Big Board: Week 7 

Lincoln Riley USC Head Coach

The college football season has just about reached its midpoint. 

There is still plenty left to be resolved, too, about this college football season. The Big Ten Conference will learn more about itself in the next few weeks.

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No. 2  Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 6 Penn State all rank inside the top-10 from the Big Ten’s East Division. All three will play one another, first when the Nittany Lions travel to Columbus on Oct. 21. 

Here are several players and notes to keep a tab on in this week’s Big Board. 

Can USC outlast its upcoming stretch of games? 

Speaking of stretches of tough games, the Trojans have a challenging stretch coming up. 

USC is already bowl eligible behind its 6-0 record. Now, it has some work to do. 

The Trojans will face No. 21 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, this week. The two teams met a season ago in California when USC beat the Fighting Irish 38-27. 

After that, USC will have to go on and host No. 16 Utah, which beat the Trojans twice last year and kept them from the College Football Playoff. 

USC will then get a chance to rebound at Cal before hosting No. 7 Washington in what will be expected to be a matchup of Heisman Trophy contenders between Caleb Williams and Michael Penix Jr. The Heisman very well may be on the line that week. 

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The Trojans will round out the season at No. 8 Oregon and against No. 18 UCLA in what will likely be a stretch of five ranked games in their final six of the season. 

Can USC come out on the other side this year on the doorstep of the CFP? 

Dillon Gabriel, Oklahoma 

In recent weeks, it has felt like Texas’ Quinn Ewers or Oregon’s Bo Nix among others who have vaulted themselves into Heisman Trophy consideration. 

This time around, it’s Oklahoma’s Dillon Gabriel, who led the Sooners to a 34-30 Red River Rivalry victory. 

READ: Gabriel leads No. 12 Oklahoma in ‘team effort’ Red River Rivalry win over No. 3 Texas 

Gabriel ranks among the top quarterbacks from a statistical lens. He’s fifth in passing yards and eighth in passing efficiency, and he had to get it done with both his arm and legs against the Longhorns. 

Gabriel passed for 285 yards and a touchdown while running for 113 yards more and a score. 

Gabriels’ current Heisman odds are +1200, which are the fourth-best according to FanDuel Sportsbook. 

Is Beck beginning to break out for Georgia? 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Bulldogs quarterback Carson Beck became the third Southeastern Conference quarterback in over 10 years to throw four touchdowns and complete 85% of his passes against the blitz, and he became the first to do so against an SEC opponent. 

He went 28-for-35 against No. 20 Kentucky and added 389 passing yards and four touchdowns. 

Beck has the opportunity to do something special. 

Succeeding a quarterback like Stetson Bennett is no easy task. Bennett took Georgia to back-to-back CFP National Championships, and Beck can help the Bulldogs become the first team to three-peat in the modern era. 

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Beck is tied for 33rd with 11 passing touchdowns and he’s No. 15 in passing efficiency. He is also fourth in passing yards with 1,886 and sixth with a 73.5% completion. 

Beck’s current Heisman odds are +4500, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, and those are the 10th-best odds among all players.