The 2021 NCAA college football season is quickly coming to an end, which was signalled by Thursday’s Heisman Trophy finalist announcement. This year’s finalists for the prestigious award are as follows:
- Alabama Crimson Tide QB Bryce Young
- Michigan Wolverines DE Aidan Hutchison
- Ohio State Buckeyes QB C.J. Stroud
- Pittsburgh Panthers QB Kenny Pickett
While we have to wait until Saturday, Dec. 11 for the winner to be announced on ESPN, BetOnline’s Heisman Trophy odds help shed some light on the situation. At -10000 odds, Young is the overwhelming favorite to win this year’s award.
Young led the Crimson Tide to a 12-1 record this season, which was not only good enough to be the top SEC team but also the No. 1-ranked school in the nation. The highlight of Alabama’s season so far was certainly winning the SEC Championship game over Georgia. Young helped a lot in that 41-24 victory by throwing for 421 yards and three touchdown passes without an interception.
Overall, Young has completed 68.0% of his passes this season for 4,322 passing yards and a whopping 43 TDs while throwing just four interceptions all season long. His passing efficiency rating is even a mind-blowing 175.4. What’s even more impressive is that he accomplished all of this despite attempting just 22 passes in his freshman year. If this is what he could pull off in his first full-time season, it isn’t hard to see why Young is the 2021 Heisman Trophy favorite.
2021 Heisman Trophy Odds
Odds via BetOnline as of Friday, December 10
- Bryce Young (-10000)
- Kenny Pickett (+1800)
- Aidan Hutchison (+2500)
- C.J. Stroud (+4000)
Kenny Pickett Heisman Odds
At +1800 odds, Pickett has the second-best shot at winning this year’s Heisman Trophy.
The Pittsburgh senior is in his fifth NCAAF season with the school and it’s already shaping up to be his best yet. After 13 games, his individual statistics aren’t that far off from Young’s, with Pickett having thrown 4,319 passing yards, 42 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He's also rushed the ball 98 times this season for 233 yards and an additional five scores on the ground.
One of the main issues for Pickett’s Heisman Trophy aspirations is that Pittsburgh didn’t have a season quite as good as Alabama. While the Panthers did go 11-2 and even won the ACC Championship, they lost winnable games to Western Michigan and Miami earlier in the season. Even if those losses weren’t necessarily Pickett’s fault, they were both one-score games. No matter how you look at it, winning even one of those games could have boosted Pickett’s odds even by a little bit.
Still, never say never when it comes to award races.
Aidan Hutchison Heisman Trophy Odds
Unlike the other three candidates, Hutchison is the only non-quarterback Heisman Trophy finalist this season. While his +2500 odds are less than favorable, he would become the first non-offensive player to win the award since Charles Woodson did it was a cornerback and punt returner all the way back in 1997 — nearly 25 years ago.
That just goes to show you just how special of a player Hutchison has been this season. The 6-foot-6 defensive end has tallied an insane 14.0 sacks so far this season when he only had 3.5 total in the three previous years. Adding on to that, he has 58 total tackles, with 15.5 of them being for a loss.
While Hutchison’s performance has been incredible this season, it’s hard to ignore that it’s been over two decades since a defensive player has been a Heisman Trophy winner. Nevertheless, the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year did help Michigan win the conference championship over Ohio State with seven tackles and three sacks. Even if he doesn’t win the award, he’s still had a season to remember.