C.J. Stroud reclaims title as 2022 Heisman frontrunner from Hendon Hooker

Ohio State's C.J. Stroud back on top as 2022 Heisman frontrunner originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Forecasting the Heisman Trophy is never easy.

Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow, two recent longshot Heisman winners, are proof that trying to predict the nation’s top college football player in August is a fool’s errand.

One big moment or disappointing performance can make or break a Heisman campaign. As college football dives into November, the race is starting to narrow with a few key players jostling for position down the stretch.

This past week it was preseason frontrunner C.J. Stroud reclaiming his place at the top of the standings on PointsBet. The Ohio State quarterback briefly lost his status as favorite but is back as the odds favorite thanks to a major shakeup in the SEC.

His stiffest competition -- Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker -- lost his first game of the season when the Volunteers took on Georgia in Athens this weekend. Despite the loss, Hooker had a solid enough performance to keep him in the running and continue his meteoric rise.

Tennessee has a relatively easy regular season schedule remaining but no longer holds its fate in the SEC Championship Game with the Bulldogs jumping them. Meanwhile, Ohio State has a big date with No. 4 Michigan at the end of the month that will no doubt play a major role in their college football playoff outlook.

Who is the Heisman Trophy favorite in 2022?

Here's is a look at the 2022 Heisman Trophy odds with five weeks left before the award presentation ceremony in New York City on Saturday, Dec. 10:

  • C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, QB: +200

  • Hendon Hooker, Tennessee, QB: +300

  • Blake Corum, Michigan, RB: +650

  • Caleb Williams, USC, QB: +700

  • Bo Nix, Oregon, QB: +900

  • Drake Maye, North Carolina, QB: +1000

What are C.J. Stroud's stats this season?

Stroud has 2,453 passing yards and 29 touchdowns in his junior season. His 91.1 QBR leads the country.

What are Hendon Hooker's stats this season?

Hooker, 24, has thrown for 2,533 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Volunteers in 2022.

A true game manager, Hooker is known for his ability to protect the ball. Prior to this weekend, he had one interception this season, which was best in the country for qualified quarterbacks. He was picked off once in the midst of Georgia's 21 unanswered first-half points and is currently tied for seventh with two interceptions.

Will C.J. Stroud be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft?

Stroud, 21, is still the projected No. 1 player in the 2023 NFL Draft and that's because he has the Buckeyes off to an 9-0 start. Stroud is 19-21 through two years as a starter in Columbus. 

Can Bryce Young repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner?

Alabama’s Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, entered the season as the second favorite behind Stroud. The dual-threat passer had an almost inside track to join Archie Griffin as the only two-time trophy winner, but an October loss to Hooker and Tennessee derailed those prospects.

He settled in at fifth place only to drop to 10th this past weekend following Alabama's overtime loss to LSU, all but ending Young's hopes at defending his title and the Crimson Tide's chances at third consecutive appearance in the College Football Playoff.

Young, 21, has 19 touchdowns against four interceptions in 2022. He remains one of the top prospects for teams at the top of the NFL draft order next April. 

Editor's note: All odds are provided by our partner, PointsBet. PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.