In the final third of the season, we’re looking at a tight race between the two Heisman frontrunners, and now they’ve swapped positions since last week, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Hendon Hooker, Quarterback, Tennessee -110
Tennessee stays on an offensive tear in 2022. Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Hendon Hooker continues a dominant year in the SEC East as the Vols lead the nation in total offense and just earned the top spot in the first College Football Playoff ranking of the 2022 season.
This week he upped his touchdown total from 18 to 21 and remains having thrown just one interception on the year. Hooker’s consistency against a schedule stacked with tough defenses makes him the one to beat for now.
A dominate performance over Kentucky throws (pun intended) Hooker into the current position of Heisman favorite. This week, however, his Volunteers go on the road to face the Georgia Bulldogs’ dominant defense in a matchup between the CFP ranked #1 and the AP ranked #1.
If he can maintain his efficiency against the Bulldogs’ stalwart defense, expect his odds as favorite to increase. Just one concern for Hooker’s Heisman campaign: Tennessee’s opponent is ranked second nationally in total offense. If the Bulldogs can keep Volunteers’ offense off the field by sustaining long drives of their own, the Vols’ signal caller will have a tough time padding his stats.
CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State +190
After an 8-0 start, CJ Stroud remains in the upper echelon despite falling one step back in the odds race. Ohio State’s offense looks absolutely ridiculous with Stroud under center; since scoring 21 points in the season-opening win against Notre Dame, the Buckeyes still average over 50 points per game in the seven games since.
Following the Buckeyes’ win over Penn State, he’s still ranked first in FBS with a quarterback rating of 93.1 in addition to leading FBS in 29 passing touchdowns. Stroud likely only slips down in the odds after accounting for just one of Ohio State’s touchdowns, despite an outstanding performance of completing 26 passes on 33 attempts for 354 yards.
His final remaining Heisman test should only be the regular season finale against Michigan. The Wolverines boast a top five rush defense and may be able to force the Buckeyes into throwing all game, thus needing some Heisman-worthy heroics.
Blake Corum, Running Back, Michigan +1500
Corum’s still got time to close the gap with the Wolverines’ schedule that faces formidable rush defenses from Big Ten West-leading Illinois and, of course, The Game at Ohio State.
He’s putting up six yards per carry with 15 total touchdowns without a single fumble through eight games.
Two huge offensive performances against the top-ranked and third-ranked total defenses in college football is a tall order for one tailback. If he shows out, however, Corum can get his way back into the conversation between the top three candidates...especially if the Wolverines top Ohio State in the finale.
Caleb Williams, Quarterback, Southern California +1500
Rounding out the top four, tied with Corum at current odds is USC’s quarterback Caleb Williams. Under Lincoln Riley’s throw-first offense, Williams had a stellar return after the Trojans’ bye week (which followed their only loss at Utah): 411 yards, five touchdowns, 68.9% completion percentage, no turnovers, one squeezed out win against Arizona.
He’s still only thrown one interception (tied for best amongst season-long starters) on the year, 24 touchdowns (third in FBS) and a QBR of 85.7 (ninth in FBS), 2,384 yards (11th) and has a schedule that may allow him to go video game mode and bump those averages up.
His main challenges will come against one-loss UCLA and the annual hate fest against underwhelming Notre Dame, which may prove as more of a test than records indicate.
Odds/lines subject to change. T&Cs apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for details