2023 Heisman Trophy odds: USC quarterback Caleb Williams favored to become second repeat winner
Every year after the College Football Playoff national championship game, we take a look at the newly released odds to win the following season's Heisman Trophy. Ohio State running back Archie Griffin is the only two-time winner of the sport's biggest individual award, doing so in 1974 and 1975. USC quarterback Caleb Williams was the 2022 winner and has opened as +550 favorite at Caesars Sportsbook for 2023.
How often do opening favorites win the Heisman? It's quite rare. The favorite at this time last year was Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, the 2021 winner. He had a fine 2022 campaign but missed one game with an injury and the Crimson Tide lost two of his starts overall. Voters essentially punished Young for those walk-off defeats at Tennessee and LSU.
That's why it's so hard to repeat -- the winners have such an unreasonable standard to live up to the next season if they return to school. Young will not be back in Tuscaloosa for his senior season and could be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
For a point of comparison, the betting favorite entering the 2021 campaign was Oklahoma's Spencer Rattler at +550, but he struggled so badly early that year that he was replaced by Williams and eventually transferred to South Carolina (he's now +3000 for the 2023 Heisman). Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence were the favorites entering 2020, and the award was won by Tide wideout DeVonta Smith, who was a +10000 long shot.
Williams is the early favorite to go first in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Oklahoma transfer led the Trojans to an 11-3 record, albeit one that ended in disappointing fashion. USC lost the Pac-12 title game to Utah, which knocked the team out of playoff contention. That was followed by a stunning 46-45 defeat to Tulane in the Cotton Bowl after the Trojans led by 15 points with about four minutes left. Williams was great, throwing for 462 yards and five touchdowns vs. Tulane, but he can't play defense too. Overall, he threw for 4,537 yards and 42 TDs with just five picks. He also rushed for 10 more scores. The 2023 Trojans open Aug. 26 vs. San Jose State.
North Carolina QB Drake Maye and Florida State QB Jordan Travis are each +1000 as the ACC looks for its first winner since Louisville's Lamar Jackson in 2016. Maye, who might push Williams as the top pick in 2024, threw for 4,321 yards, 38 TDs and seven picks as a redshirt freshman and rushed for seven scores. The Tar Heels have not had a Heisman winner. Florida State has had three, all quarterbacks, most recently Jameis Winston in 2013.
The players who finished in spots 2-6 in the 2022 Heisman voting are all going pro: TCU's Max Duggan, Ohio State's CJ Stroud, Georgia's Stetson Bennett, Tennessee's Hendon Hooker and Young. Finishing seventh was Michigan running back Blake Corum, and in a minor surprise he will return to Ann Arbor for his senior season. He finished seventh in the '22 voting and is +4000 for 2023.
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