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A lot can change over the course of the college football season.
That would include the Heisman Trophy race, which looks nothing like it did in Week 1. Entering the season, the popular names included Oklahoma redshirt sophomore quarterback Spencer Rattler, Clemson sophomore quarterback DJ Uiagalelei and North Carolina junior quarterback Sam Howell. Fast forward to today and two names have separated from the pack: Ohio State redshirt freshman quarterback CJ Stroud and Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young.
Per FanDuel Sportsbook, Stroud has the best odds to win at -220, followed by Young at +190. The next closest is Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral at +2500.
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Stroud has been the linchpin of the Buckeyes’ No. 1 ranked offense. Since No. 4 Ohio State’s 35-28 loss to No. 3 Oregon on Sept 11, Stroud has kicked the offense into another gear. Ohio State is averaging 49.2 points per game since the loss, and Stroud has thrown for 300 plus yards with five or more touchdowns four times this season. Stroud has completed 71.1 percent of his passes for 3,468 yards with 36 touchdowns and five interceptions on the season. He also leads all Power Five quarterbacks with a 186.7 passer rating.
Young, meanwhile, has followed some of the greatest quarterbacks in Alabama history to become a star in his own right. Following the Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa and the Patriots’ Mac Jones, two NFL Draft first round selections who won national titles at Alabama, is no easy task. Young has made it look easy and has numbers that rival Stroud’s.
Young is completing 71.7 percent of his passes for 3,584 yards with 38 touchdowns and three interceptions. He has a 186.2 passer rating this season. In games against currently ranked opponents No. 12 Ole Miss, No. 16 Texas A&M, No. 21 Arkansas and No. 25 Mississippi State, Young has gone 3-1, throwing 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Both Stroud and Young will each have one more opportunity to beef up their Heisman résumés. No. 4 Ohio State (10-1, 8-0 Big Ten) will travel to the Big House to take on No. 6 Michigan (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten) on Saturday at noon on FOX. No. 2 Alabama (10-1, 6-1 SEC) will take on Auburn (6-5, 3-4 SEC) on the road in the Iron Bowl on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. on CBS.
The Heisman Trophy presentation will take place on Dec. 11 on ESPN.
Follow Nick Geddes on Twitter @NickGeddesNews and on Instagram @nick.geddes.