Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) during an NCAA football game on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Adam Bettcher)
- CJ Stroud, Kenneth Walker III and Bijan Robinson all made huge leaps in the Heisman odds after Week 6
- Preseason favorite Spencer Rattler faded significantly after getting benched in the Red River Showdown
- Read below to see the updated Heisman Trophy odds after Week 6 of the season
A freshman QB and two of college football’s most electric running backs have crashed the 2021 Heisman Trophy race. Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III and Texas’ Bijan Robinson all saw major improvement in their Heisman odds following Week 6.
Alabama’s Bryce Young remains the Heisman Trophy favorite despite losing to Texas A&M, while Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler has faded significantly after getting benched in the Red River Showdown against Texas.
The table below shows the updated Heisman Trophy odds following Week 6 of the season.
2021 Heisman Trophy Odds
|Bryce Young (QB, Alabama)||+180|
|Matt Corral (QB, Ole Miss)||+200|
|CJ Stroud (QB, Ohio State)||+800|
|Kenneth Walker III (RB, Michigan State)||+1200|
|Bijan Robinson, (RB, Texas)||+1200|
|Desmond Ridder (QB, Cincinnati)||+1400|
|TreVeyon Henderson (RB, Ohio State)||+3000|
|Brian Robinson Jr. (RB, Alabama)||+3500|
|Malik Willis (QB, Liberty)||+4000|
|Kenny Pickett (QB, Pittsburgh)||+4000|
|Casey Thompson (QB, Texas)||+4000|
|Spencer Rattler (QB, Oklahoma)||+6000|
|Sam Howell (QB, North Carolina)||+7500|
|Malik Willis (QB, Liberty)||+4000|
|Cade McNamara (QB, Michigan)||+7500|
|Blake Corum (QB, Michigan)||+7500|
|JT Daniels (QB, Georgia)||+7500|
|Jayden Daniels (QB, Arizona State)||+7500|
Odds as of Oct 10th at DraftKings.
CJ Stroud Shows Out
CJ Stroud is showing why he shouldn’t be slept on in the Heisman odds. The Ohio State pivot saw his odds to win the trophy improve from +2000 to +800 after throwing for 330 yards and five TDs in a blowout win over Maryland. Stroud was largely discounted after his Week 2 loss against Oregon, but he’s proving that you can’t count him out.
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 9, 2021
Stroud has thrown for over 700 yards and 10 TDs in the past two weeks as the Buckeyes are flexing their offensive dominance. On the season, the freshman has thrown for 1,699 yards and 18 TDs with three interceptions. He’ll get the chance to improve his odds further with huge upcoming games against Penn State, Michigan State and Michigan.
Stroud is looking to become the first Ohio State pivot to win the trophy since Troy Smith in 2006. It won’t be easy for Stroud, as Ohio State boasts arguably the best WR class in America plus an elite running back. One of the reasons it’s been hard for a Buckeye QB to win the Heisman is because the team is always stacked with other contenders at skill positions.
Walker III, Robinson Are Running Wild
Who says a running back can’t win the Heisman Trophy? Michigan State’s Kenneth Walker III and Texas’ Bijan Robinson have both moved into DraftKings’ top-five Heisman odds after impressing in Week 6. No running back has won the prestigious award since Alabama’s Derrick Henry in 2015.
Walker III went off for 232 yards in a win over Rutgers, including a 94-yard TD run that broke the Michigan State school record. Robinson, meanwhile, rushed for 137 yards and one TD in a heartbreaking loss to Oklahoma. Robinson had a 50-yard run that captivated the college football world and drew Reggie Bush comparisons.
“This kid may be the best player in the sport. This kid is big time.”
BIJAN ROBINSON, WHAT A RUN 😳 pic.twitter.com/oxWpxlfplT
— ESPN (@espn) October 9, 2021
Robinson could have had a great Heisman moment on his resume if Texas was able to pull out the victory. The Longhorns now have two losses, which puts Robinson at a disadvantage in the Heisman race. MSU’s Walker III is undefeated and leads the FBS in rushing yards. If he shows out in upcoming games against Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, he could lock up the trophy.
Walker III and Robinson weren’t the only running backs who made a big leap in the Heisman odds after Week 6. Ohio State’s TreVeyon Henderson improved from +4000 to +3000 after rushing for 71 yards and one TD against Maryland. Henderson may have a Heisman in his future, but his lack of volume compared to the other top running backs means it’s unlikely to come in 2021.
Young Suffers Upset Loss
Alabama QB Bryce Young remains the Heisman Trophy favorite after Week 6 despite suffering a shocking upset loss to Texas A&M. The defeat isn’t going to fall on the shoulders of the sophomore pivot, as he played well despite the result. Young threw for 369 yards and three TDs with one interception.
The concern for Young Heisman bettors is that the rookie was sacked four times by the Aggies. Alabama’s offensive line has some holes and Young doesn’t have the mobility required to escape intense pressure. Alabama appears on a collision course with Georgia in the SEC Championship, which means Young could get eaten up by the Bulldogs defense.
Young’s biggest competition is Ole Miss’ Matt Corral, who accounted for four TDs in a Week 6 win over Arkansas. Young holds the head-head victory, but Corral could finish the year with better numbers. The Ole Miss QB has accounted for the same number of TDs as Young (20) and is yet to throw a pick.
Rattler Benched In Red River Showdown
Preseason Heisman Trophy favorite Spencer Rattler has faded from +2500 to +6000 in the Heisman odds after getting benched in the Red River Showdown against Texas. Rattler had two turnovers in the first half that led to Texas touchdowns. OU backup QB Caleb Williams started the second half and led the Sooners back from a huge deficit to defeat the Longhorns.
Caleb Williams replaced Spencer Rattler and didn’t look back 🔥 pic.twitter.com/0NpWYVCOA9
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 9, 2021
It’s hard to see any path now for Rattler to win the Heisman. Saturday marked the second straight year Rattler got benched in the first half of the big Red River Rivalry game. This time around, Lincoln Riley didn’t hesitate to keep Rattler stapled to the bench. The freshman Williams looked impressive in relief, running for a 66-yard score on his first play.
Williams is a mobile quarterback who gives the Sooners the rushing element they’ve been needing. The offensive line isn’t as polished as year’s past and needs a QB who can escape pressure in the pocket like Williams. Don’t bother placing a longshot Heisman bet on the new OU pivot, however, as he simply won’t have enough games on his resume come January.
Heisman Analysis After Week 6
There’s no clear-cut Heisman frontrunner following Week 6 of the season. The downfall of preseason favorite Spencer Rattler has really opened the door for many talented players to enter the spotlight and make their case. Kenneth Walker III leads the nation in all major rushing categories and is worth a look in the Heisman odds.
HE WOULD NOT BE STOPPED!
Kenneth Walker III with a 94-yard TD run, the longest play from scrimmage in Michigan State football history 😱 pic.twitter.com/VAIfOa6bUw
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) October 9, 2021
Walker III still has a gauntlet of a schedule left, which means you can still bet him at a decent longshot price. If he shows out against top competition in the final half of the season, that value will quickly disappear. Bijan Robinson may be just as talented, but the losses on Texas’ schedule will hurt his chances.
Out of the top quarterbacks, Corral is the one with the most upside. He still has a chance to lead Ole Miss to an 11-1 season and SEC West title. Stroud has already missed one game and is surrounded by elite receivers, while Young may struggle behind a susceptible Alabama offensive line.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years of experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.