Heisman Trophy Race Muddled Again, LSU LB Makes Surprising Vault Into Race

Just when it looks like the Heisman Trophy race will whittle its way into a definitive top two or three players, crazy things happen on the field. Although the top four haven’t changed much since last week, according to oddsmakers, the rest of the field has seen players move up and down, in and out of the race.

The biggest jump this week was LSU freshman linebacker Harold Perkins Jr., who seemed to play on another level in Saturday’s 13-10 win at Arkansas that clinched the SEC West for the Tigers and a date with the Georgia in the SEC Championship on December 3.

Perkins had an LSU record four sacks in the game along with a total of eight tackles and a forced fumble. When the speedy Arkansas quarterback Malik Hornsby looked to scoot out of the backfield on a scramble, Perkins always seemed to be even faster, tracking down the quarterback.

LSU Linebacker Harold Perkins Jr.
Harold Perkins Jr. #40 of the LSU Tigers celebrates a sack during the first half against the Mississippi Rebels at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2022 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Perkins, who was named the Walter Camp FBS Defensive Player of the Week for his game, has entered the top 15 Heisman Trophy candidates, according to the sportsbook Fanduel.com. Perkins’ odds are +50000, which means a $100 bet right now would win $50,000 if he were to go on and win the trophy awarded to college football’s most outstanding player.

Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud continues to lead the pack at +150, followed by Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (+400). Stroud has led every week from preseason until now with the exception of one week when Hooker led. That was the week after Tennessee upset Alabama.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young had been in the top two or three until the Tennessee game but has seen his stock steadily drop. Young, who won the trophy last year, is at +10000, even after a come-from-behind win at Ole Miss last week. Young was at +4000 just a week earlier despite an overtime loss at LSU.

Michigan running back Blake Corum is currently third. Michigan and Ohio State will meet in the final regular-season game on November 26 in Columbus, Ohio. The winner will move on to the Big Ten Championship game while the loser won’t get a championship weekend for another outing to woo voters.

North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye has wowed fans this year and has the Tar Heels on the cusp of an ACC championship. USC quarterback Caleb WIlliams will likely see his stock soar should the Trojans beat crosstown rival UCLA this weekend and a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game.

Here are this weekend’s odds on Sunday night (according to FanDuel).

C.J. Stroud +150
Hendon Hooker +400
Blake Corum +500
Drake Maye +500
Caleb Williams +1200
Stetson Bennett +1400
Max Duggan +5000
Bo Nix +10000
Jayden Daniels +10000
Bryce Young +10000
Brock Bowers +20000
Jalin Hyatt +20000
Chase Brown +25000
Israel Abanikanda +25000
Marvin Harrison Jr. +50000
Harold Perkins Jr. +50000

The Heisman Trophy is awarded annually to the most outstanding player in college football. Voting is comprised of 870 media members spread across six geographic regions, 58 living Heisman winners and one ballot from a collective fan vote.

Heisman voters get to choose their top three candidates (in order) for the most-coveted individual trophy in college football.

Heisman Trophy finalists for 2022 will be named on Dec. 5, which is the same day as the voting deadline. The ceremony will take place Saturday, Dec. 10 when the winner is announced.

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