Michael Penix Jr. pushing Caleb Williams in Heisman Trophy race heading into Week 4
Caleb Williams was the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy before the 2023 season began and the USC star is still out in front. However, there are some other big name quarterbacks gaining on him a bit, as well as some longer shots that are starting to enter the picture. With that in mind, keep reading for some of the risers and fallers in the Heisman race heading into Week 4. Each week, I'll dive into the prices and analyze how I'd play this market for the remainder of the season. It's important to see what type of stats a player has racked up already, but how will they do the rest of the way? I'll get into that — and a lot more — here!
MORE: Check out our Pro Picks page for college football best bets from all of our analysts
USC QB Caleb Williams +360 (was +400)
USC didn’t have a game in Week 3 and Williams’ odds are less favorable than they were a week ago. This season, Williams has thrown for 878 yards with 12 touchdowns and no picks, and he also has 61 rushing yards and a touchdown. This week, the star quarterback should light up a very weak Arizona State defense. So, if you do want to back Williams to win the Heisman, you might want to jump on it now. He should also have big games against both Colorado and Arizona in the following weeks, so you’re running out of time. But I do think there’s a very good chance that this award goes somewhere else this year. It just feels like there is legitimate competition at the top, and USC has a ridiculous end-of-season schedule. Meetings with Notre Dame, Utah, California, Washington, Oregon and UCLA all have the potential to trip Williams up. So, I wouldn’t be shocked if he plays a couple of bad games down the stretch. That would blow the door wide open for some o f the others.
Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. +500 (was +900)
If you thought Penix Jr. was going to slow down after throwing for eight touchdowns in the first two weeks of the season, we have some bad news for you: Penix Jr. threw for 473 yards with four touchdowns and no picks in a road game against Michigan State in Week 3. The lefty has now thrown for 1,332 yards with 12 touchdowns and only one pick this season, and he has a completion percentage of 74.3% — and the third highest PFF passing grade in the nation. Penix Jr. is now really pushing Williams, which is amazing. A lot of people thought Williams would run away with this thing before the year, but we’re getting a legitimate race now. And Penix Jr. can do more damage this week by putting up big numbers against a very good Cal defense. If Penix Jr. turns in a big performance against the Golden Bears this week, you can probably count on him maintaining this level of play — or at least coming close to it — against Washington’s gauntlet o f a conference schedule. But it does kind of feel like time is running out on this bandwagon. You don’t want to take Penix Jr. at anything short of +500 odds.