Since 1935 the Heisman Trophy has been awarded to the most outstanding college football player for each season. Only one time has someone won back-to-back Heismans, Archie Griffin in 1974-75. Caleb Williams will be trying to do the same this season, and this article will explain if he will or not.
The first thing any Heisman winner needs is pure talent, especially if they are trying to win back to back Heismans. A player that is having a great statistical year, or playing on a team with great team success usually finds his way into the Heisman discussion.
However, both of those things might only happen for that specific season, and this is why so many players have failed to win back-to-back Heismans. Look at Johnny Manziel in 2012; the Texas A&M Aggies finished 11-2 helping Manziel’s case for the Heisman.
The following year they would finish 9-4, and a decrease in wins is not a good way to repeat as a Heisman winner. For Jameis Winston in 2013, he would lead the Florida State Seminoles to the National Championship, throwing for 40 touchdowns with only 10 interceptions.
It wasn’t the lack of team success that kept him from winning in 2014, as they were undefeated at the time of the Heisman voting. However, he threw 15 less touchdowns and eight more interceptions.
Lamar Jackson tried to win the award back to back season in 2017 after dominating teams all year in 2016; he statistically dominated again; however, in both years, the team finished the regular season with eight wins, and the committee wasn’t going to give it to him with a mediocre record twice.
Lastly, Bryce Young tried to repeat it last year. However, the season that Caleb Williams put together was simply unreal, and overshadowed what Young did. That’s another part that is a factor; you can’t simply have the same season again; you have to have a better one.
People will get bored of the same thing, and Williams will need to improve on everything, stats, team success, and the eye test. However, I would bet a lot of money the eye test won’t be an issue, as he might be the best prospect at quarterback people have seen in a long time.
Can He Do it?
This is where the pure talent of Caleb Williams could help him slow down stat regression, as well as win games that USC probably shouldn’t this season, as their defense is in the bottom half of the PAC-12.
USC finished 11-3 last season, losing the PAC-12 Championship to Utah and the Sugar Bowl to Tulane. If Williams wants to win back-to-back Heismans, he will have to make the College Football Playoff, no questions asked.
A relatively easy schedule, Williams will be tested with Notre Dame and Oregon both being on the road. USC might be able to lose one of those games and still make the playoff, but definitely not both.
Another thing Williams will have to overcome is the departure of Jordan Addison, his top receiver and a potential first-round pick. He still has weapons, but Addison might have been the best receiver in college football last year, and it is a huge loss.
Overall, I think USC will lose to Notre Dame, but will win every other game and make the College Football Playoff, as well as Caleb Williams winning back to back Heisman Trophies, because he is the most talented college quarterback I have ever seen in my life.