LSU and Heisman hopeful quarterback Jayden Daniels are idle this weekend, but the Tigers signal-caller may very well now be in the clear to become the school's second winner of the award within a span of five seasons. Daniels re-emerged as the consensus Heisman betting favorite following No. 3 Washington's Pac-12 Championship Game victory over No. 5 Oregon Friday, which featured his biggest competition for the honor -- Huskies quarterback Michael Penix, Jr., and Ducks quarterback Bo Nix -- in action.
Daniels had odds of -1450 as of Saturday morning, comfortably ahead of Penix (+1000) and Nix (+2000) after the pair of Pac-12 signal-callers made their final statements Friday night, and with an extra 13th game compared to Daniels' 12 games. Nix was the consensus favorite to win the Heisman entering the Pac-12 Championship Game before Washington posted a 34-31 victory against Oregon.
Nix was 21-of-34 passing for 239 yards and three touchdowns with an interception against the Huskies, and rushed for an additional 69 yards. Penix, meanwhile, was 27-of-39 passing for 319 yards with a touchdown and interception against the Ducks as Washington claimed the Pac-12 title and improved to 13-0, putting itself in the driver's seat for a College Football Playoff berth.
Daniels, a second-year starter for LSU in 2023 who began his career at Arizona State before transferring, finished the regular season as the SEC's leading passer, throwing for 3,812 yards. Only Nix and Penix had more passing yards among FBS players this season, both eclipsing the 4,000-yard mark after last night's Pac-12 title game.
Although Penix leads the nation in passing at 4,218 yards, Daniels passed for 40 touchdowns -- tied with Nix as of Friday night for the most of any FBS player in 2023 -- against just four interceptions. Penix, meanwhile, passed for 30 touchdowns and was intercepted nine times. Add in the fact that Daniels has also flourished as a dual-threat passer, and the separation between the two in betting odds is clear. Daniels finished the regular season as LSU's leading rusher, racking up 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns while averaging 8.4 yards per carry. It put him nearly 500 yards above the Tigers' second-leading rusher, running back Logan Diggs.
Daniels looks to become LSU's third Heisman winner in program history, joining Billy Cannon (1959) and Joe Burrow (2019). The Heisman last went to an SEC player in 2021, when then-Alabama quarterback Bryce Young won the honor. The Heisman winner will be announced Dec. 9 in New York City.