top of page

Week 7 Heisman Report: We know Michael Penix is the favorite - but who can realistically catch him?

Credit: Washington Athletics

Every Monday we take an updated look at the Heisman Trophy race, with our Heisman Trophy stock watch.

But while the goal is usually to give you the "bigger picture" of who is trending up and who is trending down, this week it's different.

After a Saturday for the ages, Michael Penix Jr. is your overwhelming Heisman favorite.

The question now, can anyone catch him.

Let's take a look, but before we do - here are the current favorites in the DraftKings Sportsbook

  • Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington (-140)

  • Dillon Gabriel, QB, Oklahoma (+1000)

  • JJ McCarthy, QB, Michigan (+1000)

  • Jordan Travis, QB, Florida State (+1200)

  • Jayden Daniels, QB, LSU (+1600)

The Favorite: Michael Penix Jr. (-140)

Thanks to the Washington Huskies massive win against the Oregon Ducks, Michael Penix Jr. took over the top spot in the Heisman campaign and - while there's a long season ahead - it does feel like its his award to lose. He helped the Huskies as he gutted out a win after taking some big hits against Oregon. He had 302 passing yards and four passing touchdowns and was the biggest reason why Washington won on Saturday.

And Saturday is just part of what has been an incredible year in Seattle so far. He’s second in the entire country in passing yards at 2,301 passing yards and he has 20 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 72.1 completion percentage on the year.

He’s the key cog for a pass-happy Washington offense that also has a great receiving corps with Rome Odunze being the headliner at 736 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. He’s followed by Ja’Lynn Polk who has 586 receiving yards, five receiving touchdowns and Jalen McMillan who has 311 receiving yards and three receiving touchdowns.

This is Penix’s award, and it’ll be up to everyone else to come and take it from him. The Huskies are back in action this Saturday night when Arizona State visits Seattle.

The Challengers:

Dillon Gabriel (+1000): The Oklahoma Sooners had the week off after a wild win in the Red River Rivalry against the Texas Longhorns. That Red River game was Gabriel's breakout performance to date, with 285 passing yards and one passing touchdown, and he rushed for 113 yards with one rushing touchdown as well. He also had a Heisman moment when he led a last-minute drive for the game-winning touchdown.

Meanwhile, on the season he's thrown for 1,878 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, two interceptions, and a 72.3% completion percentage. His season statistics are extremely efficient, and he’ll get a chance to improve those even more when the Sooners return to action against UCF at home. Gabriel is a contender but might have an issue with the Big 12 being very down overall this season.

Jordan Travis (+1200): Jordan Travis had a very efficient game against Syracuse this past weekend where the Seminoles won 41-3. He had 284 passing yards, one passing touchdown, zero interceptions, in a relatively ho-hum win over the Orange.

Travis’ season stats have also been efficient with him having 1,482 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, one interception, and a 63.2% completion percentage. He also has 40 carries, 114 rushing yards, and four rushing touchdowns on the ground so far.

Travis is a very good dual-threat quarterback and that’s going to get him noticed by voters no matter what. The Seminoles have a big game against Duke this weekend and it will be a big opportunity for Travis because the Blue Devils have played very well on defense so far this season.

Jayden Daniels (+1400): Daniels has carried the Tigers this season when the defense hasn’t completely held up their end of the bargain. That included Saturday, where tossed for 325 yards and three touchdowns, in a game where he finally didn't have to solely carry the Tigers to victory.

On the season, Daniels has 2,294 passing yards, 22 passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and a 73.1% completion percentage for the Tigers. While the 5-2 Tigers have been somewhat disappointing, this is a team that could easily have another loss or two on their resume without Daniels' greatness.

He has a chance to put-up numbers against Army this upcoming weekend.

Caleb Williams (+2000): Caleb Williams looked human for the first time this season on Saturday against Notre Dame. He had under 200 passing yards at 199 and he had one passing touchdown, three interceptions, and a 62.2% completion percentage. It was easily Williams’ worst game of the season and maybe his career, and continued a trend where it feels like Williams is - at times - playing hero ball for the Trojans.

Still, on the year, Williams’ statistics are video game-like. He has 2,021 passing yards, 21 passing touchdowns, four interceptions, and a 70% completion percentage.

Williams is probably the best overall player in college football, but a loss like this might be what does him in for winning the Heisman in back-to-back years. He’s already facing an uphill battle because winning the award twice has only happened once. He needed to be almost perfect this entire season and with a loss like this it really hurts his chances. He might still get invited to new York, but the chances of him winning it took a big hit.

Follow Jake Faigus on Twitter - @Jake_Faigus


bottom of page