The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Willman’s Heisman ranking – week 12

Bo Nix vs. Jordan Travis the key debate
Bo Nix warms up his arm prior to taking on the Cougs, Oct. 21, in Eugene, Oregon.

There have been 12 weeks of the 2023 NCAAF season already played and now two players sit head and shoulders above the rest of the competition in the Heisman race. While Michael Penix Jr. looked to be a surefire bet for much of the season, he has fallen out of the convo as the favorite over the past several weeks. 

Now Oregon’s Bo Nix and LSU’s Jayden Daniels are the two most likely to come away with the trophy. 

Oregon QB – Bo Nix 

Nix has the Ducks as a one-loss team and in prime position to take home the Pac-12 Championship and make the College Football Playoff. Nix has the third-highest QBR at 89.8 and has played ultra-efficient ball in 2023. If Oregon wins out, he will gain favor with a lot of voters who will prefer a one-loss team led by a dominant QB rather than a three-loss team, like Daniels’ LSU.

Nix has gone 282-of-361 passing in 2023, with a completion percentage of 78.1% for 3,539 yards, 35 TDs and just two interceptions. His completion percentage can easily break the record for the highest in a single season, set by Alabama’s Mac Jones in 2020 with 77.4%.

In his recent performance against Arizona State, he threw for 404 yards and six TDs, dominating the entire first half of the game against the Sun Devils. He also has added five TDs on the ground, tallying a total of 40 scores. 

Further solidifying his case is his opportunity to redeem his loss. If the Ducks beat Oregon State in week 13, they will rematch the Washington Huskies in the Pac-12 Championship. He also played well in the only loss the Ducks have had in 2023, going 33-of-44 for 337 yards and two TDs. 

LSU QB – Jayden Daniels 

LSU is just 6-3 and will compete in the SEC Championship, but he is playing statistically better than Nix. He has gone 220-of-303, completing 72.6% of his passes for 3,577 yards, 36 TDs and four interceptions. But, he has been a dominant rusher beyond his passing prowess. While his QBR of 94.9 ranks as the best, he has added 1,014 rushing yards and 10 TDs. 

Totaling 46 TDs and accounting for even more yards than Nix, he is the statistical pick for the Heisman. 

While LSU has lost three games, much of those losses have not been his fault. Looking at his three performances, he has played decent to good in the games.

Florida Stats (45-24 loss) – 22-of-37, 346 yards, one TD, one int, 64 rushing yards, zero TD 

Ole Miss (55-49 loss) – 27-of-36, 414 yards, four TD, zero int, 99 rushing yards, one TD 

Alabama (42-38 loss) 15-of-24, 219 yards, two TD, one INT, 163 rushing yards, one TD 

While the TD numbers are far from ideal in the losses, he has not been downright bad or the biggest reason the team loses. While he may be the current favorite based on stats, Nix has two opportunities to jump past the LSU QB. 

If LSU loses to Texas A&M and/or Nix puts up fantastic performances against the Beavers and if the Ducks win the Pac-12 Championship behind a strong showing from Nix, he will certainly secure a Heisman Trophy win. 

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.