This year’s Heisman race felt a lot like last year’s race early on, in that no one really dropped jaws instantly a la Lamar Jackson, Reggie Bush or Johnny Football. It will probably end up going to Bryce Young, just because Alabama will be 12-2/13-1 and his stats will be better than everyone else’s. We’ll all just kind of nod, numb as another Crimson Tide player hoists up the trophy, and try to hold onto the slimmest of hopes that a team other than Bama can win the title.
At least that was the case until Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams showed up. He’s not going to, and rightly shouldn’t, win the Heisman in only seven and a half games — but this race would be a lot more fun if he could.
This is 100 percent recency bias, and you should treat it as such. That said, the Red River Rivalry was the best game of the season thus far, and it’ll be hard to top. Williams replaced Spencer Rattler down 28-7, immediately broke a 66-yard run for a touchdown, and I don’t have the time to take you through every score of a game that ended 55-48, but it’s worth rewatching. I’m not talking highlights; I’m talking the full replay.
If you look at the schedule, and take in account that OU still plays in the Big 12, it’s safe to say Williams will probably post ridiculous stats the rest of the season. He threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns while adding 65 yards and a score on the ground in his first start against TCU last week. The true freshman checks every QB asset box, despite being labeled as a dual-threat, which is almost unfair because when you watch him, he keeps his eyes downfield and uses his legs to extend plays rather than as a crutch. He plays like a faster Josh Allen after Allen figured it out. He also has all the intangibles Rattler doesn’t.
Quick aside on Rattler, because he was wildly hyped: If you can’t put up numbers for Lincoln Riley, then you may not be that good. Whether he goes into the transfer portal or takes a (misguided) leap to the NFL, buyer beware.
The current odds/candidates for the Heisman race, according to MGM, are:
Bryce Young, Alabama, QB +200
Matt Corral, Ole Miss, QB +200
CJ Stroud, Ohio State, QB +800
Kenneth Walker III, Michigan State, RB +1400
Caleb Williams, Oklahoma, QB +2000
The top three all have a loss, and the most fun to watch of the trio, Corral, is hurt. Even if he was healthy, the thought of Lane Kiffin getting recognized for anything makes me dry heave.
Stroud can’t catch Young from a numbers perspective.
Kenneth Walker has put up numbers — 997 yards, 6-plus yards per carry and nine touchdowns — yet managed only 61 yards against the best defense Sparty has faced (Go Big Red!). And he still has to play Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State.
That leaves Young and Williams, and… fuck it, dude, let’s just give it to Williams if OU wins out.
That may sound like a scalding take, but it’s more petty than anything else, because “all Bama, all the time” makes me want to gouge out my eyeballs.