For this week's edition of the Heisman watch, we see some flipping around and dropping off. There were some peak performances from top contenders as well as some struggles. We will be looking at the top five for this week along with some others in the conversation. As the weeks go by, the race starts to get even clearer.
1. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State (+140)
While Wisconsin is not a great team, Stroud passed his first Big Ten test with flying colors, lighting up the stat sheet and the scoreboard. It wasn't the best game from the top quarterback in 2023 draft class, as he made some questionable throws and was intercepted once on a bad overthrow. But his overall body of work and performance he showed in the game won't be overshadowed by the few mistakes. Against the Badgers, Stroud threw for five touchdowns and 281 yards on 17-of-27 passing. This week, Ohio State has an easy matchup against Rutgers before traveling to East Lansing next week.
2. Caleb Williams, QB, USC (+600)
It was a very off day for Williams most of Saturday night, as he missed a number of throws that he would normally make. There were a couple drops as well, but overall he only converted 16-of-36 pass attempts. On one play, he had top receiver Jordan Addison wide open down the field for an easy touchdown, but never saw him and USC had to punt. But, at the end of the day, Williams led the game-winning touchdown drive in which he found Addison in the end zone 21 yards out with just over a minute remaining. The Trojans held on and won, 17-14, to avoid the upset to Oregon State.
3. Will Anderson, EDGE, Alabama (+3000)
The heart of the Crimson Tide defense continues to wreck opposing offenses. In Alabama's crushing 55-3 win over Vanderbilt, Anderson recorded 2.5 more sacks, five total tackles (three solo), and three tackles for loss. He was right in every play that he was on the field for like usual and made things difficult for the Vanderbilt offensive line. Anderson will have big matchups the next few weeks against Arkansas, Texas A&M, and Tennessee to really prove his worth against better offenses.
4. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama (+350)
It was much more of a Heisman-type week for Young against Vanderbilt as he lit up the stat sheet to the tune of four touchdowns and 385 yards. The fact that Alabama doesn't have as dominant a receiving corps than in years past, Young has had to do a lot more and make something out. of nothing. Even when the junior quarterback doesn't put up huge statistical numbers, he does the little things like extending plays and dodging defenders. But as long as Anderson and the Crimson Tide defense continue to shut down offenses as well as they have, I would give the edge rusher a better shot at the award. Especially with how tough it is to repeat as the Heisman winner.
5. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee (+1600)
In leading the Volunteers to a big top 25 win over Florida, Hooker really elevated his Heisman campaign with a big performance. He was nearly flawless on Saturday, converting 22-of-28 pass attempts for 349 yards and two touchdowns. The Greensboro, North Carolina native also ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 12 rushing attempts. Hooker has been quite economical on the season as he has a 71.7 percent completion percentage for 1,193 yards and 8 touchdowns, with no interceptions. With Florida being his first real big opponent, there is no reason for him not to find himself in these rankings.
Previous: Not ranked
In the conversation: JJ McCarthy, Blake Corum, Jalon Daniels, Brock Bowers, Michael Penix Jr., Stetson Bennett