With six weeks of the college football season in the books, the Heisman Trophy race is seeing some movement.
After Week 5, USC quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams was the betting favorite to become the first back-to-back winner of the award since Archie Griffin accomplished the feat in 1974 and 1975.
But as Week 7 of the college football season approaches, there’s a new leader in the clubhouse, a player who will have the eyes of the sport directed his way on Saturday.
Let’s take a look at the top four players with the best odds after Week 6 to take home the 2023 Heisman Trophy, according to Caesars Sportsbook.
Even with a bye week, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has moved up the rankings and is the favorite to win the 2023 Heisman after six weeks of the college football season.
Despite having the week off, Penix Jr. is second in the country in passing yards (1,199) and is tied for second in the country with 16 passing touchdowns.
Washington has the top offense in the country (569.4 yards per game) and third in the country in points (46).
The Huskies face No. 8 Oregon on Saturday with major College Football Playoff implications on the line.
It’s hard to knock Williams after he’s led USC to a 6-0 record, but he’s no longer the favorite to win back-to-back Heisman trophies.
Williams threw for his fewest yards and touchdowns of the season against Arizona, throwing for 219 yards and one score.
“The Heisman Trophy is all about who is the best player. Who is the most impactful player? Obviously, Caleb and USC came out with the win, but it wasn’t impressive. It wasn’t a blowout. Caleb did miss a couple throws. He still probably is the best quarterback in the league right now. If he would go to the draft tomorrow, he’s going to be the No. 1 pick,” Caesars Sportsbook college football lead Joey Feazel told Fox News Digital.
“But there’s a correlation in the Heisman Trophy as being the best team, and USC doesn’t look like the best team in the Pac-12 at the moment.”
Despite not having major success through the air, Williams ran for 41 yards and three touchdowns against the Wildcats, including the game-winning two-point conversation in the third overtime.
Williams will have another opportunity to shine in the spotlight on Saturday as USC heads to South Bend to take on Notre Dame for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Oregon quarterback Bo Nix moves up a spot after the Texas loss to Oklahoma knocked quarterback Quinn Ewers out of the Heisman conversation.
In his second season in Eugene, Nix has thrown for 1,459 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception.
The Ducks had a bye week in Week 6 as they prepared for their biggest test of the season when they head to No. 7 Washington.
ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be on campus for the massive showdown that will go a long way in determining the CFP.
“This weekend of games has big implications for the Pac-12, and Heisman being one of them,” Feazel told Fox News Digital. “It could go a multitude of ways. If Caleb Williams and USC come out very strong against their biggest test of the year in Notre Dame, and he shows the part, then he should be the favorite.
“If he has a lackluster game, what I see really happening is, if we see a shootout in this Washington and Oregon game, which is very possible – although these defenses are good as well – then whoever is the winner of that game is going to come out as probably a big favorite and a big separation in this market as we get into this Week 7.”
Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel put himself firmly in the Heisman conversation with his performance against Texas in Week 6. Gabriel had 20-1 odds to win the Heisman entering his first-ever appearance in the “Red River Rivalry.”
Gabriel drove the Sooners down the field in the final minute of the fourth quarter down three, throwing a 3-yard touchdown pass to Nic Anderson with 15 seconds left, defeating the Texas Longhorns, 34-30.
“This is what OU football is all about. This is why I came here, this game. Lot of respect for Texas, they played their butt off,” Gabriel, who transferred from UCF after the 2021 season, said after the game.
Gabriel finished the day 23 of 38 for 285 yards and a touchdown, adding 113 yards and a score on the ground.
Gabriel is commanding the fourth-best scoring offense in college football (45.2 points per game), and he’s sixth in the country in passing yards (1,878) and tied for third in touchdown passes (16).
The Sooners now control their own destiny in the Big 12 and a College Football Playoff berth is a real possibility.
“It’s a very talented Texas team, and Dillon Gabriel looked the part,” Feazel told Fox News Digital. “Obviously, there’s a correlation that goes with the Heisman Trophy that you’re going to be a playoff contender. Oklahoma taking care of Texas put them in that spot, and that’s why we’re seeing Dillon Gabriel, coupled with his good performance, is making his way up the Heisman Trophy odds.”
Others in the mix:
Drake Maye, North Carolina: +1000
Jayden Daniels, LSU: +1400
J.J. McCarthy, Michigan: +1800
Jordan Travis, Florida State: +1800
Brock Bowers, Georgia: +2000