2021 Heisman Watch: Any Heisman Odds Movement After Week 0 Games?
Week 0 of college football, or Week 1 depending on who you ask, was a good one. We had upsets, we had teams looking surprisingly good and we had teams falling flat.
The one thing we did lack was Heisman hopefuls in action. The only real potential Heisman winner in on the field this past Saturday was UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, and DTR came into the weekend as a long shot to win the award at best.
Still, let’s recap this weekend’s games a dive into some players I’ll be keeping an eye on this upcoming weekend as college football really kicks off.
Heisman Watch - Week 0 College Football Recap
Nebraska vs. Illinois Recap
Scott Frost and the Nebraska Cornhuskers still stink. At this point, it’s a matter of when not if Frost gets fired. Barring an amazing comeback, the former Nebraska QB seems to have worn out his welcome in Lincoln and a season-opening loss to Illinois certainly didn’t help. As for Illinois, the Bret Bielema era officially just became interesting.
UConn vs. Fresno State Recap
Speaking of teams that stink, I’m pretty sure we got a glimpse of the worst team in the country in UConn on Saturday. UConn was a 16.5-point dog in the first half and 28 points for the game, they didn’t come close to covering either in their 45-0 loss. But, Fresno State may be for real. Jake Haener continues to impress and Ronnie Rivers is one of the best backs in the country. Gaudy numbers for Haener and a long unbeaten streak could see him sneak into some Heisman conversations.
Hawaii vs. UCLA Recap
If you’re a UCLA fan, you’re thrilled with the outcome of Saturday’s game. The Bruins ran all over the Rainbow Warriors en route to a 44-10 win and their ground game looked great. If you’re Dorian Thompson-Robinson or someone that took DTR to win the Heisman, you’re not happy. DTR was the only real Heisman hopeful on the field on Saturday and he pretty much disappointed. He should have been able to put up big numbers against Hawaii, instead, he went 10-20 for 130 yards through the air and ran three times for 16 yards. He missed throws, made the wrong reads and showed some of the same issues he has in the past. At least he didn’t turn the ball over?
UTEP vs. NMSU Recap
Not much to say about this one. NMSU is not good and UTEP is decent, so this result was expected. However, we did get probably the best performance by a receiver of the weekend in this matchup as Jacob Crowning went off for five catches, 158 yards and a TD.
2021 Heisman Watch
Usually, I’ll go over some of the best performances of the week before and how they impacted the Heisman odds. But, with almost no potential Heisman winners in action this weekend, I’ll take the time to break down some of the players I’m backing and their Week 1 matchups.
DJ Uiagalelei @ +1100 – #3 Clemson vs. #5 Georgia
Both QBs in this game are potential Heisman hopefuls, which is awesome, but it also means that whoever loses this matchup may take their name out of the running in the very first week. For that reason, I’ve bet on Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei to win the Heisman instead of UGA QB JT Daniels.
I think Clemson wins this game and I think if Uigalelei can put up good numbers against a great Georgia defense in Week 1 we may see him pass Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler for the top spot as favorite. So, it’s time to get on Uigalelei while there is still value.
Kedon Slovis @ +2800 – #15 USC vs. San Jose State
I was in on Slovis last year at these very same odds. So, I don’t really need to explain that, with another year under his belt as the starter at Southern Cal, I’m in on him again. In just six games last season, the USC signal-caller completed 67% of his passes for 1,921 yards and 17 TDs. He threw too many picks, but five of those seven INTs came in the first two weeks.
Kedon Slovis should pick apart this San Jose State defense, which was already in action this past Saturday. Slovis is accurate and has deceiving arm strength. If USC can compete for a title, he will be in Heisman discussions come December.
Breece Hall @ +4000 – #7 Iowa State vs. Northern Iowa
The Heisman has pretty much become a quarterback award in recent history. But, Devonta Smith was able to win it last year, so not all hope is lost for other position players. As a rule, I always back a running back to win the Heisman. I was torn between Breece Hall and Texas’ Bijan Robinson, but Hall gets the nod because Iowa State is good and Texas is not.
This week 1 matchup against Northern Iowa won’t tell us much about Hall this season, but let’s just take a look at last season when he rushed for 1,572 yards and 21 touchdowns. This Iowa State team will compete with Oklahoma for a Big 12 title this season. It’s just a matter of whether QB Brock Purdy or Hall gets the subsequent Heisman hype.
Michael Penix Jr. @ +8000 – #17 Indiana vs. #18 Iowa
Here is a hot take. Not only am I betting on Michael Penix Jr. to win the Heisman, I’m also betting on Indiana to win the Big 10, and may even have a sprinkle on a National Championship future. If you missed Indiana last year, you missed the second-best team in the Big 10. They return almost every single starter, meanwhile, Justin Fields is gone at OSU.
I worry about them losing this Iowa matchup in Week 1, but I think they can pull out a tough win on the road. Michael Penix Jr., if he can stay healthy, is going to put up insane numbers. Not only can he pick apart a defense with his legs, but he may have the best wide receiver in the conference in Ty Fryfogle. Tom Allen is one of the best coaches in the country and Penix is an absolutely dynamic athlete at the QB position that will light up the scoreboard.
Heisman Watch – Others Players To Watch
Oklahoma QB – Spencer Rattler
Ohio State QB – CJ Stroud
Alabama QB – Bryce Young
UNC QB – Sam Howell
Texas RB – Bijan Robinson
Alabama RB – Brian Robinson Jr.
2021 Heisman Odds