Updated: Nov 24, 2021
The most prestigious honor a player could win in all of College Football is the Heisman Trophy, which is given to the best player in college football of that season. In 2022, we have some quality candidates who are playing exceptional football this season. Some of these candidates include quarterbacks such as Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Oklahoma State’s Caleb Williams, and Michigan State’s running back Kenneth Walker II just to name a few.
Starting off with Bryce Young, the Alabama quarterback put up one of the best statistical performances of his young career against New Mexico State on Saturday, racking up five touchdowns while completing 21-of-23 passes for 270 passing yards, good for a 91% completion rating! Needless to say, Young is creating more separation from his peers as he will continue to try to do just that next Saturday against Arkansa.
Bryce Young stats: 232-of-327 (70.9%), 3,025 passing yards, 33 passing touchdowns, 3 interceptions, 9.2 ypa and two rushing touchdowns
Next up is C.J. Stroud, who is coming off a disappointing performance in the game against Nebraska. Stroud showed up big time against the Purdue Boilermakers, setting a season-high in completion rate (81.6%), hitting on 31-of-38 attempts. He also posted the third-best passer rating of his career (204.8), almost doubling the season average allowed by Purdue coming into the game. The Buckeyes would go on to rout the Boilermakers in a 59-31 victory, but what really bumped up Stroud in the Heisman Trophy watch are the five touchdowns he threw against one of the best defenses in college football in the Boilermakers who rank 12th in opponents passer rating (113.1) and sixth in completion rating (53.97%).
Simply put, Stroud decimated the Boilermakers' defense, and if the game against the Boilermakers was any indication of what’s to come, don’t be surprised if he holds up the Heisman Trophy in December.
C.J. Stroud stats: 214-of-311 (68.8% completion rate), 3,036 passing yards, 30 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, 9.76 YPA
Next candidate we have is Michigan State’s running back, Kenneth Walker II. Walker rushed for 172 yards and two touchdowns against the Maryland Terrapins last Saturday, helping lead the Spartans to a 40-21 win over the Terrapins, making them one game closer to the Big Ten Championship game.
Week 12 will be Walker’s opportunity to become the Heisman Trophy favorite. Michigan State has slid in the latest top-25 rankings and their CFB Playoffs hopes are on the line against Ohio State, as the Buckeyes have the 14th best run defense in the country, allowing just 107.3 yards per game and 3.1 yards per rush. If Walker could come up big against one of the best defenses in the country and help his team secure the win, his chances of capturing the Heisman will definitely increase amongst the voters.
Kenneth Walker stats: 1,483 rushing yards, 6.5 YPC, 18 total touchdowns
Another quarterback candidate is Pittsburgh Panthers' Kenny Pickett. Pickett delivered an astonishing performance against the North Carolina Tar Heels in their 30-23 overtime victory, throwing for 346 yards and three touchdown passes. This was Pickett’s fourth consecutive 300-yard game and his seventh on the season, completing just 58% of his passes, which was his season low. Overall, Pickett came up clutch against a surging Tar Heels team that is starting to find its rhythm as he now helps improve the Panthers' record to (8-2), and is competing to be amongst the finalists for the Heisman Trophy.
Kenny Pickett stats: 260-of-385 (67.4%), 3,517 passing yards, 32-3 TD-INT ratio, 84.4 QBR, 9.1 YPA and four rushing touchdowns
The fifth candidate and fourth quarterback on our list is Ole Miss’s Matt Corral. Corral faced an intimidating task last Saturday, and that was going up against one of the best defenses in the country in the Texas A&M Aggies. Corral got hurt early, leading the Ole Miss Rebels to a 10-0 lead over the Aggies, but the Aggies showed why they’re one of the best defenses in the country by not letting Corral make plays with his legs and containing the Rebels in the red zone.
Corral put up 246 passing yards and a touchdown in a big win over the Aggies, in terms of his Heisman chances, but his struggles against them do put his stats behind Young and Stroud's, with his new Heisman odds at (+500) entering Week 12, which makes him a long shot at this point.
Matt Corral stats: 206-of-309 (66.7%), 2,773 passing yards, 17 passing touchdowns, 2 interceptions, 523 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns
Of course there are other candidates as well such as Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman, and others, but as of now, these are the top five candidates with the best odds to obtain the Heisman, with Young at the highest with (+175) odds.