As the weeks go on, it is only natural that a few Heisman Trophy candidates begin to rise to the top. They will be the ones that play well consistently, from one game to the next. Those guys will be the ones fans can count on to lead their team to victory.
Slip-ups? Bad games? Mistakes? These are all things that are not part of who they are. They don’t apply to these guys. Now it may take some time for some guys to slip up, make a mistake, or have a bad game. It all depends on the level of competition they see from one week to the next.
As the games get more competitive, we will see more guys slip up. We will see more bad games and mistakes. When those things happen, the Heisman Trophy picture will become clear.
Until then, and until every conference has a few games under their belt, all we can do is monitor the developments with each passing week.
Heisman Trophy Odds: Still the Trevor Lawrence Show?
When Justin Fields (+600; odds via FanDuel) finally does take the field, it may be too late for him to win the Heisman. With how Trevor Lawrence (+200) is playing, he will have to really ‘wow’ the voters in a shorter season to get them to vote his way instead.
Last week he had 300+ yards, three-touchdown day against a decent Virginia team to help solidify his status as the favorite. With a great game Saturday night against the toughest defense he will see all season, Miami, he just might lock the Heisman up after only four games.
D’Eriq King went from being a co-favorite to +900 without even playing last week. But if he leads Miami to a win over Clemson, he will become the new favorite for sure.
King’s odds may have slipped a little because someone else had another stellar performance—Florida’s Kyle Trask (+600). A week after torching Ole Miss for 416 yards and six touchdowns, he threw for 268 yards and four more TDs.
He will need to continue producing at a similar pace in the weeks ahead. But his campaign will be won or lost when the Gators face the Georgia Bulldogs in a few weeks. A win over that defense will certainly solidify his status as a favorite.
Mac Jones (+1400) certainly gave voters something to look at with his 400+ yards, four-touchdown day against Texas A&M. He will likely have another big game this week against Ole Miss. But the following week against Georgia could make or break his campaign.
BYU’s Zach Wilson (+1600) has not played a tough team yet. But when you look at how he’s played, it is not hard to see why. He’s thrown for 232, 392, and 325 yards while completing 72.2, 85.2, and 92.3 percent of his passes.
In three games, he has as many total incompletions as many quarterbacks have every week. But his level of competition will make it hard for him to win no matter how well he plays.
Can the Southern Boys Track Down the Front Runners
Like Wilson, SMU’s Shane Buechele (+2000) will probably not win due to the level of competition he faces in the American. Voters will have to take notice if he has a few games as he did against Memphis last week (474 yards, three touchdowns).
Mississippi State’s KJ Costello (+2500) came back down to the Earth last week after torching LSU. Getting contained by Arkansas, and losing, is not going to do him any favors.
Several skill position guys are having solid seasons and have good odds like Jaylen Waddle (+3000), Chuba Hubbard (+4000), Najee Harris (+4000), and Travis Etienne (+4000). But with the level of play we are seeing out of several quarterbacks this season, they will be hard-pressed to work their way into the conversation.
But one guy who might is Georgia’s quarterback, Stetson Bennett (+4000). He has only played a game and a half so far, and his numbers are not eye-popping. But they are good, and the more comfortable he gets in the starter’s role, the better those numbers will be.
He will have somewhat of a gauntlet to run in the weeks ahead with Tennessee on deck, followed by Alabama, Kentucky, and Florida.
The race may have a definitive leader in Lawrence, but several good candidates are building great resumes behind him if he slips. When the Big Ten starts up in a couple of weeks, the race could get even more interesting. Then there will be the addition of the Pac-12 next month.
Yeah, the race may be shaping up for now, but with so many changes yet to come, there is no telling what it will look like.