Heisman Finalists 2021: Predictions for Candidates' Order of Finish in the Race

Michelle Bruton@@michelle_nflFeatured ColumnistDecember 11, 2021

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young (9) passes in the pocket against Georgia during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

On Monday, the four 2021 Heisman Trophy finalists were revealed, two days after conference championship games gave the voters one more data set by which to name the exclusive group. Balloting ended on Monday as well, and on Saturday, the winner will be revealed. 

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett and and Michigan edge-rusher Aidan Hutchinson are the four players with the potential to bring home college football's greatest award on Saturday evening. 

Let's take a look at the latest odds for these four players' chances of earning the coveted statue and predict the order in which they will finish.

The player who does earn the accolade will be in enviable company; the last five Heisman Trophy winners have been selected in the first round of the NFL draft (DeVonta Smith, Joe Burrow, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson).

Tune in to the 2021 Heisman Trophy ceremony, held in New York City, at 8 p.m. ET Saturday on ESPN. 


2021 Heisman Trophy Odds

QB Bryce Young, Alabama -200

QB C.J. Stroud, Ohio State +425

QB Kenny Pickett, Pitt +1600

DE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan +1500


Predicting Heisman Trophy Order of Finish

ESPN @espn


1. Bryce Young 

By this point in the college football calendar, it's unlikely that the odds-on favorite to earn the Heisman Trophy award won't actually take it home.

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has put together an eye-popping campaign this season, amassing 4,322 yards and 43 touchdown passes with only four interceptions. Young put a flourish on his candidacy in the Crimson Tide's SEC Championship Game matchup against Georgia as he set a conference championship game record with 421 passing yards against the nation's top defense.

It's hard to imagine anyone but Young hearing his name called on Saturday. 


2. C.J. Stroud 

If someone were able to challenge Young for this year's top honor, it would be Ohio State signal-caller C.J. Stroud. It was only his first season behind the wheel for the vaunted Buckeyes offense, but it didn't look it as Stroud commanded his team like a seasoned veteran while he passed for 38 touchdowns with just five interceptions.

But Stroud and his Buckeyes were at home while Michigan took on Iowa in the Big Ten title game last weekend, and in order to surpass Young for this year's Heisman nod, Stroud really needed that final game to keep himself top of mind for voters. 


3. Kenny Pickett

Pitt enjoyed its first trip to the ACC Championship Game since it joined the conference in 2013 this season, and that's largely thanks to quarterback Kenny Pickett. The Panthers signal-caller obliterated his previous season-high touchdown mark (13) with 42 passing scores on the season and put together his first 4,000-yard passing season.

Voters may not have named Pickett on their Heisman ballots, but they'll sure remember his team's toppling of ACC Goliath Clemson, a game in which Pickett threw for 302 yards. 


4. Aidan Hutchinson 

The only non-quarterback among the group of finalists, edge-rusher Aidan Hutchinson has something not every player on this list does: his team will be playing for a change at the College Football Playoff title game.

Michigan's incredible season owes a lot to the efforts of Hutchinson, who terrorized opposing quarterbacks with 13.5 sacks and 12 QB hits. Eight of those sacks were against conference foes Ohio State, Penn State, Iowa and Michigan State.

It would be a great story if Hutchinson became the first defensive player to win the honor since fellow Wolverine Charles Woodson, but there's a reason it's been so long since that last happened. Hutchinson simply plays on the wrong side of the ball. 


Odds via DraftKings Sportsbook.

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