Heisman Trophy Power Rankings for Week 9: Ohio State’s CJ Stroud Makes Big Jump

Heisman Trophy Power Rankings for Week 9: Ohio State’s CJ Stroud Makes Big Jump article feature image

Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: CJ Stroud.

It was a funky week in college football, and it didn't really provide too many highlights across the board. However, it did give us one of the most memorable offensive games in recent memory for all of the wrong reasons.

Illinois upset Penn State in nine overtimes, making it the longest game in college football history — and the under still hit. Now, that game won't give us anything to talk about when it comes to the Heisman race, but it does give us a bit of an idea how weird this week really was.

Let's dive into this week's edition of my power rankings.


Ohio State QB CJ Stroud (+300)

This is Stroud's first time in my Heisman power rankings this season, and it's safe to say he deserves a spot. The redshirt freshman has a rocky start, but Stroud has recovered finely following the loss to Oregon.

His season numbers absolutely back up the Heisman talk — 21 touchdowns and three interceptions is impressive no matter who you are or what level you play at.

In the last three games, Stroud has thrown 14 touchdowns and zero interceptions, and the Buckeyes have scored more than 50 points in each game. It's safe to say Ohio State is clicking on all cylinders at the moment, and it definitely makes Stroud's job much easier knowing running back TreVeyon Henderson is going to make plays alongside him.

For the time being, Stroud is a good option to take if you're looking for a hedge over at WynnBET.


Pitt QB Kenny Pickett (+200 Top 3)

If you had Pitt defeating Clemson by two scores coming into the season, you likely don't even need to read this article because it's clear you can see the future and already know who's going to win the Heisman in December.

However, if you're like everyone else who did not expect this at the beginning of the season, this game tells you two things:

  1. First, Clemson's struggles are absolutely real.
  2. Kenny Pickett has the resume of a Heisman winner.

Now, the latter still comes with some tasks that must be accomplished before it can be etched in stone. Pickett and the Panthers must continue to win, and the only way this Heisman candidacy can be taken seriously is if Pitt wins the ACC this season.

Pickett's numbers look like video game stats this year. He currently sits at 23 touchdowns and just one interception.

He'll have the highest Heisman odds for the rest of the season of any player on this list, so if you're not sold yet, there will still be value down the road.


Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III (+400 Top 3)

Walker and Michigan State were idle this weekend, but there was not enough movement from players behind him to really bump him that far down the list.

Walker did lose the nation's lead in rushing yards but will likely regain it against Michigan this week. It's likely Walker eclipses 1,000 yards on the ground with his next rushing attempt as well.

This weekend is a massive opportunity for the Spartans' running back. Michigan State's top-10 matchup against Michigan will be a make-or-break game for the Heisman hopeful.

If you're buying Walker's candidacy, you're watching this game very closely. The fans in East Lansing will be rocking this weekend and it will provide a great chance for Walker to cement his Heisman moment if you're into that type of thing.

college football-heisman trophy-power rankings-betting-week 7-kenneth walker iii
Nic Antaya/Getty Images. Pictured: Kenneth Walker III.


Alabama QB Bryce Young (+150)

If you've followed this piece for the duration of the season, you would notice there's a constant critique of Young's play so far when compared to other Heisman hopefuls — the running game.

Young silenced me and others who share that belief with two rushing touchdowns against Tennessee in Week 8. It's a part of Young's game that's been missing so far this year, but to be fair, a part of Young's game that Alabama hasn't necessarily needed.

Regardless, Young leads the group right at +150 on the Heisman futures board over at WynnBET, so if you believe he's the guy for you, the opportunity to double your money still stands.

On the season, Young boasts the third-most passing touchdowns of any player in the country with 26. He has just three interceptions as well and averages at 306.6 passing yards per game.


Ole Miss QB Matt Corral (+300)

Nothing has changed from last week.

While the LSU game this past weekend didn't provide the statistical numbers Corral has been used to this season, he didn't hurt his stock.

No matter what happens with the coaching situation in Baton Rouge, LSU is never an easy team to beat easily, but the Rebels did just that this weekend. A slow start was overcome by two touchdowns from Corral, one through the air and one via his legs.

Corral was asked to throw the ball only 23 times and completed 18 of his attempts for a 78.3% completion percentage.

Again, the season statistics speak for themselves. With 25 total touchdowns, Corral is putting up very impressive numbers against stiff competition.

He's listed at +300 at WynnBET. The fact that you can get him at plus odds this late in the season is reason enough for me to think there's still value in taking him.

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