College football: Heisman race sees new leader
Don't get us wrong, the pack of Heisman contenders is still a deep and talented field, but Williams keeps pushing through troubling waters while the rest seem to fall to the wayside.
After last weekend's stellar performance, it's difficult to argue that the Trojan passer has been anything aside from one of the most entertaining players all season.
With a slew of injuries and shocking past victories that still has fans in shock, the Heisman race is just as chaotic as that of the College Football Playoff.
But as the regular season has officially concluded and only championship games remain, the finalist for the prestigious trophy has become clearer than ever.
Here are the top Heisman Trophy candidates in no particular order.
Caleb Williams - quarterback, USC
The Trojan star quarterback hit the Heisman pose during Saturday's game like a boss, as if he knew he had secured the prestigious trophy.
Williams' picture-perfect pose led to numerous "Heisman! Heisman!" chants from the thousands of screaming fans at LA Memorial Coliseum.
Heading into the final week of the regular season, CJ Stroud of Ohio State and Williams had a chance to make history in front of the massive national audience over the weekend, and it couldn’t be more clear that Williams came out on top.
The title is still anyone's game, and USC will have a huge test ahead of them on Friday as they face Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
But with his top-five passing stats and 10 rushing touchdowns, it's going to be hard for anyone to surpass Williams for the trophy now.
CJ Stroud – quarterback, Ohio State
Last weekend, Stroud threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns. To add insult to injury, he also threw two picks and for the second straight year, lost to arc-rival Michigan - Sigh!
Without a chance to play one final game on a championship stage, it's going to be hard to imagine he can overthrow Williams for the top spot.
Still, Stroud is one of the best passers we've seen this year whose performances came with added pressure that no other Heisman candidate faced.
The Buckeye leader is the only Heisman finalist from last year to return as a potential finalist this season and has dealt with the pressures remarkably well, even surpassing several program and conference records as a quarterback this year alone!
Max Duggan - quarterback, TCU
Let's face it: no one saw TCU's dominance at the beginning of the season, and we sure didn't see Max Duggan as the team's leader due to the fact he opened the season on the bench.
Yet, here we are, and Duggan is now a potential finalist for the Heisman.
In a blowout 62-14 win over Iowa State on Saturday, the Horned Frog passer threw for three touchdowns and secured an undefeated regular season for TCU.
While Duggan is still very much an underdog for the award, he has definitely solidified his name for a nod and will have another big chance to make a "Heisman" moment at the Big 12 Conference championships on Saturday against Kansas State.
Possible Heisman finalist shockers
Let's talk about it! The Heisman Trophy in college football has been dubbed as the "Best Quarterback Award."
But technically, the trophy can be awarded to any player of any position as the committee states: "The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the outstanding college football player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity."
With this said, there are a number of players that should have received more "Heisman" hype, such as Marvin Harrison Jr of Ohio State and Bijan Robinson of Texas – period!
Robinson has been off the national radar for much of the season, but there's no doubt that he is among the game's very best players.
The Longhorn running back is now fourth on Texas' all-time rushing list with 3,410 yards.
This year, Robinson leads the nation in tandem yards with 1,894 (1,580 rushing, 314 receiving) and is the only player to date with more than 1,500 rushing yards and 300 receiving yards.
On the other hand, Harrison has been the savior of the Buckeyes' offense since Week 1 of the season and is arguably the best wide receiver in the country.
A semifinalist for the Biletnikoff Award – an honor given to the top catcher of the season – Harrison has been consistently show-stopping each week, and surprisingly not played a single bad game.
Harrison is the first receiver in Ohio State history to have three three-touchdown games, and stands as one of the nations top players with the most receiving touchdowns.
While it may be hard to be voted as a finalist, Harrison's performances on the gridiron are those that can easily compete with the very best!
Cover photo: RONALD MARTINEZ / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP