Spring games have come and gone with some of the biggest names in college football exciting fans across the country. Many of the likely title contenders are relying on returning talent like Bryce Young and CJ Stroud, while others may look to transfer names like Caleb Williams and Arik Gilbert to help overcome early-season doubters.
Regardless, this season’s Heisman race is going to be perhaps the most exciting race of the past decade. The lovely folks at DraftKings have released their latest odds with a couple of surprises.
|CJ Stroud (QB)||Ohio State||+250|
|Bryce Young (QB)||Alabama||+350|
|Caleb Williams (QB)||USC||+750|
|DJ Uiagalelei (QB)||Clemson||+2500|
|Dillon Gabriel (QB)||Oklahoma||+3000|
|Jaxson Dart (QB)||Ole Miss||+3000|
|Bijan Robinson (RB)||Texas||+3500|
|Tyler Van Dyke (QB)||Miami (FL)||+3500|
|Kedon Slovis (QB)||Pittsburgh||+4000|
|TreVeyon Henderson (RB)||Ohio State||+4000|
Will a QB Win the Heisman Once Again in 2022?
The unsurprising majority of the top ten is the quarterback position, with an abnormal amount of talent only a year removed from so many blue bloods facing questions with their play-caller. It stands to reason a quarterback will continue to take home the award with only two non-QBs (Derrick Henry and DeVonta Smith) winning since 2010.
Stroud and Young are the clear favorites, as they return to the systems where they thrived a season ago. Young will look to become only the second player to defend the title after throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and scoring a total of 50 touchdowns in 2021.
Meanwhile, Stroud will try to improve on his fourth-place finish, but the loss of Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson makes it unlikely he repeats the high volume, high-efficiency numbers from a year ago (even with Jaxon Smith-Njigba).
Beyond those two, there are several questions. DJ Uiagalelei deserved to be benched last season. Williams, Gabriel, Dart, and Slovis are all transfers. The transfer era is in full swing, but it’s a tall task to ask players to come in and deliver as the best player in the country almost immediately.
Are There Any Longshots Worth Playing?
Those looking for dark horse plays could find a couple of names with +5000 odds or better:
- Will Anderson Jr (LB) – Alabama [+5000]: Finishing fifth last season with an argument that he performed better than Aidan Hutchinson, Anderson has the most hype of a defensive player for this award since Charles Woodson. He enters the year as a clear difference maker and could track down historic feats with another strong campaign.
- Malik Cunningham (QB) – Louisville [ +5000]: Cunningham delivered a highly efficient season in 2021 with 19 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions, good for the 7th best QBR in the nation. Add the fact that he was a 1,000-yard rusher with 20 TD and the Cardinals’ offense could be a surprising weapon this season. Louisville’s schedule is comparatively weak with a couple of high-profile opportunities that could serve as statement games for Cunningham late in the year.