Heisman Watch 2021: Latest Odds and Predictions in Race for Top Award

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 6, 2021

Heisman Watch 2021: Latest Odds and Predictions in Race for Top Award

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The Alabama Crimson Tide will likely become the second program in five years to have back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners.

    Alabama quarterback Bryce Young became the overwhelming favorite to win the prestigious award with his performance in the SEC Championship Game. He was in the mix for the Heisman all season, but he did not take hold of the competition until Saturday in Atlanta.

    Plenty of other players should be considered as finalists. but not many first-place votes should be given to them. Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud and Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson are the most likely finalists alongside Young.

    The odds, with Young at the top, can be found on DraftKings Sportsbook.

1. Bryce Young, QB, Alabama

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    Brynn Anderson/Associated Press

    The Heisman should remain in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

    Young will likely follow DeVonta Smith as a Heisman winner from the FBS' most dominant program in the past decade.

    The quarterback surged to the front of the Heisman race with 421 passing yards and three touchdowns in the SEC Championship Game win over the Georgia Bulldogs. The sophomore would become the first underclassman since Lamar Jackson in 2016 to capture the award.

    Young ranks inside the top 10 in the FBS in passing yards and passing touchdowns. He was consistent enough throughout the season to be in the race all year. Michigan State Spartans running back Kenneth Walker III and Stroud were considered favorites during the campaign, but they fell off after their teams suffered defeats in November.

    The only questions involving Young are how many first-place votes he will earn and how big the gap is between himself and the other finalists.

2. C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    C.J. Stroud had a fantastic first season as Ohio State's starting quarterback.

    The freshman signal-caller threw for 3,862 yards and 38 touchdowns. He was considered a co-favorite alongside Young up until the final week of the regular season.

    Stroud produced 432 passing yards and six touchdowns in the November 20 win over Michigan State, and that performance appeared to be his Heisman moment. However, Stroud and the Buckeyes slipped up the following week against Michigan, with the Wolverines defense stealing all the headlines in that contest.

    The quarterback still had a great season and should finish high on Heisman ballots, but he will not have as many first-place votes as Young. Since he is still a freshman, Stroud should be in the mix for the Heisman in the next two years while Ohio State competes for a playoff spot.

3. Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan

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    Darron Cummings/Associated Press

    It is hard to find defensive representation at the top of recent Heisman vote tallies. The award is typically handed out to offensive stars because of the gaudy numbers they produce in the college football spotlight every week.

    Aidan Hutchinson broke the offensive dominance a bit this season with his fantastic pass-rushing performances for Michigan, putting his name near the top of the Heisman race with three sacks in the win over Ohio State. He had seven of his 14 sacks in the past four games.

    The senior defensive end will not win the Heisman, but he should earn some votes in the top positions on most ballots.

    Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis and Alabama linebacker Will Anderson are also deserving of high placings on ballots, but Hutchinson's performance against the Buckeyes should give him the edge as the best defensive player in the voting.


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