Heisman Trophy Odds, Power Rankings for Week 4: Penix Stands As Leader of Pack
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
Another week is in the bag! Now looking ahead to Week 4, games get even more important for the Heisman race, as teams get set to begin conference play.
From now on, games mean more, individual performances are magnified and history can be written at any given moment.
The non-conference slate gave us a good indication of who's expected to be in contention for the 2023 Heisman trophy, but now we've reached the time where those folks begin to separate themselves from the pack.
Odds as of Tuesday, September 19 and via BetMGM.
QB Shedeur Sanders
Colorado Buffaloes · +1800
It's time to add a ticket on Shedeur Sanders, if you're not holding one already. Good teams find ways to win games they have no business winning, and that's exactly what the Colorado Buffaloes did last week in double overtime against Colorado State.
Now, I understand it's an incredibly steep, uphill climb for Colorado to reach the pinnacle of the college football world; the team was projected four wins this season for a reason. But the reality of the fact is Deion Sanders' team is on the cusp of being a top-15 squad and gets quite the test this weekend against Oregon.
A bet on Shedeur this week is a more of a bet that Colorado finds a way to defeat Oregon and keeps its nationally-loved win-train moving.
So far this season, Sanders is second in the country in passing yards (1,251) and packages that with a 10-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He's been spectacular, and a ticket at this point in the season is worth holding, even if it's a sprinkle.
QB Quinn Ewers
Texas Longhorns · +600
These odds don't excite me whatsoever — especially for Quinn Ewers, who's really had two underwhelming games so far this season.
But it's too hard to ignore the fact that things line up beautifully for the Texas Longhorns to be in contention for a Big 12 title and a possible spot in the College Football Playoff.
Ewers didn't follow up his Alabama performance with a highlight-reel game against Wyoming; only 131 passing yards were put up by Ewers against the Cowboys' defense in Week 3.
However, there are some positives to takeaway. Ewers racked up three more total touchdowns to his tally and has yet to turn the ball over this season.
The win over Alabama remains the biggest win of any player on this list so far, and that will remain true as long as the Tide don't become a .500 ball club.
Texas gets a favorable matchup against Baylor this week to begin Big 12 play. I expect we'll see a bounce back from Ewers' Week 4 performance, and these odds to get even shorter as a result.
QB Caleb Williams
USC Trojans · +350
The third spot in the Heisman rankings has been a familiar home for Caleb Williams this season. And to reiterate to anyone that's new or reading for the first time, the answer is yes, Williams is the best quarterback in the country.
But we're looking for value at this point in the season.
At 7/2 odds, there's not a lot that's getting me tingly about Williams' value in the Heisman race right now. But I would be a fool to not acknowledge how well Williams has played this season.
In three games, Williams is completing over 78% of his passing attempts, with 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. Williams is averaging 292.7 yards per contest, as well.
USC gets to start Pac-12 play with Arizona State before having every set of eyes in the country on it in Week 5 against Colorado.
I don't think we'll see these odds ever get to 5/1, but if they do, it would be an all-out hammer for Williams to repeat.
QB Sam Hartman
Notre Dame Fighting Irish · +900
Sam Hartman and Notre Dame have had the luxury of an extra game under their belt, but that hasn't done a lot for his odds just yet.
With his current odds sitting at 9/1, there's plenty of value for Hartman here.
The Irish's offense has scored north of 40 points in every contest, and ND sits firmly inside the AP Top 10.
This weekend is a massive opportunity for Hartman to solidify himself in the Heisman race, as No. 6 Ohio State comes to South Bend in a highly-anticipated top-10 matchup. Should the Irish win this ball game, those odds will be much shorter when this article is written once again a week from now.
So far this season, Hartman has thrown for 13 touchdowns and zero interceptions and currently holds the sixth-highest quarterback rating in the country.
QB Michael Penix Jr.
Washington Huskies · +450
My frontrunner for the Heisman put up another statistical banger this weekend, as the Huskies of Washington blew out Michigan State, 41–7.
Here's the deal for Michael Penix Jr. non-believers: through three games, Penix leads the country in passing yards, has the most touchdown passes per game of any quarterback to play three games and has the Huskies sitting at No. 8 in the AP Poll.
There are plenty of roadblocks and hurdles later on in the year, but right now, Washington looks legit. Penix will continue to put up video game numbers – it's kind of hard not to with his wide receiver corps.
It's only a matter of time before these odds reach that of Williams, and by then, it'll be too late. Getting Penix at almost 5/1 is a steal at this point in the season.