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We are less than three weeks away from the start of the 2022 college football season. Coaches are ironing out their rosters, rivalries are on the verge of being renewed, and betting odds are live.
With the season drawing closer, I wanted to take one more look at Heisman betting odds and where they currently stand. Here's how things are currently looking over on PointsBet.
Unsurprisingly, the two favorites are Ohio State's C.J. Stroud (+275) and Alabama's Bryce Young (+350), with Stroud holding the slight edge over Young -- last season's winner.
We know what it would likely take for either Stroud or Young to walk away with the Heisman in 2022. Last season, Alabama defeated Georgia in the SEC championship game and lost to Georgia in the CFB Playoff championship, all while Young threw for a cool 4872-47-7 -- completing 66.9% of his passes in the process.
Barring an unexpected injury, both Stroud and Young will be in the Heisman conversation for much of this season. But who are some players with longer odds that could work their way into the conversation this season? Every year we have a few players who turn into favorites and threaten to upset the preseason picks.
After taking a look at some players with longer odds, here are a few I think could make a run for the Heisman in 2022 - and what it might take for them to lift the trophy in December.
Will Anderson (ALA) +1600
This one isn't that bold given that Will Anderson already has the fourth-highest odds on PointsBet, but a defensive player receiving this kind of recognition is worth noting. Anderson is unlikely to win the Heisman, in part due to the offensive bias that exists in voting -- of the 86 times the award has been handed out, only once has it been given to a primarily defensive player (Charles Woodson, 1997).
However, if a defensive player is to win it in 2022, it will unquestionably be Anderson who hoists the trophy. Last season, Anderson had a defensive performance for the ages, totaling 101 tackles, 31 tackles for a loss and 17.5 sacks -- all while playing in the SEC. Anderson finished fifth in Heisman voting last season while Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson finished second behind Bryce Young. Anderson led the nation with 83 quarterback pressures last season and was one of the most disruptive players in the nation. For perspective, Hutchinson totaled 16.5 TFLs, 14 sacks and 74 pressures in 2021, numbers that Anderson blew away last season and could blow away again this season. Set to turn 21 at the beginning of this season, it will be interesting to see how much growth Anderson shows in 2022 after setting the bar so high. A repeat performance (or better) this season could be difficult for Heisman voters to overlook.
Tyler Van Dyke (MIA) +2500
Heading into the 2021 season, Tyler Van Dyke sat behind D'Eriq King but found himself thrust into the team's starting role after a shoulder injury ended King's season/collegiate career. Under Van Dyke, Miami went 6-3 while the true freshman (by the letter of COVID rules) threw for 2,931 yards, 25 touchdowns, and six interceptions in his nine games. After being named the team's starter, here is how Van Dyke ranked among ACC quarterbacks for the remainder of the year:
- 2,931 yards (4th)
- 25 touchdowns (4th)
- 9.0 yards per attempt (2nd)
- 10.7 aDOT (6th)
- 932 deep ball yards (3rd)
Miami returns seven starters on the offensive side of the ball this season -- including three along the offensive line. They also went out and landed head coach Mario Cristobal, who went 35-13 in five seasons at Oregon with an offense that averaged 31.3 points per game or more in every season. PointsBet odds give Miami the second-best chance to win the conference (+550) with their win total O/U sitting at 8.5. A second-year leap for Van Dyke and a run to an ACC championship could put Van Dyke squarely in the Heisman race. College football guru Phil Steele gives Miami the fifth-easiest schedule in the conference, which includes home games against Florida State and Pittsburgh. Steele also named Van Dyke as his preseason first-team All-ACC quarterback -- another good sign heading into the season.
Bijan Robinson (TEX) +4000
The hype surrounding Texas is real heading into 2022. In addition to landing transfer quarterback Quinn Ewers from Ohio State -- the No. 1 ranked player of the 2021 class -- Texas enters the season with +250 odds to win the Big 12. Oklahoma is the current leader in the room at +200.
In his first season at Texas, Steve Sarkisian went 5-7 with underwhelming quarterback play but ranked 18th in points per game at 35.2. A defense that allowed 31.1 points per game (99th in the nation) didn't do Texas any favors, but there's hope an improved roster that features the fifth-best transfer class of 2022 can lead the Longhorns to Big 12 glory.
The addition Ewers and an improved defense would go a long way in making this happen, but junior running back Bijan Robinson has a chance to be the skeleton key in this offense.
In two seasons at Texas, Robinson has rushed for a combined 281-1830-15 while also catching 41 passes for 491 yards and six scores. For his career, Robinson has managed an impressive 67% RB dominator rating and has an adjusted touch market share of 35%. Last season he forced a missed tackle on 40.5% of his carries -- an absurdly high amount for any running back.
A successful season for Texas anchored by Robinson will force his way into the Heisman conversation. Should the Longhorns flirt with nine or 10 wins (O/U 8.5), that could further drive support for the future RB1 of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jahmyr Gibbs (ALA) +5000
Back in 2020 Jahmyr Gibbs was a four-star running back -- the eighth-ranked back of his recruiting class per 247Sports' composite rankings. After two seasons at Georgia Tech, Gibbs opted for greener pastures via the transfer portal and soon landed at Alabama, where he's expected to serve as the unquestioned lead back.
In two seasons at Georgia Tech, Gibbs totaled 232 carries for 1,206 yards and eight touchdowns. Displaying one of the more elite dual-back skillsets in the country, he also amassed 59 receptions for 768 yards and another five scores, earning a PFF receiving grade of 90 or higher in each of his last two seasons -- a distinguished honor held only by Gibbs.
Gibbs' ability to serve in both the running game and the passing game could come at the perfect time for Alabama, who recently lost wide receivers, Jameson Williams, John Metchie and Slade Bolden to the 2022 NFL Draft -- the team's three leading receivers from last season.
The Tide landed receivers Tyler Harrell (18-523-6), and Jermaine Burton (26-497-5) via the transfer portal, but there's no denying this receiving corps enters 2022 with some questions.
Playing in a powerhouse SEC that features defending national champion Georgia and up-and-comer Texas A&M, Alabama has its work cut out for it this season. However, Nick Saban and company can never be counted out, which is why overlooking Gibbs on your preseason betting tickets could be a mistake.
Since 2009, Alabama boasts four Heisman Trophy winners -- including two running backs (Mark Ingram, 2009 and Derrick Henry, 2015). Bama players have claimed the nation's most prestigious award each of the last two seasons. Gibbs making it a three-peat for a contender in search of an offensive playmaker would be far less surprising than his current odds suggest.
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