Caleb Williams is the favorite no more. Four weeks into the season, the reigning Heisman winner slips to second place in our poll, replaced by fellow Pac-12 quarterback Michael Penix, Jr.
As has been the case most of the season, all of our top five contenders are quarterbacks, with four of the top five coming out of the Pac-12. If the Pac-12 really is on the way out, they sure are going out with some fireworks.
2023 LWOCFB Heisman Rankings Week Four
It was more of the same for our contenders this week, with Penix and Williams putting up big numbers again and Jordan Travis continuing to lead Florida State’s resurgence. Bo Nix entered the chat with a big-time performance against a Top 25-ranked Colorado. Penix and Williams are separating themselves at the top, with Nix and Travis in a separate second group, and Shedeur Sanders fading away after the defeat at the hands of Nix and the Ducks
Here are the top five Heisman Rankings for Week Four from our panel of 15 voters.
1. Michael Penix, Jr., Washington (69) [Previous: 2 (55)]
Michael Penix, Jr. takes over the top spot in our poll this week thanks to another dazzling display against Cal. Penix went 19-25 on limited duty with another four touchdowns and only 304 yards through the air. That’s his first game this season with under 400 yards passing. The Huskies quarterback leads the nation in passing yards and touchdowns and is second in overall quarterback rating.
He’ll get a little bit of a test this Saturday against Arizona. The Wildcats defense is allowing just over 300 total yards per game (315) and under 20 points per game. Another big game performance and Penix will be settling into a Heisman showdown with Caleb Williams looming in five weeks.
2. Caleb Williams, USC (61) [Previous: 1 (64)]
It must be tough being the reigning Heisman winner. USC quarterback Caleb Williams fell from the top spot after going 20-31 with 322 yards passing and three touchdowns against Arizona State. It’s obviously more about Penix than Williams this week, but Williams does get another showdown with Shedeur Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes this weekend.
Most of America will want to see if Colorado can bounce back, so plenty of eyes will be on Boulder early Saturday morning. He’ll be measured by what Nix and Oregon did last week, along with what Penix does to Arizona later in the evening. It might be hard being the reigning Heisman winner, but that’s a problem every other player on this list would like to have.
3. Bo Nix, Oregon (36) [Previous: NR (0)]
Oregon’s absolute thrashing of Colorado and Heisman hopeful Shedeur Sanders vaulted Bo Nix right into the thick of our Heisman poll. Still a distant third, there are a lot of interesting storylines revolving around Nix. Could Oregon finally get past their postseason letdowns and make a run at a national championship? Are the Ducks going to send the Pac-12 out as winners? And, of course, a Nix Heisman would be another brutal blow to the masochist fan base that is Auburn.
There’s a long way to go this season, but Nix gets showdowns with both of the players above him and has a path to the national title. It’s certainly not out of the question.
4. Jordan Travis, FSU (30) [Previous: (4) (28)]
Jordan Travis led Florida State’s comeback win against Clemson this weekend and that was good enough to keep him in fourth place in our poll, barely hanging on to the second pack of contenders. Travis’ numbers weren’t great, again, at 56.8% completion with 289 yards and two touchdowns, but he was playing against a much stronger defense than most of the other contenders.
The Seminoles are off this weekend, and his next marquee game will not be until late October against Duke. Travis will need to finish the season strong against Duke, Miami, and Florida if he wants to make a serious run to New York.
5. Shedeur Sanders, Colorado (8) [Previous: 3 (53)]
My how the mighty have fallen. Colorado rode a wave of excitement into Eugene and left humbled. Although, that doesn’t discount what Sanders and company have done for the first three games of the season. While Sanders has essentially dropped to the “Others Receiving Votes” category, he’s still second in the nation in passing yards and he’s got head-to-heads with Williams (USC) and Cam Ward (Washington State) remaining on the schedule. A good showing against those two contenders and a strong showing against Utah could get Sanders an invite to New York.
Others Receiving Heisman Rankings Week Four Votes:
Drake Maye, North Carolina (7), Quinn Ewers, Texas (7), Cam Ward, Washington State (2), Jayden Daniels, LSU (1), Marvin Harrison, Jr., Ohio State (1), Brock Bowers, Georgia (1), Luther Burden, III, Missouri (1).