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Against The Odds: What Will Help Hooker’s Bid For The Heisman?

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Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker often expresses his sentiments on personal faith. He’ll need that inner belief in the coming weeks if he hopes to win The Heisman Trophy.

Hooker is one of the favorites in a season in which the Heisman’s eventual destiny is as uncertain as it has been in several years. Just getting into the conversation and staying in it is admirable considering Hooker wasn’t on any Heisman preseason watch lists in August.

Hooker has certainly had his Heisman moments. The blowout against LSU was one, followed by a win against Florida and then the penultimate, his performance in the Vols upset win against Alabama this season.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that there’s not much more that Hooker can do. The Vols play South Carolina on Saturday followed by Vanderbilt to close out the season. No matter what Hooker does in those games, it won’t help his chances, unless the Vols somehow slip up against those lessor foes.

Off The Hook Sports with Dave Hooker and Amanda LaFratta

Hooker could complete 70-percent of his passes, throw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns in each contest and such performances would be met with a ho-hum attitude. After all, Hooker has set the bar so high that such gaudy numbers are expected against the remaining two lower-tier opponents on the Vols’ schedule. Hooker can’t win the Heisman on his own in the next two weeks. He could only lose it if the Vols struggle.

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Meanwhile, Hooker’s competition will have chances to shine in a national spotlight and there’s nothing that Hooker can do about it.

Here is what each Heisman candidate has left on their schedule

Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

Ohio State will face Northwestern this week and Stroud should look fantastic. However, his chance to secure the award will come against Michigan in the Buckeyes’ season finale. If Stroud puts on a show, he’ll likely win some last-second votes and be No. 1 in most voters eyes. Stroud also has the Big Ten Championship game in which he can wow voters on national television. All Hooker can do on that Saturday is watch since the Vols lost to Georgia.

North Carolina QB Drake May

Chuckle if you want, but May is becoming a real candidate in the eyes of many voters I’ve talked to. Yes, he was a dark horse like Hooker and had miles to cover to even be considered, but he’s done that. Now, he’ll lead North Carolina against Georgia Tech and N.C. State before the ACC Championship Game against Clemson, which will draw some significant viewers.

North Carolina RB Blake Corum

The Michigan running back has just kind of hung around the top of the Heisman odds. However, he’d have to have a huge game against the Buckeyes and in the Big Ten Championship Game, as well as have some other players in front of him struggle. The Wolverines host Illinois this week.

Southern California QB Caleb Williams

Williams has always been in the hunt, but never really considered a favorite. The Southern California quarterback has time to change that. Williams has UCLA, Notre Dame and the Pac -12 Championship Game left on his schedule to wow voters. There’s a good chance that last leg of the schedule could provide a significant boost to his campaign.

Stetson Bennett

Let’s be clear, I don’t think Bennett can win the Heisman, but he’ll have some games to showcase his skills before the season concludes. Georgia, like Tennessee, should roll in their next two games, against Kentucky and Georgia Tech. Then, The Bulldogs will play LSU in the SEC Championship Game. Imagining an incredible performance on a huge stage isn’t outside the realm of possibility. Moreover, there will be some voters that want to award Bennett for his great story and his entire career. That’s not supposed to be how the award is granted, but it will be a factor.

Hooker could very well still win The Heisman Trophy. If your rooting for that, root hard against Stroud and continue to have faith that the Heisman voters will treat Hooker kindly. That isn’t exactly a Tennessee tradition.

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