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These days, the college football landscape changes so quickly it’s hard to know which players on which teams.
It’s even harder to tell who’s going to mesh well with new teammates, coaches or fit perfectly into a new scheme.
Even so, the oddsmakers have done their best to try and determine who might be the most likely to take home college football’s most prized individual trophy.
And that list is dominated by current or former USC quarterbacks.
Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is the early frontrunner, with Alabama’s Bryce Young close behind.
After following head coach Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma to USC, Caleb Williams is third at +600. Williams had a tremendous freshman season in 2021, completing 65% of his passes with 21 TD’s and only 4 interceptions.
He’s a realistic pick for the Heisman, given his immediate familiarity with the offense and strong supporting cast including transfers Jordan Addison, Mario Williams and Travis Dye.
What’s more surprising is that three former USC QB’s are also in the top 12 most likely contenders.
J.T. Daniels has now transferred twice after leaving USC, winding up as the likely West Virginia starter, while Kedon Slovis left for Pittsburgh after the arrival of Riley.
Jaxson Dart was one of the highest rated high school quarterbacks in the country before coming to LA in 2021, and was unexpectedly pressed into duty after injuries destroyed USC’s QB depth. He also transferred after the new coaching staff came into town, winding up in the SEC at Ole Miss.
At first glance, these odds feel a bit optimistic, given that it’s uncertain if Dart will even start at Ole Miss, and how Daniels has battled injuries and consistency.
That said, it’s remarkable that the Trojans were able to recruit or sign four of the top 12 most likely Heisman award winners in just a few years.
It speaks to Clay Helton’s incompetence as a head coach that none of the former QB’s were able to lead USC to successful seasons. Outside of the COVID restrictions shortened 2020 season, the Trojans were 17-20 from 2018-2021 during Helton’s tenure. Even including the unusual 5-1 2020 year, the team was barely over .500 at 22-21.
If the odds are to be believed, betting markets believe that the new staff and roster will lead to immediate success at the Coliseum in 2022.