Dec 9, 2023; New York, New York, USA; LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels speaks to the media during a press conference in the Astor ballroom at the New York Marriott Marquis before the presentation of the Heisman trophy. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

LSU QB Jayden Daniels wins Heisman Trophy

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels won the Heisman Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding college football player on Saturday night in New York.

Daniels beat out three other finalists, including Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.

It was the latest in a growing list of honors for Daniels. He was selected as the Walter Camp national player of the year and he won the Davey O’Brien Award, which is given annually to the nation’s top quarterback.

In 12 games this season, Daniels completed 72.2 percent of his passes for 3,812 yards, 40 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per carry.

Daniels became the third player in LSU history to win the Heisman Trophy. He joined halfback Billy Cannon, who won the award in 1959, and quarterback Joe Burrow, who won in 2019.

LSU head coach Brian Kelly was in attendance to see his quarterback win the trophy. Daniels is in his second season with the Tigers after transferring from Arizona State, where he played his first three years.

Several former Heisman Trophy winners including Robert Griffin Jr., Tim Tebow and Desmond Howard also participated in the ceremony. Twenty-two previous winners took the stage before Daniels was announced as the latest honoree.

Including Daniels, seven of the past eight Heisman Trophy winners have played quarterback. The lone exception during that span is DeVonta Smith, who won the trophy as an Alabama wideout in 2020.

–Field Level Media

Dec 1, 2023; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix (10) warms up before a game against the Washington Huskies at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Heisman finalists: Jayden Daniels, Marvin Harrison Jr., Bo Nix, Michael Penix

LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., Oregon quarterback Bo Nix and Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. were announced Monday as the four finalists for the 2023 Heisman Trophy.

The winner will be revealed this Saturday at the annual ceremony in New York.

Daniels, in his second season guiding the LSU offense after three years at Arizona State, racked up 3,812 passing yards, 40 touchdowns and just four interceptions in 12 games while rushing for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had an eight-touchdown game (six passing, two rushing) against Georgia State on Nov. 18.

Harrison, the son of Indianapolis Colts legend Marvin Harrison, racked up 67 catches for 1,211 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns in 12 games. He added one rushing touchdown.

Harrison is the first wide receiver from Ohio State to be a Heisman finalist and just the second wide receiver to be a finalist in the past seven years. The other was Alabama’s DeVonta Smith, who won the trophy in 2020.

Nix transferred to Oregon in 2022 after three seasons at Auburn. In 13 games he threw for 4,145 yards, 40 touchdowns and only three interceptions. He added 228 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, one year after running for 14 touchdowns.

Penix threw for 4,218 yards, 33 touchdowns and nine picks in leading Washington to a 13-0 record and the No. 2 seed in the College Football Playoff. The Huskies beat Nix and Oregon twice head-to-head, including in the Pac-12 championship game last Friday.

Penix is the only finalist whose team reached the CFP. He played parts of four seasons at Indiana before his move to Seattle.

Among the players who missed the cut were Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams, last year’s Heisman winner, and Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, who had 20 passing touchdowns and seven rushing scores before going down for the season with a leg injury Nov. 18.

–Field Level Media

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix is hoisted into the air after a touchdown as the No. 6 Oregon Ducks take on the No. 16 Oregon State Beavers Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

Heisman moment? Bo Nix favored with final hurdle ahead

The Heisman Trophy is Bo Nix’s to lose — at least in the eyes of oddsmakers.

Nix led Oregon to the Pac-12 Championship Game with a 31-7 dismantling of rival Oregon State last Friday. It was the Ducks’ sixth consecutive rout since suffering their lone loss of the season at Washington on Oct. 14.

Oregon earned a rematch against the Huskies this Friday. It will be at a neutral site in Las Vegas, and with a win the Ducks are highly likely to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Meanwhile, LSU’s Jayden Daniels had to rest his Heisman case with yet another impressive performance in Saturday’s 42-30 comeback win over Texas A&M. However, the three-loss Tigers won’t play again until their bowl game, well after the Heisman ballots have been cast.

Daniels was the -130 favorite at BetMGM last week, but those odds shifted to +120 by Monday. He was leapfrogged by Nix, who is the -150 favorite after being offered at +140 last week.

The story is very similar at DraftKings, where Nix has moved from +130 to -160 in the past week while Daniels shifted from -125 to +130.

Friday night at Allegiant Stadium will be anything but a victory lap for Nix.

Washington enters the game 12-0 despite a string of extremely close victories. The winner likely goes to the CFP, the loser to a secondary bowl game. A second loss this season for Nix could also swing the door back wide open for Daniels in the Heisman picture.

Also in Nix’s way is his counterpart on Friday.

Huskies quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has battled through accuracy issues of late but remains in the Heisman picture — albeit as a longshot. Penix is +1600 at BetMGM and +1500 at DraftKings. Could a clutch performance that sends Washington to the CFP sway enough minds among Heisman trophy voters?

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+150/-160)
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (+120/+130)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (+1600/+1500)
Carson Beck, QB, Georgia (+15000/+15000)
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (+15000/+20000)

LSU coach Brian Kelly continued to stump for Daniels after he threw for four touchdowns while accounting for 355 yards of total offense against Texas A&M. That brought his season totals to 4,946 total yards and 50 touchdowns.

“It’s a top-10 defense in the country,” Kelly said. “You throw for four touchdown passes against that defense, you put up 42 points … it sure as heck can’t hurt you. I think he strengthened his case for the Heisman.”

However, Daniels will not have an opportunity to impress the voters further. The Tigers are not in a conference championship game, which presents a hurdle in itself for Daniels’ Heisman hopes.

Tim Tebow, Robert Griffin III and Lamar Jackson have each won Heismans while playing for three-loss teams since 2000. Only Jackson, with 51, accounted for more total touchdowns than Daniels has this season.

That said, Nix has compiled his own outstanding resume as he leads the nation with 3,906 passing yards and a 78.6 completion percentage. He’s also behind only Daniels in total yards (4,065), touchdowns (43) and yards per game (338.8).

Nix will have an opportunity to improve on all of those marks Friday night.

“Bo’s special, man. It has been a lot of fun coaching him,” Oregon coach Dan Lanning said. “I know we aren’t done yet.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA; Heisman Trophy candidate LSU Tigers quarterback Jayden Daniels (5) warms up before their game against the Georgia State Panthers at Tiger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Dobbins-USA TODAY Sports

LSU’s Jayden Daniels jumps into Heisman driver’s seat

Another monster day on the stat sheet has propelled LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels into the current driver’s seat for the Heisman Trophy.

Daniels went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season and tied Joe Burrow’s single-game school record with eight touchdowns in the Tigers’ 56-14 beat-down of Georgia State on Saturday night.

The senior is now the -130 favorite at BetMGM and the -125 favorite at DraftKings. Daniels’ performance on Saturday night helped him leapfrog Oregon’s Bo Nix and Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., who had been ahead of him last week when Daniels was being offered at +400 and +380 by the two books.

Daniels has thrown for 3,577 yards with 36 touchdowns and four interceptions this season. He has added another 1,014 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (-130/-125)
Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+140/+150)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (+600/+600)
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (+3000/+4000)
Carson Beck, QB, Georgia (+3300/+6000)

Daniels, Nix, Penix, Southern California’s Caleb Williams and Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy have all spent time as the Heisman Trophy favorite over the course of the season.

The question remains whether Heisman voters will bestow the honor upon a player on a three-loss team. All three of LSU’s losses have come against ranked teams — Florida State, Ole Miss and Alabama — but the Tigers will close out their regular season with Saturday’s game against unranked Texas A&M.

Meanwhile, Nix and Penix are on a collision course for a potential rematch in the Pac-12 championship game. Penix threw a game-winning touchdown against Oregon at home on Oct. 14. A rematch would provide them with a final opportunity to create a “Heisman moment” before final ballots are cast.

LSU coach Brian Kelly is stumping for Daniels, whom he said is the best player he has ever coached.

“I think, right now, the way he is playing and the decisiveness in the way he is taking over games he is the best player,” Kelly said Saturday night. “I would say that because the numbers are reaching levels that nobody thought he would touch. He tied Joe Burrow’s record tonight.

“I would say he’s the best.”

The Georgia State game came after an historic performance the week before against Florida. Daniels racked up an SEC-record 606 yards of total offense while becoming the first player in FBS history to pass for 350 yards and rush for 200 yards in the same game.

“I’m chasing being great each and every week,” Daniels said Saturday. “I know I still have a long way to go. But, you can’t take games off because if you do, you can get beat.”

He has one final chance to distance himself before conference championship week, and he will get to do so at home in a noon kickoff against the Aggies.

Daniels has clearly left an impression with the public. He leads all players with 58 percent of the money wagered at DraftKings backing him to win the Heisman. He also leads the way with 13.3 percent at BetMGM.

“People are starting to see how assertive and decisive of a football player he is,” Kelly said.

–Field Level Media

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix throws out a pass as the No. 6 Oregon Ducks host the USC Trojans Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore.

Does Bo know Heisman? Oregon’s Nix newest leader

Most figured a Pac-12 quarterback would factor heavily into the 2023 Heisman Trophy picture, but few could have predicted the race might come down to a conference championship showdown between Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr.

In a Heisman Trophy race that has seen numerous QBs take the lead with oddsmakers, Nix is now the +100 favorite at BetMGM and the +120 favorite at DraftKings. That’s after throwing four touchdown passes in Oregon’s 36-27 victory over Southern California on Saturday night.

That was the fourth loss in five games for the Trojans, all but ending the repeat Heisman hopes for quarterback Caleb Williams, who entered the season as the heavy favorite.

Nix is currently trailed by Washington’s Penix, who is being offered at +275 and +300 by the two books.

Penix got the better of Nix last month, throwing a game-winning touchdown pass in the Huskies’ 36-33 win at home. The teams appear to be on a collision course for a rematch in the Pac-12 championship game, which could determine which makes the College Football Playoff — and who takes home the Heisman.

Nix has thrown for 3,135 yards with 29 touchdowns against only two interceptions through 10 games, while Penix has racked up 3,533 yards through the air with 28 touchdowns and seven picks.

Close behind them is LSU’s dynamic quarterback Jayden Daniels, who is being offered at +400 by BetMGM and +380 by DraftKings.

The top non-quarterback is Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who is at +450 at both books. With no quarterback able to put a vice-grip on the Heisman yet, Harrison has thrust himself into the picture with 59 catches for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns while adding another score on the ground.

Meanwhile, Big Ten rival J.J. McCarthy of Michigan has been going the other direction through no fault of his own. After edging into the lead just three weeks ago, McCarthy is now a +10000 longshot at BetMGM and has just slightly better +9000 odds at DraftKings.

The Wolverines are 10-0 and coming off a win at Penn State, but Michigan is also embroiled in a sign-stealing investigation. That has resulted in coach Jim Harbaugh being suspended from the sidelines for the final three regular-season games, and McCarthy’s Heisman hopes have been collateral damage.

The junior has thrown for 2,194 yards and 18 TDs against just three interceptions. However, Michigan’s ground game has also taken charge, with McCarthy not making a single official pass attempt in the second half against the Nittany Lions.

Another quarterback who has seen his odds plummet is Jordan Travis, who has guided No. 4 Florida State to a 10-0 start. He hasn’t thrown an interception in his past three games, but Travis is coming off a modest 265-yard passing day against unranked Miami.

He also lacks the signature wins of the other marquee quarterbacks. The Seminoles, who have faced only one ranked team since their season-opening win against LSU, play host to North Alabama this weekend before their annual game at Florida and then the ACC championship game, likely to be against Louisville.

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon (+100/+120)
Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (+275/+300)
Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (+400/+380)
Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State (+450/+450)
Carson Beck, QB, Georgia (+3000/+4000)
Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State (+4000/+4500)
Jalen Milroe, QB, Alabama (+5000/+5000)
J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan (+10000/+9000)

–Field Level Media

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) throws a pass during a Bedlam college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023.

Bedlam burial? Sooners’ title chances, Dillion Gabriel’s Heisman hopes plummet

Consecutive defeats have knocked Oklahoma out of the College Football Playoff picture, and have all but sunk the Heisman Trophy hopes of quarterback Dillon Gabriel.

Sporting a 7-0 record just two weeks ago, Oklahoma followed a loss at Kansas with a 27-24 loss in the final rivalry game against Oklahoma State on Saturday. After the game, DraftKings moved the Sooners (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) from +4000 to +20000 to win the national title.

Gabriel completed 26 of 37 passes for 344 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and also had a mishandled snap that led to a fumble in the fourth quarter. The Cowboys recovered and went on to kick a field goal to go up 27-21.

Among the top five Heisman favorites at +1000 just two weeks ago, Dillon entered Saturday at +3500. Those odds skyrocketed to +8000 after the loss to Oklahoma State (7-2, 5-1).

Meanwhile, Sooners running back Ollie Gordon continued his surge. After rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, his Heisman odds shifted from +5000 to +3000. Gordon, who had only 19 carries through the Cowboys’ first three games, has now rushed for 1,115 yards and 10 touchdowns over the past six.

The matchup was the final scheduled meeting between the Bedlam rivals in a series that has been played every year since 1910. The Sooners will move to the Southeastern Conference next season.

Oklahoma State has won five consecutive games and remains tied for first place in the Big 12.

–Field Level Media

Michigan Wolverines quarterback J.J. McCarthy (9) celebrates after a touchdown against the Michigan State Spartans during second-half action at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023.

J.J. McCarthy noses ahead as Heisman Trophy favorite

Michael Penix Jr.’s perch atop the Heisman Trophy favorites was shortlived — for now, at least.

As we’ve seen in this year’s Heisman Trophy race, the picture can change dramatically from week to week.

Penix emerged as the new favorite following Washington’s win over Oregon on Oct. 14. The Huskies remained undefeated on Saturday, albeit in ugly fashion, in a 17-5 win over one-win Arizona State in which Penix threw two interceptions and no touchdowns.

Earlier in the day, Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw four touchdowns in the Wolverines’ 49-0 dismantling of rival Michigan State.

That was enough to elevate McCarthy to Heisman favorite status at most sportsbooks. McCarthy is +240, ahead of Penix (+320) and LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels (+340) at DraftKings. That also includes at BetMGM, where he is now +240 ahead of Penix at +300. Penix does remain third at the book, having been backed by 11.2 percent of the money wagered on the Heisman winner.

It has been a steady rise for McCarthy, who opened as a +2500 longshot and has still drawn just 6.0 percent of the money. However, he has continued to climb throughout the season in which McCarthy has thrown for 18 touchdowns against three interceptions while several other marquee stars have tumbled.

That includes reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams, whose quest to join Archie Griffin as the only two-time winners hit a wall with Southern Cal’s consecutive losses to Notre Dame and Utah. Williams, who opened as the +500 favorite to repeat, is now +10000 — tied for 10th at the book.

Williams remains BetMGM’s third biggest liability, following Colorado teammates Shedeur Sanders and Travis Hunter, whose Heisman stocks have plummeted amid the Buffaloes’ three losses over their past four games. Sanders is now +25000 while Hunter was removed from the board after missing multiple games due to injury.

Others who remain firmly in the Heisman picture included Daniels (+375), Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis (+800) and Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel (+1200). The top non-quarterback is currently Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., who is being offered at +2000 along with Oregon quarterback Bo Nix.

Also off the board this week is Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, who is expected to miss multiple weeks with a shoulder injury.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; USC Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams (13) runs the ball in the second quarter against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

USC’s title chances, Caleb Williams’ Heisman hopes tumble after loss

Caleb Williams’ quest for a historic repeat Heisman Trophy campaign might have all but ended in a three-interception performance in Southern Cal’s 48-20 loss at Notre Dame on Saturday night.

DraftKings released updated Heisman odds after the Trojans’ loss, with Williams shifting from +230 to +2000. USC’s title hopes also took a major hit, with the Trojans moving from +2500 to +7500.

Williams is trying to become only the second player in history to win multiple Heisman Trophies, joining Ohio State’s Archie Griffin (1974-75). Williams, who came in with 22 touchdown passes and one interception, threw three interceptions and was sacked six times by the Fighting Irish.

He’s still in the Heisman running, but has fallen into a tie for seventh at the book.

The new heavy favorite is Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., who threw a game-winning touchdown with 1:38 remaining to lead the No. 7 Huskies to a 36-33 victory over No. 8 Oregon on Saturday. Penix is now the -150 Heisman favorite at DraftKings, followed by Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel (+800).

The third-shortest odds belong to Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy (+1000), followed by Florida State’s Jordan Travis (+1200), LSU’s Jayden Daniels (+!500) and North Carolina’s Drake Maye (+1600).

Williams is now tied with Oregon’s Bo Nix, who was 33-of-44 for 337 yards and two touchdowns in the Ducks’ first loss of the season. Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman saw his Heisman odds shorten from +6500 entering the day to +5000 after the upset victory.

Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders, who shot into Heisman contention after two wins to begin the season, has plummeted to +20000 with the Buffaloes having lost three of their last four games.

–Field Level Media

Sep 23, 2023; Eugene, Oregon, USA; Oregon Ducks defensive end Jordan Burch (1) sacks Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) during the first half at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Shedeur Sanders’ Heisman hopes plummet following blowout loss

Shedeur Sanders’ rapid rise up the Heisman Trophy odds took an abrupt U-turn following Colorado’s blowout loss at Oregon on Saturday.

After entering the weekend among the top 10 Heisman favorites at +1800 at both BetMGM and DraftKings, Sanders’ odds plummeted to +8000 at both books. He’s now outside of the top 20 and likely out of Heisman consideration after throwing for a season-low 159 yards and one touchdown on 23-of-33 passing in Eugene.

That touchdown pass came with 2:51 remaining to help the Buffaloes avoid being shut out by the Ducks.

The result was a significant win for the books. Sanders had been backed by a whopping 53 percent of the Heisman money and 58 percent of the total bets at DraftKings last week, while he was also the biggest liability at BetMGM, where he had drawn 20.3 percent of the bets.

Conversely, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. continued his steady rise after engineering the Huskies’ 59-32 rout of California.

Penix is now the co-favorite at BetMGM, where he is being offered at +350 along with Southern California quarterback Caleb Williams. The next closest odds belong to Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers, with Oregon signal-caller Bo Nix rising to +1200 after throwing for 276 yards against Colorado.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis is +1300 after the Seminoles won in overtime at Clemson, while Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman is at +1600 after the Fighting Irish’s last-second loss to Ohio State.

The Heisman race could well come down to a Nov. 4 showdown between the Trojans and Huskies in Los Angeles. Penix also has other marquee games against Oregon and Nix on Oct. 14 along with a closing three-game stretch after the Trojans that includes Utah, Oregon St. and the Apple Cup rivalry against Washington State.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) prepares for a snap against the Colorado State Rams during the first half at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Wevers-USA TODAY Sports

Heisman Trophy: Michael Penix Jr. rising while public backs Shedeur Sanders

Caleb Williams continues to gain very credible threats in his march towards a potentially historic Heisman Trophy repeat.

Southern California’s star quarterback remains the favorite, but several other signal-callers are closing the gap with oddsmakers and the public.

That begins with Washington’s Michael Penix Jr., who has thrown for a national-best 1,332 yards to go with 12 touchdowns against a lone interception during the Huskies’ 3-0 start. The sixth-year senior is now being offered at +500 by BetMGM and +550 by DraftKings.

That is behind only Williams, who is +350 and +380 at the two books, respectively. Penix has also drawn the second most Heisman money at DraftKings with 11 percent.

Colorado’s Shedeur Sanders leads the way, having been backed by a whopping 53 percent of the money and 58 percent of the total bets at the book at +1800. He is also the biggest liability at BetMGM, where Sanders leads with 20.5 percent of the Heisman money and 20.3 percent of the total bets while his odds have shrunk from +12500 to +1800.

However, a significant injury to Sanders’ teammate, Travis Hunter, was to BetMGM’s gain. Hunter, who is now off the Heisman board with a lacerated liver injury expected to sideline him for three weeks, has been the book’s second biggest liability while drawing 14.7 and 18.3 percent of the action, respectively.

While Sanders has shot up the Heisman odds during Colorado’s 3-0 start, he remains just the sixth favorite at BetMGM. Following Williams and Penix is Texas’ Quinn Ewers (+600), Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman (+900) and Florida State’s Jordan Travis (+1100).

Williams does remain third with 9 percent of the money backing him to join Archie Griffin (1974-75) as the only two-time Heisman winners. He has done nothing to hurt his cause, throwing for 878 yards with 12 touchdowns and no picks thus far.

However, Heisman votes have long proven to be adverse to handing the award to the same player twice. And in Williams’ immediate rear view mirror is Penix.

Washington is ranked No. 8 in the AP Top 25, and Penix is coming off a standout performance on the road at Michigan State, where he completed 20 of 25 passes for 375 yards — in the first half. He exited with 473, third most in school history.

The Heisman race could well come down to a Nov. 4 showdown between the Trojans and Huskies in Los Angeles. Penix also has other marquee games against 10th-ranked Oregon and Bo Nix on Oct. 14 along with a closing three-game stretch after the Trojans that includes No. 11 Utah, at No. 14 Oregon St. and the Apple Cup rivalry against No. 21 Washington State.

–Field Level Media