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Heisman Rankings Week Seven

A seismic shift in this week's LWOCFB Heisman Rankings Week Seven as one west coast QB takes over the top spot and another drops to the bottom.
heisman trophy odds

Purple reigns supreme in this week’s Last Word on College Football Heisman Rankings. A big win in Seattle coupled with a disappointing loss in South Bend have completely reshaped the Heisman outlook. The two dueling quarterbacks in the weekend’s best game both had their Heisman moment chances. But it was Michael Penix, Jr. who took a commanding lead in our poll. Penix was a unanimous selection among our voters as the Heisman favorite this week. Oregon’s Bo Nix took advantage of the spotlight, though, solidifying his second-place spot even in the loss.

2023 LWOCFB Heisman Rankings Week Seven

There’s a clear pecking order in our rankings, with Penix well in the lead. Nix is a solid second, with three players jockeying for the last three positions.

Here are the top five Heisman Rankings for Week Six from our panel of 15 voters.

1. Michael Penix, Jr., Washington (75) [Previous: 2 (52)]

Michael Penix, Jr. led the Washington Huskies to their biggest win in a generation last Saturday. In doing so, Penix took a commanding hold on the 2023 Heisman race. Penix still leads the nation in passing yards per game (383.5), is third in quarterback rating (189.90), and fourth in passing touchdowns (20) with only three interceptions on the season.

And it likely won’t slow down any time soon for the feel-good story of college football. The Huskies get Arizona State and Stanford over the next two weeks — games that Penix shouldn’t see in the fourth quarter. He then gets three top-20 teams in USC, Utah, and Oregon State with a chance to lock down the sport’s most prestigious award.

It’s Penix’s to lose at this point.

2. Bo Nix, Oregon (45) [Previous: 3 (28)]

While Oregon’s Bo Nix Heiman moment was kicked wide right, he still managed to impress our voters enough to be slotted second in our poll. With a nation-leading 79.2 completion percentage, coupled with a 17-to-1 Touchdown-to-interception ratio, and a 178.24 quarterback ranking, one must wonder how Dan Lanning’s curious fourth-down decision might come back to affect Nix’s Heisman chances. With a win last Saturday, Nix and Penix are most likely swapped in this poll. 

Nix will get more chances to impress voters. The Ducks get Utah in two weeks, USC two weeks after that, and 12th-ranked Oregon State the final week of the season. Who knows, Oregon could conceivably get two more shots at Washington — one in the Pac-12 Championship and then again, potentially, in the College Football Playoff. This Heisman race isn’t over yet.

3. Drake Maye, North Carolina (29) [Previous: 4 (19)]

North Carolina’s Drake Maye finally breaks the stranglehold that West Coast quarterbacks have had on the top three spots in this poll. After a slow start to the season, the Tar Heel signal called has hit his stride in mid-season. After torching Syracuse for over 400 yards, he threw for four touchdowns last Saturday against Miami. 

Maye will get a chance to pad his stats against Virginia, Georgia Tech, and Campbell before he faces another Top 25 team. Still, it’s going to be hard to catch Penix and Nix. Especially with the two contenders right on his trail. 

4. Jayden Daniels, LSU (28) [Previous: (NR) (6)]

For the first time all season, LSU’s Jayden Daniels makes an appearance in the top five of our poll. The Tigers quarterback leads the nation in total yards accounted for per game, second in passing touchdowns, and third in total passing yards. With an uncharacteristically weak defense in Baton Rouge, it’s Daniels who is holding the ship together for the Tigers. It’s no stretch to think LSU could be 3-4 without Daniels, as both Arkansas and Missouri had their chance to beat Brian Kelly’s squad.

5. Caleb Williams, USC (26) [Previous: 1 (64)]

The luck ran out for Caleb Williams and the Trojans on Saturday. After flirting with absolute disaster with Colorado and Arizona, the Trojans got dismantled by the Irish in South Bend. Williams’ odds of winning a second consecutive Heisman took a hit, too. Williams dropped from first to fifth in our poll. 

But not all is lost. He does get a showdown with both Penix and Nix at the end of this season, with games against two other Top 25 teams (Utah and UCLA) on the schedule as well. Finishing strong and a couple of poor performances by the leaders might get Williams back in the conversation — but that Trojan defense is going to have to help him out for that to happen.

Others Receiving Heisman Rankings Week Seven Votes:

Jordan Travis, FSU (12), Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma (7), Shedeur Sanders, Colorado (3).

Heisman Rankings Week Seven
Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


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