Stroud moves up Heisman Trophy odds board with monster game against Indiana
As we close in on the final games of October, the Heisman Trophy futures odds are beginning to solidify themselves as the top three candidates separate themselves from the field. Let’s break down where things stand heading into Week 9!
Heisman Trophy 2021
Sun, December 5 2021, 10:57 AM
Walker III, Kenneth
Robinson Jr., Brian
No changes at the top this week
It’s been a rarity this season to see the top of the Heisman odds not involve at least one of the top three moving up or down, but that is the case this week. Bryce Young and Matt Corral maintain their top two positions atop the odds, with no movement from either one, while Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud stays at third with a slight dip in price, moving from +600 to +400 after the weekend.
Young was a dominant force in Alabama’s 52-24 win over Tennessee, gaining more than 400 total yards and four touchdowns on the day as the Tide scored 28 points in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Meanwhile, Corral had a very quiet day by his standards, throwing for just 185 yards and running for 24 in the 31-17 win over LSU, while adding a touchdown through the air and on the ground.
Stroud had another monstrous performance against Indiana, with the freshman quarterback continuing his absurd run over the past three games. He now has 14 touchdowns to zero picks in that stretch, after throwing four touchdown passes against the Hoosiers to go along with 266 passing yards. He did not play the fourth quarter as the Buckeyes rolled the Hoosiers 54-7, and now has 22 touchdowns to three interceptions in six games.
Week 8's Freshman of the Week: C.J. Stroud of @OhioStateFB— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) October 25, 2021
◽ Completed 21 of 28 passes for 266 yards and 4 TDs
◽ Threw 3 TD passes in the 1st half to help build a 44-7 halftime lead
◽ Has thrown 14 TDs with 0 INTs in Ohio State’s last three games
🗞️ https://t.co/mfvgJ9Tqpz pic.twitter.com/STuk19CAML
We do have a new contender in fourth this week, as Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett cut his price by more than half and now sits at +1200 to win the award. Pitt sits at 6-1 on the season following their 27-17 win over Clemson, in which Picket threw for 302 yards and a pair of scores. Pickett has 23 passing touchdowns, fourth-most in the nation, and also sits third in QBR and ninth in passing yards, while having thrown just one interception.
Ridder and others sliding further from leaders
Despite not losing a game, Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder took a bit of a tumble the past two weeks. Last week he was +1600, but you can now get him at +2500 in large part due to his average numbers, and the fact that teammate Jerome Ford is beginning to get more carries than before. The Bearcats had to hold off a comeback bid by Navy this weekend, and Ridder threw for just 176 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Ridder does not rank in the top 20 in any major passing category and would need a strong finish to re-enter the conversation.
Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III also slipped this week, with the Spartans on a bye. He can now be had at +1800, down from +1200 a week before. Meanwhile, Texas running back Bijan Robinson gained a bit of ground, with Texas also on a bye week following two consecutive defeats. His price moved from +5000 to +4000, but Texas needs some big wins for him to be a contender again.
Two other running backs are hanging around the longshot spots, but both have quarterbacks handing them the ball who currently reside in the top three of the odds. Buckeyes running back TreVeyon Henderson had another outstanding game against Indiana, gaining 81 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries and adding another on a 14-yard reception. In his past two contests, Henderson has 30 total touches and has found the end zone six times. Young’s companion in the backfield, running back Brian Robinson, was a monster against Tennessee, carrying 26 times for 107 yards and a trio of touchdowns giving him 11 rushing scores on the season. However, unless they suddenly begin stealing all of their quarterbacks’ touchdowns, both are longshots.
What to keep an eye on
Alabama is on a bye this weekend with LSU coming up next week, so Young shouldn’t see too much change in his price. However, his schedule is extremely favorable to put up big numbers, with little defensive issues to speak of until Auburn on Nov. 27.
That very Auburn team will host Corral and Ole Miss this Saturday evening, and a strong game by Corral could see him close the gap with Young. I don’t know that he will overtake him, even with a dominant performance, but he will be tested against an Auburn unit giving up just 217 yards passing per contest.
Ohio State will face their toughest test of the season this weekend, when the Buckeyes host Penn State in primetime on Saturday. The Nittany Lions are allowing just 178 yards passing per game, and less than 15 points, so if Stroud can put on another show against them, he might not just be "in" the Heisman conversation, he could very well jump into the top two—especially if Corral has another ho-hum game, or even loses.
However, should Ohio State lose, or Stroud struggle, you could see Stroud’s price tumble and the juice get squeezed even more for Young and Corral at the top. This could be a pivotal week in the Heisman Trophy futures race, and it might be your final chance to get value on any of the top three contenders.