Heisman Trophy power rankings: USC’s Caleb Williams leads pack

With five weeks of the college football season in the books, a handful of players have started to separate themselves from the pack.

The Heisman Trophy, presented to the most outstanding player in college football, is arguably the most prestigious award in all of sports. 

Caleb Williams reacts after winning the Heisman Trophy

USC’s Caleb Williams won the Heisman Trophy last year. (Todd Van Emst/Heisman Trust Pool Photo via USA TODAY Sports/File)

The Heisman Trophy has been handed out every year since 1935, with the famous pose of the trophy known throughout the world.

One player will have his name etched in the college football record books on Dec. 9, 2023, forever remembered as one of the best to ever play the game.

Let’s take a look at the top four players with the best odds after Week 5 to take home the 2023 Heisman Trophy, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

Caleb Williams, USC Trojans – +200 

Caleb Williams is looking to become the first player to win back-to-back Heismans since Archie Griffin accomplished the feat in 1974 and 1975.

And he’s off to one heck of a start in his campaign to do so.

Through five games, Williams has thrown for 1,603 yards, 21 touchdowns and just one interception. Williams’ 21 touchdowns leads the country, five more than the QB in second place.

Against Colorado in Week 5, Williams was spectacular, completing 30 of 40 passes for 403 yards and tied a career-high with six touchdowns.

Caleb Williams warms up

USC quarterback Caleb Williams is looking to become the first player to win back-to-back Heismans since Archie Griffin accomplished the feat in 1974 and 1975. (Dustin Bradford/Getty Images/File)

“He always plays that way,” Colorado head coach Deion Sanders said of Williams after the game, according to CBS Sports. “I haven’t seen him play badly. He had some throws I’m sure he wants back, [but] he is a flat-out baller. He is a difference-maker. It was a pleasure for me to play against him and his head coach. It was fun, it really was. Sorry, it didn’t look like it.”

While USC’s defense continued to be a concern after allowing Colorado back in the game in the second half, the Trojans needing to win high-scoring affairs will only help Williams’ Heisman chances.

The Trojans schedule the rest of the way is not easy, with matchups against Notre Dame, Utah, Oregon and Washington.

Michael Penix Jr., Washington Huskies – +325

The second Pac-12 quarterback to make the list, Michael Penix Jr. has been lights-out in his second season in Washington. 

“As we are approaching the middle of the college football season, the Heisman Trophy competition is wide open, but two standout Pac-12 quarterbacks are separating themselves from the rest of the field in reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams (+200) and talented left-handed quarterback Michael Penix Jr. of Washington (+325),” Caesars Sportsbook college football lead Joey Feazel told Fox News Digital.

Penix, who spent the first three years of his career with the Indiana Hoosiers, has the Huskies undefeated and ranked No. 7 in the country.

Penix leads the nation in passing yards (1,199), is tied for second in touchdown passes (16) and has thrown just two interceptions on the year. Penix is completing 74.7% of his passes with an average of 11.2 yards per pass, just behind Williams (11.4).

Michael Penix Jr. throws against Arizona

Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. leads the nation in passing yards (1,199), is tied for second in touchdown passes (16) and has thrown just two interceptions on the year. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/File)

While Washington managed to beat Arizona in Week 5 on the road, the Huskies’ offense failed to score 40 points for the first time this season.

The Wildcats’ defense focused on limiting big plays from Penix and the Washington offense, with Penix regularly using his checkdowns.

“They were playing it safe and making us earn it, so naturally we hit the checkdowns,” Washington coach Kalen DeBoer said. “We know that’s our style (big plays), but it’s not always going to work out that way.”

Penix finished the night with 363 passing yards but failed to get into the end zone. Penix had thrown at least three touchdown passes in Washington’s first four games.

The Huskies have a bye week in Week 6 before a massive game against No. 8 Oregon in Seattle.

Quinn Ewers, Texas Longhorns – +750  

Texas finally appears to be “back,” and Ewers is a big reason why with the annual Red River rivalry game against No. 12 Oklahoma next up on the Longhorns’ schedule. 

Ewers will be playing in his second “Red River Showdown” after throwing four touchdowns in last year’s matchup, a 49-0 victory over the Sooners.

“After the top two favorites, we have Quinn Ewers of Texas (+750), who will be facing off against Dillon Gabriel (20/1) and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Rivalry on Saturday,” Feazel told Fox News Digital. “Ewers and Texas have already notched a big win against Alabama in Week 2 and can certainly make a case to be a true contender with a win on Saturday. Gabriel can also make his presence known against a very talented Texas defense.”

Quinn Ewers warms up before Kansas

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers will be playing in his second “Red River Showdown” after throwing four touchdowns in last year’s matchup, a 49-0 victory over the Sooners. (David Buono/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images/File)

Ewers stats aren’t as gaudy as Williams’ for Penix’s, but the sophomore QB has his team 5-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country in the Longhorns’ last year in the Big 12.

Ewers has thrown for 1,358 yards and 10 touchdowns, rushing for five more scores on the ground. The sophomore has been able to limit the turnovers, throwing just one interception through five games.

Oklahoma is the last remaining ranked team on the schedule for Texas, which has eyes set on a College Football Playoff berth.

Bo Nix, Oregon Ducks – +900

The Ducks are flying high with Nix under center, averaging the second-most yards and points per game in the country.

Nix has hit the apex of his career in his fifth season, his second in Eugene. He’s thrown for 1,459 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception.

Against Stanford in Week 4, Nix threw for 290 yards and four touchdowns as the Ducks scored 40+ points for the fourth time this season.

Bo Nix warms up before Stanford

Oregon quarterback Bo Nix has hit the apex of his career in his fifth season, his second in Eugene. He’s thrown for 1,459 yards, 15 touchdowns and just one interception. (Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images/File)

Oregon still has four ranked teams on the schedule as it heads into its bye week before playing No. 7 Washington.

“After Ewers, we have a slew of talented quarterbacks, starting with Bo Nix (9/1). Oregon plays Penix Jr. and Washington next week, which will likely serve as an elimination game for one of these quarterbacks,” Feazel told Fox News Digital in part. “It should be a very back-and-forth game that will have national championship implications as well as Pac-12 championship implications.”

Others in the mix:

Sam Hartman, Notre Dame – +1400

Jordan Travis, Florida State – +1400

J.J. McCarthy, Michigan – +1600

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