Heisman Watch 2022: Leading contenders, current odds

Stetson Bennett's 289-yard and three-touchdown performance in Week 11 lifted him to the No. 5 spot in the Heisman Trophy standings. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A new name has snuck into the 2022 Heisman Trophy race.

Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett debuts as the No. 5 candidate after his Week 11 performance. Bennett threw for 289 yards and three touchdowns, helping Georgia secure the 45-19 win over Mississippi State and a spot in the SEC Championship.

With C.J. Stroud (Ohio State), Hendon Hooker (Tennessee), Drake Maye (North Carolina) and Caleb Williams (USC) all having impressive showings over the weekend, the top four rankings stayed the same.

Let's get to this week's Heisman standings, top Heisman moments of the week and what to watch for in this weekend's action.

Voting methodology: Twelve voters ranked their top five candidates, with five points for a first-place vote down to one point for a fifth-place vote.

Top five candidates

1. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

Total points: 54 (first-place votes: 8)

Week 11 notables: Stroud's lead in this year's Heisman race took a hit with his performance in Week 10 against Northwestern, in which he threw for just 76 yards in a blustery wind. On Saturday against the Indiana, he proved he was back to his dominant play. He threw for 297 yards and five touchdowns to lift the Buckeyes to a 56-14 victory. Thanks to his hefty touchdown performance, Stroud is back tied with Maye for most in the FBS (34) after losing the lead last week.

Heisman odds: +120

2. Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee

Total points: 49 (first-place votes: 4)

Week 11 notables: Following the loss to Georgia, Hooker slipped from the No. 1 spot to No. 2. His 195-yard game with zero touchdowns and one interception caused worry. This week, he bounced back against Missouri to solidify his standing in second place and lead the Volunteers to a 66-24 Senior Day win. He threw for 355 yards and accounted for four touchdowns, three passing and one rushing. With South Carolina and Vanderbilt, respectively, left in the regular season, Hooker can continue to make his case over the next two weeks. He has thrown for 2,888 yards and rushed for 405 yards this season.

Heisman odds: +375

3. Drake Maye, QB, North Carolina

Total points: 29 (first-place votes: 0)

Week 11 notables: Maye can't be stopped. And Saturday's performance proved that. Against Wake Forest, he threw for an eye-popping 448 yards and three touchdowns. He also contributed on the ground, running for 71 yards and a touchdown. His 3,412 passing yards put him third in the nation, and his 34 touchdowns tie him with Stroud for the most. In just his redshirt freshman season, Maye has stepped up as an offensive leader for UNC in a big way. Maye will look to expand on UNC's six-game win streak against Georgia Tech this weekend.

Heisman odds: +600

4. Caleb Williams, QB, USC

Total points: 24 (first-place votes: 0)

Week 11 notables: Since losing to Utah, Williams and the Trojans keep rolling. Against Colorado, Williams threw for 268 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also tacked on two rushing touchdowns. After throwing an interception at the end of the second quarter, he now stands tied for fourth in the nation with two on the season, and his 31 passing touchdowns put him in third. This weekend, Williams will look to prove why this is a Heisman-worthy campaign when the Trojans and UCLA Bruins meet for the rivalry's 92nd time.

Heisman odds: +1000

5. Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia

Total points: 11 (first-place votes: 0)

Week 11 notables: His 2,895 yards on the season stand 13th in the FBS, and his 84.9 QBR puts him at seventh in FBS. He might not have head-turning numbers, but Bennett earned his spot because of his toughness in big games. He had standout performances against Georgia's two ranked opponents this season in then-No. 11 Oregon and then-No. 1 Tennessee. Against the Ducks, he threw for 368 yards and two touchdowns with a 97.4 QBR. Against the Volunteers, Bennett threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns with a 97.9 QBR.

Heisman odds: +1200

Others receiving votes (total points in parentheses): Blake Corum, Michigan (9), Michael Penix Jr., Washington (2), Max Duggan, TCU (1), Bryce Young, Alabama (1)

Flashback to ...

C.J. Stroud can be the first Buckeye to win the Heisman since 2006. Caleb Williams can be the first Trojan since 2004. Stetson Bennett can be the first Bulldog since 1982. No one from Tennessee or UNC has won the Heisman, but Hendon Hooker and Drake Maye's fathers (Alan Hooker and Mark Maye) were big-time quarterbacks in the '80s.

We'll take you back to those times and see which player has a case to make history.

The last time a Buckeye won the Heisman:

The last time a player from Ohio State won a Heisman Trophy (Troy Smith, 2006), we were in the early stages of social media becoming mainstream. MySpace was just a few years old, and Facebook began picking up steam in its second year. Look at us now.

Stroud is the leader of the second-highest-scoring offense in all of FBS, carrying Ohio State's offense with his 2,750 passing yards, 34 touchdowns (tied for most in FBS) and just four interceptions. His 188.2 passer efficiency rating is also the highest in college football. If he can lead the Buckeyes to wins over Michigan, essentially a play-in game for the Big Ten championship, and then the Big Ten championship, he'll have the résumé to win it. -- Harry Lyles Jr.

The last time a Trojan won the Heisman:

The last time USC had a Heisman winner was in 2005, when Reggie Bush kept us stunned weekly with his talent. You can now go back and watch those highlights, thanks to the YouTube domain being registered in February 2005 and the first video, "Me at the zoo," uploaded two months later on April 23.

Williams' Heisman credentials are clear. He's the focal point of USC's offense, which is third highest in scoring in FBS. He currently sits at 10th in the nation in passing yards with 3,010, along with 31 touchdowns and just two interceptions, leading the resurgence of a USC program that hasn't seemed like itself since Bush won his Heisman. -- Lyles

The last time a Bulldog won the Heisman:

Every stroll around Athens has always been a constant reminder of the last time a Dawg brought the Heisman Trophy back to UGA, thanks to Herschel Walker statues, paintings, a Walker-themed bulldog sculpture and, this fall, election signs. It was 1982, and the fight for king of the megaplex (wait, did megaplexes even exist yet?) was between "E.T: the Extra-Terrestrial," "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Rocky III."

A year ago, the cries from the UGA faithful were that Bennett's ascension to starting QB was a great story but wasn't good enough to lead the Dawgs to the promised land as Walker did in 1980. Then he did, outdueling 2021 Heisman winner Bryce Young. This year his team is once again No. 1, and the kid with the country club name has quietly thrown for more yards than Young, Hooker and Stroud. The best offensive player on the best team is always worth many Heisman bonus points. -- Ryan McGee

The last time a Volunteer won the Heisman:

The last time a Tennessee player won the Heisman was, well, never, though it has had four runner-up finishers. Instead, let's throw it back to when Hooker's father, Alan, was at North Carolina A&T on his way to becoming a bona fide HBCU legend. It was 1986, and the Aggies won their first outright MEAC title while Whitney Houston's debut album topped the charts, Van Halen became Van Hagar and the planet's No. 1 movie was the original "Top Gun."

Hooker had his Heisman moment -- actually a whole night of them -- as he led Tennessee to its first win over Bama since he was in elementary school. Thanks to the Big Orange's hyper-speed offense, he has posted prolific passing numbers against every team not named Georgia. Seeing as how UGA has also stonewalled Bo Nix, Anthony Richardson and Will Rogers, there's no shame in that. -- McGee

The last time a Tar Heel won the Heisman:

UNC also has never had a Heisman winner nor a legitimate candidate since Charlie "Choo Choo" Justice finished second in 1948 and '49. So, we rewind to 1987, when Maye's dad, Mark, slung it for the Tar Heels. He was a two-year starter, throwing for 3,000 yards (no easy task in those run-first days) and co-captain in '87. One month after he threw and ran for TDs in the Aloha Bowl, Genesis christened the just-opened Dean Dome with a stop during their hot-ticket Invisible Touch Tour.

Maye's Heisman push began in shadows but has now moved into November overdrive, posting big stats even as the Heels have had to claw for wins seemingly every weekend. He is tied for first in the nation in TD passes (34) and points responsible for (236). He's third in passing efficiency and passing yards, fifth in completion percentage and sixth in yards per pass attempt. He's the only QB in the top 10 on all those lists. -- McGee

Top Heisman moments this past week

1. With just over two minutes left in the first half, Caleb Williams helps USC score its third touchdown of the half with this 32-yard dart leading Brenden Rice to the end zone.

2. Not only did Stetson Bennett decide to take it to the end zone by himself, but he also managed to juke a defender along the way for Georgia's second touchdown.

3. Instead of waiting to throw it, Hendon Hooker shows off his rushing ability to take it 14 yards for the touchdown.

Heisman game of the week

No. 7 USC at No. 16 UCLA (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET, Fox)

The Battle of Los Angeles has been restored. For the first time since 2014, the Bruins and the Trojans will meet as top-25-ranked opponents. If Williams wants to make a legitimate case for why he should be this year's Heisman Trophy winner, this matchup will be the one to do it. So far this season, Williams is tied for third in the FBS in touchdowns (31), fourth in interceptions (two) and sixth in QBR (84.9). Williams and the Trojans' only loss came to their only ranked opponent in then-No. 20 Utah. Against the Utes, Williams had a Heisman-worthy performance throwing for 381 yards and five touchdowns. How will Williams fare in this battle, and can he finally lead his team to its first top-25 win?