heisman Trophy odds again following Week 7. Last week, he was +4000 to land college football’s highest individual award. Now, he’s +2200. Furthermore, Virginia Tech head coach Justin Fuente called him the best quarterback his team has faced in recent years.
Exit Spencer Rattler, enter Caleb Williams
Last week, Spencer Rattler‘s chances of becoming the Heisman winner and even a 2022 NFL Draft prospect sank in the Red River. His benching created a media storm this week, with Oklahoma banning the media from practice after an intrepid student captured details of Caleb Williams taking practice reps with the starters.
In probably the least surprising move in college football, it was indeed Williams who started under center for the Sooners against TCU. Having been instrumental in Oklahoma’s comeback against Texas, Williams was once again a difference-maker as the Sooners trampled on the Horned Frogs.
The true freshman threw for 295 yards and 4 touchdowns in the 52-31 victory. The dangerous dual-threat also ran for 66 yards at 7.3 yards per carry, finding the end zone with his legs. If you picture the quarterbacks that Oklahoma has found success with in the last few seasons, Williams better fits the mold of a Jalen Hurts or Kyler Murray than Rattler ever did (or was ever going to).
As Williams’ star ascends, his Heisman Trophy odds understandably plummet. Following the Week 7 win, DraftKings will give you odds of +2500 on Williams to lift the Heisman Trophy. If you somehow believe in miracles, Rattler is now +15000 to win the award. A transfer and a fresh start for 2022 — not in the NFL, I hasten to add — is the more likely scenario.
Bijan Robinson continues to demonstrate the issue with the Heisman
The Heisman Trophy is college football’s greatest individual award. It’s given annually to the best player in college football. Although the award has become routinely associated with the quarterback position, it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility for a non-quarterback to win. Just ask DeVonta Smith or Derrick Henry, the last wide receiver and running back winners.
What is impossible, or so it seems, is for an incredible talent to win the award while playing on a terrible team. Yes, unbelievably, in what is the world’s greatest team sport, it is possible that the greatest player in the land doesn’t actually play on the best team.
Case in point: Bijan Robinson. You can scour the land, poll every college football journalist and analyst, and almost all of them will tell you that there is no better player in college football than the Texas running back. I would be one of them. The sophomore Longhorn is a phenom in every possible meaning of the word.
With 11 minutes left in the third quarter of Saturday’s game against Oklahoma State, Robinson’s 3 touchdowns had Texas at a 24-13 advantage. He ended the game with 135 rushing yards at 6.4 yards per carry with 2 rushing touchdowns. Furthermore, Robinson found the end zone through the air. The running back was second on the team in receiving yards.
Yet, Texas lost 32-24 after a second-half collapse. As a result, Robinson’s Heisman Trophy odds lengthened from +1200 last week to +2000 after Week 7. Make it make sense!
Bryce Young, Matt Corral continue to lead the Heisman Trophy odds race
Despite another weekend of shocks, surprises, and upsets in college football, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral continue to lead the Heisman Trophy odds race.
After somewhat of a blip in the defeat to Texas A&M, Young rebounded with a dominant performance in the 49-9 win over Mississippi State. In the convincing win, the latest heir to the Alabama NFL Draft cycle went 20 of 28, throwing for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns. Young has been the favorite for the Heisman Trophy for several weeks now, and DraftKings has held his odds at +180 for the second consecutive week.
Meanwhile, Corral dipped back under +200 to +190 as Ole Miss prevailed on an ugly night for the sport in Knoxville. Rebels head coach Lane Kiffin was hit with a golf ball as Tennessee fans peppered the field with garbage in the closing minutes.
Although Corral was held to 231 passing yards and threw an interception, he produced magic on the ground to enhance his reputation as one of the best all-around quarterbacks in the 2022 NFL Draft class.
Corral rushed for 195 yards on a team-high 30 carries. The running back trio of Henry Parrish Jr., Snoop Conner, and Jerrion Ealy tallied just 32 carries between them.
Corral will get the opportunity to bolster his box score against a leaky LSU defense in Week 8. Meanwhile, Alabama hosts Tennessee, and Young will look to solidify his standing as the Heisman odds leader.