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Heisman Trophy Power Rankings: Caleb Williams runs away, C.J. Stroud fades

Fansided 11/27/2022 Scott Rogust
© Provided by Fansided

If rivalry week in the 2022 college football season has shown us anything, the Heisman Trophy is USC quarterback Caleb Williams' award to lose.

Rivalry week in college football is one where fans let out all of their emotions as they root for their team to win against their hated counterparts. With that, this provides some of the biggest stars in the sport to shine.

It just so happens that plenty of Heisman trophy candidates had the chance to prove that they were deserving to hoist the award at the annual ceremony in New York City. Some, like USC's Caleb Williams, were able to do just that. Others, like Ohio State's C.J. Stroud, didn't help themselves and only hurt their chances.

Here are the newest Heisman Trophy power rankings after rivalry week.

Heisman Trophy Power Rankings, Week 13

Ohio State was completely trounced by Michigan in the second half on Saturday, losing 45-23. This is the second year in a row in which the Buckeyes lost to the Wolverines after holding a winning streak from 2012 until 2020.

Despite the loss, wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. showed why he's considered one of the top wide receivers in the game. In the game, he caught seven passes for 120 yards and one touchdown. That score allowed Ohio State to take a 20-17 lead entering halftime. Yet, the Buckeyes were held to just three points in the second half.

On the year, Harrison recorded 72 receptions for 1,157 receiving yards (eighth-most in NCAA) and 12 receiving touchdowns (tied third-most).

Just as Drake Maye began skyrocketing up the rankings, he plummeted back down to where he started.

After being held without a touchdown in a game for the first time this season against Georgia Tech last week, Maye had the chance to rebound in Week 13 against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. That didn't exactly happen.

With the game tied at 17 points apiece with over five minutes remaining in regulation, Maye threw an interception, which allowed NC State to score a go-ahead touchdown on a 26-yard pass from Ben Finely to Devin Carter.

Yet, Maye did manage to tie the game at the buzzer on a four-yard touchdown pass to Antoine Green. The game would go into double overtime, which NC State won 30-27 after a 35-yard missed field goal by Noah Burnette.

In the game, Maye threw for 233 yards, one touchdown, and one interception while completing 29-of-49 pass attempts. Additionally, Maye ran for 32 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries.

One of the other most precipitous fallers in this week's Heisman rankings is Oregon's Bo Nix.

The Oregon Ducks had the chance to play their way into the Pac-12 title game with a win over the Oregon State Beavers. The team had a 34-17 just seconds into the start of the final frame. The Beavers then responded with three consecutive touchdown drives to pick up the 38-34 win. It certainly didn't help that the Ducks' offense fumbled the ball and had two turnover on downs to end the game.

Nix completed 27-of-41 pass attempts for 327 yards and two touchdowns. He wasn't much of a factor in the running game like in previous weeks, taking three carries for a loss of five yards.

While it was a respectable showing for Nix, he was outshined by others in the rankings.

Michael Penix Jr. is statistically one of the top quarterbacks in the nation but didn't exactly get much love in the Heisman talks due to the team having two losses on the season. But week-in and week-out, Penix shows that he is one of the best passers in the nation.

In Week 13, Washington took on the rival Washington State Cougars for the Apple Bowl. This game virtually determined who would face Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Game between Oregon or Utah. Penix and the Huskies picked up the 51-33 win to help the Utes make the conference title game.

Penix put up video game numbers against Washington state, completing 25-of-43 of his throws for 485 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The junior quarterback also ran for 34 yards and two touchdowns on two carries.

On the season, Penix has completed 66.0 percent of his passes for 4,354 yards, 29 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

Bryce Young rises up one spot on the rankings due in part to a strong game in Week 13, which exceeded that of Maye and Nix.

Young played in potentially his final home game at Bryant-Denny Stadium, taking on the Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl. The reigning Heisman Trophy winner threw three touchdown passes in the first half, one each to Jase McClellan, Ja'Corey Brooks, and Traeshon Holden. Not to mention that he ran for a five-yard touchdown, all of which helped the Crimson Tide carry a 35-14 lead into halftime.

Alabama defeated Auburn 49-27.

Young completed 20-of-30 pass attempts for 343 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception.

Last week, Hendon Hooker's season unfortunately reached its end after he suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in Tennesee's loss to the South Carolina Gamecocks. Even though the campaign reached its end, Hooker was a legitimate Heisman favorite.

This season, Hooker threw for 3,135 yards, 27 touchdowns, and two interceptions while completing 69.6 percent of his passes. Hooker also picked up 430 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 104 carries.

Had Hooker not gotten injured and Tennessee not been handily defeated by South Carolina, he would have remained high in the rankings.

Michigan picked up their biggest win of the season. They heard the noise about a loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes would virtually eliminate them from Playoff contention and that their strength of schedule against non-conference teams was weak. But, here they stand as one of the three undefeated teams in the nation after blowing out Ohio State 45-23.

Blake Corum did play in the game, albeit briefly due to a knee injury suffered the week prior. He received two carries in the game for a total of six yards. Then, he was benched.

Yes, the Wolverines fared just fine without Corum as quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running back Donovan Edwards shining, but he helped the team reach this point. His 1,457 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on 245 carries are hard to ignore, and why he should be in Heisman consideration.

He won't win the award, but he deserves an invite to New York City for the Heisman ceremony.

The biggest riser in the latest power rankings is TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan. He's the starting quarterback of one of the three remaining undefeated teams in all of college football. Not just that, but he played a significant role in the team's 62-14 blowout victory over the Iowa State Cyclones.

Duggan started off the day with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Geor'Quarius Spivey on the opening drive. Then, Duggan threw touchdown passes on TCU's first two drives of the second half. Ultimately, with the game so out of reach for Iowa State, head coach Sonny Dykes benched Duggan.

The senior completed 17-of-24 pass attempts for 212 yards and three touchdowns.

TCU has proved plenty of doubters wrong in their undefeated run this season, and Duggan was a significant factor in that. Hence why he rose up to the No. 3 spot this week.

C.J. Stroud was in the driver's seat to win the Heisman Trophy, but the rise of Caleb Williams has curtailed his chances. It certainly doesn't help that he had a less-than-stellar performance in the team's biggest game of the regular season against the Michigan Wolverines.

Despite holding a 20-17 lead over Michigan at halftime, Stroud and the Buckeyes were limited to just three points in the second half. Stroud threw two interceptions on Ohio State's two final drives of the game. His first pick resulted in Michigan extending their lead to 45-23 on an 85-yard touchdown run by Donovan Edwards. Then, his second interception officially clinched the victory for Stroud.

Stroud threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns while completing 31-of-48 pass attempts.

With this loss, Ohio State is out of Big Ten Championship contention. Now, they have to wait and see which bowl game they will play in, whether it's part of the College Football Playoff or not.

In case there wasn't any further proof that Caleb Williams should win the Heisman, it was pretty much solidified in Week 13. C.J. Stroud had far from the greatest game against the Michigan Wolverines. All Williams needed to do was have a good showing against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, and he would retain the No. 1 spot in the Heisman Trophy Power Rankings.

He did just that.

Williams played like he was in Madden. Making incredible throws, juking Notre Dame defenders, and running for touchdowns. If one play was Heisman-worthy, it was this ridiculous run in the third quarter.

Through the air, Williams completed 18-of-22 throws for 232 yards and one touchdown, while running for 35 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries.

USC won 38-27.

If Williams shines in the Pac-12 Championship Game and leads the team to victory, the Heisman could be all his.

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