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Sunday, May 29, 2022

2022 Heisman Trophy Odds: The Pac-12 Has a Frontrunner and Loads of What-Ifs

Now that the handicapped has a firm control over who is playing next season, the updated 2022 Heisman Trophy handicaps have been released.

The four betting favorites – and eight of the top-14 candidates – are products of the Pac-12 footprint, but only one actually plays in the conference.

This issue surfaced last week in a preview of the top 2023 NFL Draft prospects on Hotline, but it’s worth repeating here using a different vehicle (Heisman):

The impact of the Pac-12’s recruitment over several cycles will have an impact on the stellar performance next season, when many of the West Coast’s elite prospects for schools in other leagues will blossom.

The only Heisman frontrunner in a Pac-12 uniform is USC quarterback Caleb Williams, who spent the previous season with Oklahoma.

Everyone else at the top tier of contenders grew up in the footprint of the convention and left home, either straight out of high school or through a transfer portal.

Here is the list, with constraints; Players associated with the Pac-12 footprint are in italics.

(Odds sourced from DraftKings and updated as of May 3.)

2.5/1: Ohio State QB CJ Stroud (Rancho Cucamonga HS)
3.5/1: Alabama QB Bryce Young (Mater Dei HS in Santa Ana)
8/1: USC QB Caleb Williams
18/1: Texas TB Bijan Robinson (Salpointe HS in Tucson)
25/1: Clemson QB DJ Uigalelli (St. John Bosco HS at Bellflower)
25/1: Ohio State WR Jackson Smith-Njigba
30/1: Mississippi QB Jackson Dart (USC Transfer to/from Kaysville, Utah)
30/1: Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel
35/1: Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke
40/1: Pittsburgh QB Caydon Slovis (USC transfer/from Scottsdale)
40/1: Florida QB Anthony Richardson
40/1: South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler (Pinnacle HS in Phoenix)
40/1: Ohio State TB Trayvon Henderson
40/1: Alabama LB Will Anderson

This list outlines the twins’ need for a big season for Williams:

It will help USC’s ascent under Lincoln Riley — the entire convention needs the Trojans to be nationally relevant — and it will take the Heisman spotlight shone from West Coast stars elsewhere. (Gabriel of Oklahoma is from Hawaii, by the way.)

Otherwise, next season the Pac-12’s talent run will certainly reach an unprecedented degree, perhaps at home.

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*** Send suggestions, comments and suggestions (privacy guaranteed) to pac12hotline@bayareanewsgroup.com or call 408-920-5716

*** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

*** The Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed by or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.

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