Giving Money: Heisman Analysis – Three Alabama players in top five, but take the Buckeye


It’s something.

Heisman 2022 futures have been released and Three of the top five all wear crimson and white. They include defending champion Heisman, the best player in the country (who happens to be a defenseman) and a portal guy who has never played a live game in an Alabama uniform.

How’s that for a diverse group?

For those new to the betting game, the numbers to the left are the bet ID. The one on the right, with numbers +, is called the silver line. They are expressed in terms of payments per $100. So a $100 bet on Bryce that sees a consecutive winning Heisman campaign will net you $650. If you throw a Benjie on Will Anderson — and voters realize he’s actually the best player in the country (and had a season measured in decades last year) — then you’ll win $1,400 .

Here are the dozen heads of SportsBetting SA (valid until July 4, 2022, when the lines will be updated again).

65102 CJ Stroud+275
65101 Bryce Young +650
65104 Caleb Williams +900
65143 Jahmyr Gibbs+1400
65111 Will Anderson Jr +1400
65146 Jaxon Smith-Njigba +2200
65112 Tyler Van Digue +2500
65122 Anthony Richardson+2800
65108 Bijan Robinson +2800
65134 Dillon Gabriel+2800
65131 Jaxson Dart +2800
65107 DJ Uiagalelei +3300
65139 Will Lévis +3300
65132 Jordan Addison +4000
65130 Quinn Ewers +4000
65103 Spencer Rattler +4000

Predictably, the QBs are leading the way, with nine top 16 lights in action.

Stroud tops the list, and again you’d expect to see it given that the award often boils down to “best offensive stats on a national title contending team” rather than the listed criteria of “player the most remarkable. Stroud should have a great year, too, just like the Bucks will: OSU has an absolute joke of a schedule, playing its first five games at home. Four of the five competitive matches are also played at home. And there are some defensive stinkers here who are sure to be stat-padders — Arkansas State, Michigan State, Rutgers. Maryland, Indiana and Toledo come to mind. Even the OOC’s showpiece Notre Dame should see an Irish side shaken and rebuilt.

Last season Stroud was 3rd in YPG, 3rd in completion percentage, 5th in yards, 2nd in YPA, 3rd in TDs and 2nd in passer rating. As the season went on, and especially in meaningful conference games, he also got better. Stroud is set up to win this thing. His only flaw is ball safety: His INT rate is higher than some other contenders, and he’s thrown one more than Bryce — over 100 fewer throws.

And that brings me to his slots man, who could very well have to be WR1 this season, Jaxon Smith-Njigba. JSN had 95 catches last season for 16.9 YPA with 9 touchdowns. But he was a party or famine player. He’s only had double-digit catches in four of the Buckeyes’ 13 games, and all four have come in the past month-plus. At least a third of his catches (30) and yards (587/1,609) have come against a poor Nebraska team and the Utes’ outclassed three-star secondary. Those 9 touchdowns? A third came against Utah alone.

It’s a silly bet, especially without Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave’s blanket to attract top defenders: Jaxon will see DB1 all the week.

The USC bots came out expecting Caleb Williams to be something more than he is: a mobile QB and erratic passer in a pattern that keeps him on the rise. But he’s only a 64.5 percent passer, with an interception rate double that of Bryce and Stroud. The PAC 12 may be crap, but it’s not much worse than the bottom of the B12, where Williams posted respectable but not overwhelming numbers.

Remember: Casuals bet on perceptions, not realities. And the way ESPN is going to whip the Trojans so free this year that it make the Flagellants wince. It’s still a bad bet. Stay away.

Speaking of perceptions, there’s a lot to like about this Alabama team – including Three Heisman leaders at the top. But it’s the same double-edged sword that has plagued Alabama in recent years — as well as other talented teams, like the Trojans of the 2000s. ‘a guy she often splits the votes. In 2020, Smitty had such a season that it even made voters ignore the fact that Mac Jones had a historic season all by himself: he’s the national leader in single-season passing efficiency. ; leads the nation in building sites; YPA; TD; INT rate; and efficiency. And this the guy was buried.

Do you see such a season emerging from Bryce this year? Who knows, but the odds are against it, especially since Alabama spent the offseason revamping its offense to work more from below, be more physical and rely more on a healthy back frame. Chances are good that 75% of the RB corps will be injury-free this season, requiring almost 600 assists; nor is there a good chance that the race freeze will be as catastrophic as in 2021.

But that also doesn’t mean Alabama will give up their pass first. And despite Jahmyr Gibbs being the best full-back on the roster and the missing piece since Najee’s departure, it would be hard to imagine him getting a Derrick Henry-type workload. How was the quality of Najee in 2020 compared to the quality of attacking guys who get awards now? He had 1,900 yards from scrimmage, led the nation with 30 scoring, averaged 6.4 yards every time he looked for the ball — and was just a 2nd team All-American. He wasn’t even a Maxwell or Heisman finalist.

And if even Saquon Barkley or Najee can’t win the Heisman, then chances are very slim that Gibbs will either, and certainly not with ‘Bama”s passing game. That, too, is a sucker bet. (And for that reason, cross off the list the dynamic Bijan Robinson of Texas).

Unfortunately, the ‘Bama player with the best chance of having a historic season also has the worst chance of winning the trophy – for a reason. Not only is Will Anderson a defender, but he stands out as a heavy favorite for Heisman in a year where QB play seems to have improved markedly: Texas and USC both believe they have an increase in production; Caroline from the south did take one; Bryce will be more effective, but you no longer see near 6000 meters and a one-dimensional attack; and so on – everyone from Will Levis (KY) to Tyler Van Dyke (Miami) should be playing at a much higher level.

Last season was where Will should have won the trophy, in a season when the Buckeyes were struggling and offensive play was down across the country. Still, he didn’t even make the scene, despite clearly being the best player in America. In 2022, with improved offenses, if Will “just” unlikely repeats last year’s historic season, expect the same.

So our bottom line here? The two at the top seem to be the best fit, with a huge caveat: What will Stroud look like without two senior NFL WRs on the roster? Can Jaxson single-handedly carry the passing game? Can these other lists match the production of Olave and Smith? The schedule is there, but the away talent has to be shown. Unfortunately, based on that schedule, we may not know until mid-October if this OSU team is a fraud or not. And even if that’s the case, should the Buckeyes qualify for the Playoffs with a B1G title and a 12-1 record or something, won’t that be enough?

It probably will, but I would wait at least a week or two into the season to gauge the depth of the WR.

So right now, because I don’t trust the offensive line and I don’t trust Failson in the stand, I think Bryce might still have a good chance to repeat, but I’m doing more trust Ohio State’s unproven wide outings than Alabama’s. question marks.


Who is your favorite Heisman?

  • 1%
    Jaxon Smith-Njigba

    (1 vote)

71 voices in total

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