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Heisman Watch, Week 1: SEC West QBs flex their muscles while Big 12 contenders falter

It was all about quarterbacks as college football’s biggest teams played their first games of the season.

Akron v Auburn
Quarterback Bo Nix of the Auburn Tigers runs the ball during their game against the Akron Zips at Jordan-Hare Stadium on September 04, 2021 in Auburn, Alabama.
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

Week 1 of the 2021 college football season featured the biggest teams going against each other in what turned out to be a great showcase for the sport. Some marquee matchups didn’t live up to the hype, but others were classics. Here’s how the Heisman field looks after Week 1, with usual suspects entering the race for college football’s biggest individual honor in a big way. All odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook.

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

Stock: Up

In typical Alabama fashion, the Crimson Tide rolled past Miami (FL) with ease 44-13 in the opening game. Young was the star of the show, going 27/38 for 344 yards and four touchdowns. Alabama is going to be in the College Football Playoff and national title conversation all season long, meaning Young is going to have plenty of exposure. He’ll be in big games for most of the season and has a chance to give the Crimson Tide back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners.

Brock Purdy, QB, Iowa State

Stock: Down

Purdy opened the season at +3500 to win the award, but is now listed at +4000. The Cyclones QB went 21/26 for 199 yards and no scores in what turned out to be a tough 16-10 win over Northern Iowa. He added 58 yards on the ground, but didn’t find the endzone. Purdy will have a big-time game against Oklahoma later in the season, but this was not the start Iowa State wanted from its best player.

Bo Nix, QB, Auburn

Stock: Up

Nix has been inconsistent so far in his tenure at Auburn, but his performance in a Week 1 win over Akron was stellar. Nix went 20/22 for 275 yards and three touchdowns while adding 32 yards on the ground. Auburn has a massive contest in two weeks at Penn State which could put the Tigers in the rankings and Nix in serious Heisman contention. He’s currently +7500 to win the honor.

Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss

Stock: Up

A dual-threat quarterback from the SEC West who wears 2 being a Heisman contender? It’s happening again in 2021 with Corral. The Ole Miss star lit up Louisville in Week 1, combining for 436 yards and two touchdowns in a 43-24 victory. Corral will have a couple light contests (although Tulane could give Ole Miss some problems) ahead of a massive showdown at Alabama which will have division, conference and playoff implications.

Spencer Rattler, QB, Oklahoma

Stock: Down

It was an atypical performance from Rattler, who opened the year as essentially a co-favorite for the Heisman Trophy while also being the likely No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The Sooners star went 30/39 for 304 yards and a touchdown, but also threw two interceptions and had a third nullified by a defensive penalty. Oklahoma escaped with a 40-35 win, but Rattler’s stock is down after an underwhelming effort. Luckily for Rattler, he has plenty of time to get going before the major tests come at the end of the season in Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

Jack Coan, QB, Notre Dame

Stock: Up

In what was one of the best games of Week 1, Coan showed why he could lead Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff again. The Wisconsin transfer was instrumental in the Irish defeating Florida State 41-38 in overtime, registering 366 yards and four touchdowns with one interception. The Irish did give up 18 points in the final quarter while scoring zero themselves, something head coach Brian Kelly will not want to repeat. Coan will get to face his former team September 25 in what will be another chance to boost his Heisman stock, which is currently +5000.