The Heisman Race, Week 5: Suddenly, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud is the big favorite

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud plays against Wisconsin during an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Each week, we’ll track the race for this year’s Heisman Trophy, awarded to the best player in college football, along with each contender’s odds and a look at who they face this week.

(Odds from Caesars Sportsbook)

Week 5


Ohio State • QB • So.

HIS CASE: In Stroud’s first big stage of the year, he merely survived, throwing for two touchdowns in a slog past Notre Dame. He excelled in games against cupcakes, but the question remained: Could he do that against the best opposition? The answer was a resounding yes on Saturday, as Stroud passed for 281 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-21 beatdown of Wisconsin. As a result, his odds dropped more than 100 points at Caesars Sportsbook.

ODDS: +160

THIS WEEK: Saturday vs. Rutgers (3:30 p.m., BTN)



Alabama • QB • Jr.

HIS CASE: Speaking of proving Heisman worthiness against the best teams, that’s Young’s task this week. In easy wins over Utah State, UL-Monroe and Vanderbilt, he has 14 total touchdowns against two interceptions and added a 100-yard game on the ground. In a narrow escape against Texas, he passed for just 213 yards and one touchdown. There’s exactly one easy game left, so we’ll see what Young does from here.

ODDS: +450

THIS WEEK: Saturday at No. 20 Arkansas (3:30 p.m., CBS)



USC • QB • So.

HIS CASE: A week after he hopped into the No. 2 spot on this list, Williams had the worst game of his short Trojans career, completing 16 of 36 passes for 180 yards. He did, however, throw a brilliant late touchdown pass to Jordan Addison to win the game, thus keeping his Heisman candidacy damaged but intact. One obstacle Williams must overcome is the clock; this is the third straight week USC kicks off after 9 p.m. ET.

ODDS: +500

THIS WEEK: Saturday vs. Arizona State (10:30 p.m., ESPN)


ON THE RADAR: Stetson Bennett, Georgia QB (+1600); Hendon Hooker, Tennessee QB (+1600); Blake Corum, Michigan RB (+3000); Jalon Daniels, Kansas QB (+3500); Four at +4000 (Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma QB; Will Anderson, Alabama LB; Devon Achane, Texas A&M RB; DJ Uiagalelei, Clemson QB)



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