Ohio State redshirt freshman C.J. Stroud is having another fantastic year leading the number one offense in the NCAA. As a result, experts around the country are now looking at him as a serious Heisman Trophy candidate.
What are the current Heisman Trophy odds, and is the Ohio State Buckeyes QB a serious contender? Check out this analysis of the Heisman hopefuls to find out.
Bryce Young is Current Favorite
According to BetMGM odds, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy at +175.
Young’s staggering resume features 3,025 passing yards, 33 TDs, and he’s completing 70.9% of his passes.
At times this year, Young served as the entire Alabama offense. For example, in a recent game against LSU, the Alabama offense rushed for only six total yards.
C.J. Stroud is Right There
Current BetMGM Heisman Trophy odds have Coleridge “CJ” Bernard Stroud at +225. So why is Stroud now one of the media’s darling picks to upset Bryce Young?
Stroud has thrown for more yards than Bryce (3,036), and he’s completing 68.8% of his passes. He’s also thrown for 30 TDs.
Those numbers are comparable to Young, but Young holds an advantage over Stroud. His play versus AP Top 25 teams is superior.
Against ranked opponents through Week 11, Stroud threw for 789 yards and four TDs. Young, however, threw for 825 yards and nine TDs.
Stroud does have a chance to surpass Young’s statistical output against ranked teams. The Ohio State Buckeyes finish the season against Michigan State and Michigan, both currently ranked.
The Quarterback Field
Throughout the 2021 season, several quarterbacks have stepped into the limelight as darkhorse Heisman hopefuls.
Matt Corral leads a dynamic Ole Miss offense and, through Week 11, has passed for 17 TDs and 2,774 yards. Current odds have Corral at +700.
Kenny Pickett continues performing miracles at Pitt. He’s thrown for 3,527 yards and 35 TDs. But, unfortunately, the odds are against Pickett at +2500.
How Stroud Stands Out
Looking at the numbers, it’s clear Pickett has a clear statistical advantage. Unfortunately for Pickett, he’s compiled those statistics in a very weak ACC. He’s also suffered losses to Western Michigan and Miami.
While he’s not the favorite, Stroud stands a chance to make his case during the final two weeks of the season.
The Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback faces two AP Top Ten challengers in a row, Michigan and Michigan State. These games allow Stroud to take over the favorite spot.
The remaining Alabama schedule features matchups against Arkansas and Auburn. But, of course, there’s always a recency bias when it comes to Heisman voting, and Stroud’s final two games can be the difference-maker.
Can C.J. Stroud Win the Heisman?
He absolutely can. The final two weeks of the regular season allow C.J. Stroud the opportunity to take control as the Heisman Trophy favorite.
If he performs well against Michigan State and Michigan, there’s no reason he wouldn’t leapfrog Bryce Young on the futures board.
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