The odds are stacked against an Ohio State player winning the Buckeyes' first Heisman Trophy in 17 years.
A third of the way through the college football season, the oddsmakers have shifted the Heisman Trophy odds a bit while one familiar name still remains at the top of the list. In terms of the Buckeyes, it looks to be Kyle McCord or bust in terms of college football's most prestigious individual award. Even then, the quarterback still has plenty of making up to do to even be a Heisman finalist.
McCord (+3500) currently has the 10th-best odds to win the Heisman, with Devin Brown (+4786), Marvin Harrison Jr. (+6600) and TreVeyon Henderson (+8000) far behind, according to Action Network's consensus odds.
|QB CALEB WILLIAMS, USC||+350|
|QB MICHAEL PENIX JR., WASHINGTON||+350|
|QB QUINN EWERS, TEXAS||+600|
|RB JAYDON BLUE, TEXAS||+853|
|QB BO NIX, OREGON||+1000|
|QB JORDAN TRAVIS, FLORIDA STATE||+1300|
|QB JAYDEN DANIELS, LSU||+1800|
|QB SAM HARTMAN, NOTRE DAME||+2200|
|QB DILLON GABRIEL, OKLAHOMA||+2500|
|QB KYLE MCCORD, OHIO STATE||+3500|
|QB J.J. MCCARTHY, MICHIGAN||+3500|
|QB TYLER VAN DYKE, MIAMI (FLORIDA)||+3500|
McCord has put himself in the Heisman conversation by improving as the season has gone on, especially after being named the full-time starter prior to Week 3's win over Western Kentucky. Through the first four games of the season, the junior has completed 74-of-113 passes (65.5%) for 1,055 yards, six touchdowns and one interception. In the two games that he has not split reps with Brown since being named the guy, McCord has completed 40-of-60 passes (66.7%) for 568 yards and three touchdowns.
The odds were always stacked against Henderson and Harrison when it came to winning the Heisman Trophy. Since the Heisman is essentially a quarterback’s award – 19 of the past 23 Heisman winners have been quarterbacks dating back to the 2000 season – they were going to be forced to put up huge numbers this season to even have a chance. Add in the fact that Ohio State has a loaded group of skill players, and it was always going to be tough for any Buckeye besides their quarterback to potentially win the Heisman this season.
A third of the way through the season, Henderson has run for 295 yards and five touchdowns on 44 carries while Harrison has 17 catches for 336 yards and three touchdowns. Both have been among the best players in the country at their respective positions, but they’ll need to put up monster numbers over the next two months to get back into the Heisman conversation.
Ohio State’s starting quarterback has been a Heisman finalist in four of the last five seasons, with C.J. Stroud earning trips to New York in each of the past two seasons. Even though McCord hasn't yet put up Heisman-caliber numbers through the first four games of the season, never count out the signal-caller in Ryan Day's offense to be a Heisman candidate, at least until proven otherwise.
The Buckeyes haven't had a Heisman winner since 2006, when Troy Smith brought the award back to Columbus. Since Archie Griffin won back-to-back trophies in 1974 and 1975, the Buckeyes have had just two Heisman Trophy winners: Smith and Eddie George (1995).
USC quarterback Caleb Williams, the reigning Heisman winner, is looking to join Griffin by becoming the second two-time Heisman Trophy winner. Through four games, Williams has looked the part of a Heisman candidate once again, completing 75-of-101 passes (74.3%) for 1,200 yards and 15 touchdowns. He also has 71 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns while leading USC to a perfect 4-0 record thus far.
Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. has absolutely dominated through the first third of the season, making him a current co-favorite to win the Heisman. The quarterback of the most lethal air attack in college football so far, Penix has completed 103-of-138 passes (74.6%) for 1,636 yards, 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in four games. While there's still plenty of season left, Washington is also off to a 4-0 start with its offense on a historic pace.
2019 LSU through 4 games: Combined score 231-93— Max Vrooman (@UWDP_maxvroom) September 26, 2023
2023 UW through 4 games: Combined score 199-68
2019 Joe Burrow through 4 games: 1,520 yds, 17 TD, 2 INT
2023 Michael Penix through 4 games: 1,636 yds, 16 TD, 2 INT
Former Buckeye Quinn Ewers currently has the third-best odds for the Heisman after leading the Longhorns to a Week 2 win at Alabama. Four games into his sophomore season, Ewers has completed 71-of-112 passes (64.3%) for 1,033 yards and nine touchdowns. He has also rushed for 34 yards and three touchdowns. If Ewers and Texas continue to roll through the Big 12, he could be in New York at season's end.