Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III celebrates his touchdown against Michigan during an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 37-33. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)
MSU’s Kenneth Walker III rushed for 193 yards and five TDs against Michigan in Week 9
Walker III became a top-three Heisman favorite after the victory
Read below to see the updated Heisman Trophy odds after Week 9
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III made a huge leap in the Heisman Trophy odds after an explosive Week 9 performance against Michigan. The Wake Forest transfer is now a top-three Heisman favorite after accounting for five TDs against the Spartans.
Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams also saw his Heisman odds improve after Week 9, while Ole Miss’ Matt Corral and Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett both faded after suffering their second losses of the season.
The table below shows the updated Heisman odds after Week 9 of the season.
Heisman Trophy Odds
Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)
CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State)
Kenneth Walker III (RB, Michigan State)
Matt Corral (QB, Ole Miss)
Caleb Williams (QB, Oklahoma)
Kenny Pickett (QB, Pittsburgh)
Treveyon Henderson (RB, Ohio State)
Sam Hartman (QB, Wake Forest)
Desmond Ridder (QB, Cincinnati)
Brian Robinson Jr. (RB, Alabama)
Bijan Robinson (RB, Texas)
Jordan Davis (DL, Georgia)
Jameson Williams (WR, Alabama)
Cade McNamara (QB, Michigan)
Breece Hall (RB, Iowa State)
Odds as of Oct. 31 at DraftKings.
Walker III Runs Over Spartans
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III became a top-three Heisman favorite after rushing for 193 yards and five touchdowns against Michigan in Week 9. The Spartans overcame a 16-point deficit to beat the Spartans 37-33 in East Lansing. Walker III entered the game as a +2200 Heisman longshot.
Where were you for Kenneth Walker’s Heisman moment?#CFB
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 30, 2021
Walker III didn’t want to talk about his performance being a Heisman moment, but the odds movement speaks for itself. The Wake Forest transfer had a historic day, becoming the first Spartans running back to rush for five TDs against Michigan. The Spartans are now 8-0 on the season and eying a CFP berth.
Walker III ranks second in FBS with 997 rushing yards and nine TDs through seven games. The senior almost certainly earned himself an invite to New York with the performance, but upcoming games against Ohio State and Penn State will determine whether he actually wins. Only two running backs have won the Heisman in the last 15 years.
2022 CFP National Championship Odds Tracker
Caleb Williams Makes Push
Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams is making a late-season Heisman push after throwing for 402 yards and six TDs against Texas Tech in Week 9. The freshman pivot saw his Heisman odds improve from +1500 to +800 after the performance. Williams has been excellent since taking over for Spencer Rattler, but he’s only started three games.
Caleb Williams WENT OFF.
23-30, 405 total YDS, 6 TDs pic.twitter.com/oPe51WoA0D
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 30, 2021
Williams joined some elite OU company with his six-TD game against the Raiders. The young pivot joins Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield as the third player in Oklahoma history with at least six passing touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game. On the season, Williams has thrown for 1,189 yards and 14 TDs with one pick.
Sportsbooks love taking Heisman money on this extremely hyped five-star prospect, as his chances of winning this year are extremely slim. No player has ever missed more than one game and won the Heisman the same season. Whether it’s fair or not, the 3.5 games Williams sat on the bench will likely cost him the trophy.
Corral, Pickett Fade
While Alabama’s Bryce Young remains atop the Heisman odds board after Week 9, two quarterbacks have seen their odds lengthen. Ole Miss’ Matt Corral faded from +300 to +500 after losing to Auburn, while Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett faded from +1200 to +1800 after losing to Miami.
Matt Corral is back on the field for @OleMissFB after exiting the game due to an apparent ankle injury. pic.twitter.com/Z6agZeBnEa
— ESPN (@espn) October 31, 2021
Corral briefly left the game against Auburn with an ankle injury but returned shortly after, finishing with 289 yards passing and one interception. Corral is down two offensive linemen, his three best wide receivers and a starting tight end. He’s a great story, but his two losses and head-to-head defeat to Bryce Young might cost him the trophy.
Pickett, meanwhile, threw for a school-record 519 yards in a close loss to Miami. He faded in the Heisman odds, however, illustrating how the Heisman has become somewhat of a team award. Pickett and Corral both have two losses, and the trophy tends to get awarded to a player on one of the country’s top teams.
Heisman Analysis After Week 9
Walker III is doing something special for an undefeated Michigan State team this season. It’s hard to argue that any player in the country has been more important to their team that Walker has been to MSU. His humble attitude and focus on the team game is also likely to win over voters.
🗣 Kenneth Walker after his 5 TD game pic.twitter.com/hXOHX9CnQk
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 30, 2021
Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Ole Miss’ Matt Corral are all talented quarterbacks who have posted similar numbers this season. Young and Stroud both have dynamic supporting casts around them, however, while Corral has two losses and is dealing with injury concerns.
Where the Heisman race gets interesting is if Stroud balls out against Michigan State, and the Buckeyes bottle up Walker III. That doesn’t seem likely when you look at how Oregon gashed the OSU rush defense earlier in the year. Walker III should be the true Heisman favorite after Week 9, which makes him the best value play.