Heisman Rankings: Our winner from the 4 finalists for 2022
The 2022 college football season has reached its regular-season conclusion as the race for the Heisman Trophy approaches its final descent. Conference titles have been settled, and the teams competing in the College Football Playoff are decided.
Once again, theScore's rankings feature some significant movement as the Heisman Trophy Trust narrowed the list down to four finalists for one of the sport's most prestigious awards.
With the ceremony just days away, here's how we rank the finalists.
Honorable mentions: Hendon Hooker, Blake Corum, Bo Nix, Michael Penix Jr.
4. Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia
- 3,425 passing yards, 68.1% completion percentage, 27 total touchdowns, 6 INTs
Georgia hasn't lost a game in nearly a calendar year and capped the 2022 regular season with its second SEC title in the past six campaigns. Bennett has been more than a steady hand at the helm for the Bulldogs, leading the reigning national champions back to the postseason.
The senior standout's 3,425 passing yards place him among the top 12 quarterbacks in the country. Boasting a 154.6 passer rating, Bennett has displayed his ability as a dual threat by rushing for seven scores while averaging 3.91 yards per carry. He's among the five most efficient passers in the SEC this season, touting a 68.1% completion rate.
The Blackshear, Georgia, native spearheaded a 50-30 thrashing of LSU last weekend to help the Bulldogs recapture the SEC crown. Bennett impressed during the rout by completing 23 of 29 pass attempts for 274 yards and four touchdowns. While Bennett's statistics don't match the other finalists, no other player sports a better team record than Georgia's star passer.
3. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State
- 3,340 passing yards, 66.2% completion percentage, 37 total touchdowns, 6 INT
Michigan took the air out of Ohio State's postseason ambition and scuttled Stroud's Heisman candidacy. The Buckeyes star appeared to be on pace to enjoy a prosperous day against the Wolverines after orchestrating a touchdown drive to begin "The Game." However, apart from a TD to Marvin Harrison Jr. in the third quarter, Stroud couldn't deliver in a must-win scenario for Ohio State.
The junior signal-caller went 31-for-38 passing with 349 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions in the loss to Michigan. Stroud led the Heisman pack throughout most of the season. He managed to bounce back from a less-than-stellar performance against Northwestern by throwing for 297 yards and five scores against Indiana the following week.
Despite faltering in the de facto Big Ten East title game, the Buckeyes still average 44.6 points per contest (No. 2 in the nation). No other quarterback in the conference is close to matching Stroud's 37 passing touchdowns. The Big Blue machine may have poked a hole in Stroud's balloon, but the California native still deserves recognition as a contender. He rightfully earned his second invite to the Heisman ceremony.
2. Max Duggan, QB, TCU
- 3,321 passing yards, 64.9% completion percentage, 36 total touchdowns, 4 INT
Head coach Sonny Dykes' advocacy for Duggan has finally led to his rankings debut. TCU is set to take on Michigan in a playoff matchup at the Fiesta Bowl. The senior led all Big 12 quarterbacks with a 165.5 passer rating and 30 touchdowns through the air. It's astounding that Duggan lost the starting role prior to the first game of the season, only to turn in a remarkable campaign in what could be his final year in Fort Worth, Texas.
Duggan saved his best performances of the season for the Horned Frogs' last two outings. He completed 17 of 24 throws for 212 yards and three touchdowns in a win over Iowa State in the regular-season finale. The senior standout followed it up by recording 251 passing yards and 110 rushing yards for two total touchdowns in the Big 12 championship game.
Although TCU dropped its first and only contests of the season to Kansas State last week, Duggan continued to impress despite being in a losing effort. It was Duggan's legs that helped the Horned Frogs even the game late against the Wildcats.
1. Caleb Williams, QB, USC
- 4,075 passing yards, 66.1% completion percentage, 47 total touchdowns, 4 INT
Williams passed for a career-high 470 yards in a win over crosstown rival UCLA on Nov. 19. He continued to shine when the Trojans hosted Notre Dame a week later, racking up 232 yards and four total touchdowns. USC has pushed the pace on offense by scoring at least 30 points in 10 of its wins this season.
The second-year star racked up his seventh 300-plus-yard passing performance of the campaign in the Pac-12 championship loss to Utah. Williams pushed through an apparent leg injury as he sported a noticeable limp in the contest. However, he remained in the game with the Trojans trailing in the second half.
It appeared the USC signal-caller was poised to lead the program past the Utes and just needed to figure out who to thank and in what order for the Heisman ceremony on Dec. 10 in New York. Despite the setback, Williams' impact on the turnaround in Southern California can't be understated.
The Trojans boast the nation's No. 4 offense and post 41.1 points per contest. With a defensive unit that struggled at times during the season, it's Williams who elevated the team during the dire moments. In USC's illustrious history, no other quarterback has scored as many total touchdowns as Williams' 47 this year.
His determination is both equally entertaining and dazzling to watch. It seems inevitable that USC will have to make room for yet another Heisman in its trophy case.
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