The 2022 college football season is nearing the final stretch, and the Heisman race is taking shape. So which players are the frontrunners? This latest weekend of college football action provided some clarity among the candidates.
Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)
The 2021 Heisman Trophy winner was favored to go back-to-back for the first time since 1974 and 1975. However, it has been a disappointing season for Bryce Young and the Crimson Tide. Alabama lost on Saturday to LSU in a heartbreaker. Young overcame a sluggish first half to finish the game 25 for 31 for 328 passing yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He led Alabama to a go-ahead touchdown with five minutes to go, then led a game-tying drive to force overtime, and finally, a go-ahead touchdown in overtime. His play should have been enough for victory, but LSU came out on top 32-31.
The loss dropped Alabama to 7-2 and a near-impossible path to the College Football Playoff. Young currently sits at fourth in the SEC with 2,234 passing yards. He has a 63% completion rate, 19 touchdown passes, and four interceptions. Unfortunately, he won’t come close to his 4,872 passing yards and 47 touchdown performance from 2021.
Max Duggan (QB, TCU)
TCU is just one of four programs sitting at 9-0 at this point in the season. This has moved the Horned Frogs to number four in the country in the AP Poll. Quarterback Max Duggan is a significant reason why the program is seeing success. He leads the Big 12 with 2,407 passing yards, 24 touchdown passes, and just two interceptions.
Duggan was not even supposed to be the season-opening starter. He replaced Chandler Morris, who was injured in Week One. Max Dugan has a chance to lead TCU to their first-ever Big 12 title and possibly a College Football Playoff berth. If he does, he should be a Heisman finalist.
Caleb Williams (QB, USC)
Williams is playing at a very high level for the 8-1 USC Trojans. He is ninth in the nation with 2,742 passing yards and has 28 passing touchdowns compared to just one interception. Williams can do damage on the ground too. He has 287 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
The Oklahoma transfer had himself a game against California this weekend. He passed for 360 yards and four touchdowns in the 41-35 victory. As USC continues to win games, Williams could be a Heisman finalist.
Hendon Hooker (QB, Tennessee)
Hendon Hooker’s loss against Georgia might affect the rankings, but he should still be a favorite. Hooker is third in the SEC with 2,533 passing yards, and his 21 passing touchdowns rank second in the conference. Add in his 355 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Hooker is a huge reason Tennessee is 8-1.
Hooker finished the game against Georgia 23-for-33 passing the ball for 195 yards and one interception. It was Tennessee’s first loss of the year, but it was against the top defensive team in the SEC. The loss makes Tennessee’s record against top-25 teams 5-1, which is still impressive.
C.J. Stroud (QB, Ohio State)
C.J. Stroud led Ohio State to a win on Saturday against Northwestern in a sloppy game. Unfortunately, the poor weather conditions led to Stroud’s worst game of his season. He completed just 10 of 26 passes for 76 yards and no touchdowns. However, Stroud did rush six carries for 79 yards in a game where Ohio State fell behind the Northwestern Wildcats 7-0 in the first half.
Stroud’s recent struggles could affect him in the current Heisman standings, but there is a lot of football left. The Ohio State QB still leads the Big 10 with 2,453 passing yards. He has a 68% completion rate, 29 touchdowns, and four interceptions. With the Buckeyes at 9-0 and likely in the College Football Playoff, keep C.J. Stroud on your Heisman watch list.
The season is nearing its end, but there is still a lot of meaningful football left. The Heisman Trophy race is still wide open. A week ago, Hooker seemed the clear favorite for what he and Tennessee have accomplished, but the loss against Georgia changes that a little. C.J. Stroud probably is the favorite for now, but stay tuned.
Who is your current Heisman favorite? Let us know in the comments. Also, check out our latest college football coverage!