What’s the latest update regarding the 2023 Heisman Watch, and the betting odds for each top competitor? There’s still a group of veteran college QBs who’ve separated themselves at the top, but new names are joining the crowd behind them.
2023 Heisman Watch: Michael Penix Jr. Maintains the Lead While Rankings Move Behind Him
After Week 10 of the college football season, Washington QB Michael Penix Jr. is the 2023 Heisman odds leader on DraftKings, with odds of +140 to win the award.
It’s no surprise that Penix was able to keep the lead for the 2023 Heisman watch in Week 10. This week, he went into Pasadena and outscored a Caleb Williams-led USC offense, passing for 256 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception and running for a third score.
Behind Penix, Oregon QB Bo Nix has entered the second-place spot after a six-touchdown outing against California. He carries odds of +200. Nix is behind Penix in the team achievements department with a head-to-head loss, but his play this season, both through the air and on the ground, has been truly spectacular.
Nix and Penix are the front-runners for the 2023 Heisman Trophy at this point. Florida State QB Jordan Travis and Michigan QB J.J. McCarthy are tied for third place at +800. And there’s a new face at fifth overall in 2023 on the Heisman watch: Georgia QB Carson Beck.
Beck currently has +1200 odds to win the award after throwing for over 250 yards and two touchdowns in a win over 12th-ranked Missouri.
The top non-quarterbacks in the running include Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr. (+1800), Oklahoma State RB Ollie Gordon (+5000), Michigan RB Blake Corum (+12000), Notre Dame RB Audric Estime (+15000), LSU WR Malik Nabers (+15000), and Texas RB Jonathon Brooks (+15000).
2023 Heisman Odds Race Still Leaves Plenty of Unknown
Some weeks, we learn how needlessly volatile and elastic the Heisman odds can be after each game. This week is one of those weeks.
McCarthy was the 2023 Heisman odds leader as recent as two weeks ago, and was neck-and-neck with Penix coming out of Week 8. Now, there’s a sizable gap between the two, and we still don’t know some very crucial details.
It’s somewhat indicative of how statistics-driven the award can be — at least for players with a big enough media footprint. McCarthy didn’t play poorly in Week 10. He passed for 335 yards, and his Wolverines beat Purdue 41-13. But he also didn’t throw for any touchdowns while Penix and Nix lit up the scoreboard.
It’s not a dichotomy that warranted such a move in the opposite direction for McCarthy, especially when he still has big Heisman-implication games against Penn State and Ohio State on deck. But the Heisman odds watch is inherently imperfect.
Having said all this, the door has opened for Nix once again — not just because of his own play, but also because of losses across the Pac-12 conference.
When the Ducks first lost in a nail-biter to Penix and Washington, they lost standing in the race to make it to the Pac-12 title game. But fast forward to today, and they’re right back in second place in the Pac-12.
Utah is now 7-2, and 4-2 in the conference. USC is now 7-3, and 5-2 in the conference. Oregon State is now 7-2, and 4-2 in the conference. Meanwhile, Washington and Oregon are atop the standings, at 6-0 and 5-1 apiece in conference play.
Even if one of Washington or Oregon loses a game with three games remaining in regular season play, they appear destined for a rematch on the Pac-12 title grounds.
That game will decide the Pac-12 champion. It will decide the Pac-12 CFB playoff attendee. And it could very well decide the Heisman Trophy winner.
With so much on the line in that prospective matchup, all eyes will be on Penix and Nix, to see who rises to the challenge and leads their team to victory, against overwhelming odds.
To be clear, both teams need to finish the job in these final three weeks to get there. But Washington plays Utah, Oregon State, and Washington State. Oregon plays USC, Arizona State, and Oregon State.
Oregon vs. USC is the only major risk of defeat in that grouping, and even with that loss, Oregon would still make the championship game, with a head-to-head win over Utah.
Last time they played, both quarterbacks rose to the challenge. Penix threw for 408 yards and two scores. Nix threw for 279 yards and two scores, and rushed for 59 yards and a third touchdown. That game went to the final seconds, but someone had to win.
Last time it was Penix. But the book is still unwritten for Pac-12 and Heisman supremacy. And both Penix and Nix have positioned themselves to be a part of the final battle.
It’ll be an epic struggle that pits two redemptive heroes of the college football world against one another. Penix, who fought through injuries to become one of the most feared gunslingers on the circuit. And Nix, who climbed out from behind his father’s shadow at Auburn and carved out his own legacy out west.