Week 7 saw a huge shakeup in the Heisman Trophy hunt, with several new faces entering the race and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams falling out of the top 5.
1. Michael Penix Jr. (Washington)
The Heisman Trophy voters look at several criteria when they fill out their ballots after conference championship weekend. At the most basic level, voters look at stats, big wins and leadership abilities. Michael Penix Jr. is fourth in the country in passing yards with 2,301 and third in the country in passing touchdowns with 20. When it comes to quality of wins, Penix put up 302 yards and four touchdowns in a win at home against top 10-ranked Oregon. Penix showed incredible leadership as well, leading Washington to touchdowns every time it needed one in the shootout with the Ducks. Penix is now the betting favorite on every platform to win the Heisman Trophy.
2. J.J. McCarthy (Michigan)
The Michigan Wolverines are on a roll, with third-year signal caller J.J. McCarthy at the helm with 1,512 passing yards, 14 passing touchdowns, 160 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. McCarthy boasts a 1.95.9 passer rating, ranking in the top 10 all-time in college football history. The Wolverines have rolled easily past every opponent on their schedule so far, with their closest game being a 24-point win over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. They should get one more tuneup game against Purdue before a date in Happy Valley with a top 10 team: The Penn State Nittany Lions.
3. Dillon Gabriel (Oklahoma)
The Oklahoma Sooners got extra time to celebrate their win over the Texas Longhorns thanks to a Week 7 bye week. Despite not playing, Dillon Gabriel still sits firmly at third in the Heisman hunt with 1,878 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 208 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. The Sooners control their own destiny for both the Big 12 championship game and the College Football Playoff. Their toughest games are in the rearview mirror, but it's assumed they'll have a rematch with the Texas Longhorns for the Big 12 championship. The Sooners return to action this week at home against the University of Central Florida Golden Knights.
4. Jordan Travis (Florida State)
Jordan Travis and the Florida State Seminoles have conquered every challenge before them, sitting at 6-0 on the season and in first place in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Travis has 1,482 passing yards, 13 passing touchdowns, 114 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. Travis and the Seminoles already have a marquee win on the season, trouncing No. 5 LSU 45-24. The Seminoles still have a couple of tests on the season, taking on No. 16-ranked Duke at home on Saturday. Florida State still controls its own destiny as one of two undefeated teams in the ACC and appears to be on a collision course with Drake Maye and North Carolina.
5. Jayden Daniels (LSU)
Jayden Daniels should have been higher on the Heisman rankings a long time ago. Without Daniels, LSU might have lost to Arkansas and Missouri. Instead, Daniels is third in the country in passing yards with 2,294 and second in the country with 22 passing touchdowns. He also has 515 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns, both second-most for LSU in a season. Daniels and the Tigers should be able to roll at home on Saturday against the Army Black Knights. After that, the Tigers get their bye week before heading to Tuscaloosa for the annual showdown with Alabama.
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