No. 3 Washington beat No. 5 Oregon 34-31 to give the Huskies their first 13-win season in school history. Quarterback and Heisman contender Michael Penix Jr. had a solid performance but the result affected Heisman frontrunner Bo Nix of Oregon, who sees his odds drop significantly after the loss.
As a result, a different quarterback is now the favorite to take home the Heisman Trophy: No. 13 LSU's Jayden Daniels. He now leads the Heisman rankings despite staying home this weekend, per odds information provided by BetMGM.
Here's how we got here.
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Jayden Daniels Heisman Trophy odds: Why he is now the heavy favorite
Daniels put up eye-popping numbers in 2023. LSU led the country in yards (547.8) and points (46.4) per game behind the senior signal-caller. He became the first player in FBS history with 350 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in a single game in the Tigers' Week 11 52-35 win over Florida. His passer rating (208) is by far the best in the FBS; the gap from him to Nix in second is bigger than the gap from Nix to Tulane's Michael Pratt in 11th.
His team success can't match that of Nix or Penix Jr. whose programs were in the mix for the College Football Playoff but no other player can match his gaudy numbers. He had 500 yards three times in 12 games in leading LSU to a 9-3 record and No. 13 ranking.
Oregon's loss in the Pac-12 title game moved Daniels' Heisman odds from +140 to -1400. That's the largest swing in weeks and Daniels becomes the biggest favorite of the 2023 college football season.
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Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr. Heisman Trophy odds: Why they're longshots
These two Pac-12 signal callers combined to lead the Heisman rankings for much of the 2023 season. Penix Jr.'s early-season numbers were eye-popping as Washington rolled to win after win. But things changed after the first Oregon game.
Penix Jr. averaged 383.5 yards passing per game, threw 20 touchdowns total, and Washington scored 44 points per game over the first six games of 2023. In the seven games since, he's averaged 273.9 yards per game, scored 16 touchdowns, and the Huskies have scored 32 point per game. In a close win over Oregon State and another last-minute win over Washington State, it's been more about the Washington defense stepping up in big moments. Penix Jr. is now second in Heisman odds at +1000, but currently far behind Daniels.
Nix looked poised to be Oregon's second Heisman Trophy winner ahead of Friday night. Prior to the Pac-12 title game, he led the country in passing yards and completion percentage. Nix was playing the best football of his career before the rematch with Washington and sat at -185 as of Thursday.
By most standards, Nix played a solid game on Friday night, but it was his worst of the season. Season-lows in completion percentage (61.8), passing yards (239), and quarterback rating (144) along with the loss cratered his Heisman odds. Less than 48 hours after being the Heisman favorite, he's now third in the Heisman odds at +1200.
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Who else is near the top of the Heisman rankings?
SEC quarterbacks Jalen Milroe of No. 8 Alabama (+10000) and Carson Beck of No. 1 Georgia (+15000) round out the top five of the Heisman rankings. Alabama won the SEC championship game but Milroe doesn't have the resume to catch Daniels at the top of the Heisman odds.
Heisman voting closes Monday, Dec. 4 and the winner will be announced Saturday, Dec. 9. The five quarterbacks will still have another opportunity to play this season in a bowl game, including a few in play for the national championship game.
Heisman Trophy odds list
Here are the latest odds from BetMGM, as of Saturday night after the SEC Championship:
Michael Penix Jr.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2023 Heisman Trophy odds: Jayden Daniels the favorite; Bo Nix slides