With the first weekend of November, there are new conferences underway, more games canceled and postponed from COVID, updated Heisman odds, and a new player in the playoff race. The big games to watch this weekend are No. 1 Clemson (-6.5) at No. 4 Notre Dame and No 5. Georgia (-3) vs. No. 8 Florida at a neutral site. Both games will go a long way in determining one of the teams to play in the ACC Championship and SEC Championship games next month.
Meanwhile, the MAC started this week with favorites Buffalo (+250) got off to a 1-0 start with a 49-30 road win over Northern Illinois. Meanwhile, Ohio (+350) was upset at Central Michigan (+900), while Miami Ohio (+600), Toledo (+600), and Western Michigan (+600) all won.
The Pac-12 gets rolling this weekend but had two games canceled because of COVID outbreaks. Both Washington vs. California and Utah vs. Arizona were casualties of coronavirus outbreaks. The conference gets going with a Noon ET start as USC (-11) hosts Arizona State. UCLA (-5) is at Colorado at 7:00 p.m. ET, and Oregon (-8.5) hosts Stanford at 7:30 p.m. ET. The final game features Oregon State (-3) against Washington State at 10:30 p.m.
No. 12 Oregon is favored to win the Pac-12 at +175 while No. 20 USC is +220. Utah (+700) and Washington (+750) are up next, but both could play a game less than the favorites.
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is the new Heisman Trophy favorite at +142, and he gets the stage to himself this weekend. Alabama and quarterback Mac Jones (+150) have the week off, while Clemson quarterback (+275) will miss his second straight game with COVID. Fields and the 2-0 Buckeyes are favored by 37.5 points against Rutgers, and the signal-caller should be able to pad his stats. He likely needs some big games to cement his status after the Big Ten started six weeks after the SEC and ACC.
His numbers won’t reach the totals of the other contenders, but if voters go by averages, Fields could have the advantage. Fields has tallied six touchdowns and 594 yards on an 87% completion rate in the first two games without a turnover. He has also rushed for a touchdown with 50 yards.
In six games this season, Jones has completed 79% of his passes for 2,196 yards with 16 touchdowns and two interceptions. He will next be in action for Alabama’s rivalry game against LSU on November 14.
Lawrence was the big favorite before testing positive for COVID and missing Clemson’s win over Boston College on October 31. He will miss Saturday’s showdown at Notre Dame, and the Tigers are on a bye next week before traveling to Florida State on November 21. Lawrence has 1,833 yards in six games with 17 touchdowns, two interceptions, a 71% completion rate, and two rushing scores.
No other player has better than +2000 odds though Florida quarterback Kyle Trask, Clemson running back Travis Etienne, and No. 17 Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy could boost their odds with big games this weekend.
Keep an eye on No. 9 Brigham Young quarterback Zach Wilson (+3000). Wilson threw for 359 yards on 21-of-27 passing Friday night as the Cougars moved to 8-0 with a 51-17 road win at No. 21 Boise State.