At minimum, the game’s results will greatly influence the race for college football’s most prestigious individual award, even if a number of variables – including those completely out of the hands of the two candidates in question – could render that original premise untrue. Inarguable, however, is that the regular season’s penultimate week features just one contest in which two of the foremost Heisman frontrunners will compete head-to-head.
Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Tuesday that the Buckeyes have “everything on the line” against Michigan State, and in this case, that statement applies to team goals and individual accolades.
“This is what it’s all about; being in November, having (ESPN’s College) GameDay in town, top-10 matchup,” Day said. “I mean, this is why you come to Ohio State.”
Only three college football players in the country – Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III – have better than 5/1 odds to win the Heisman Trophy in most online sportsbooks entering this weekend.
Two of them will share the same field in Columbus this weekend as Stroud and Walker each hope to power their teams one step closer to the Big Ten Championship Game and a College Football Playoff berth. A standout performance from either one in a winning effort for his team is likely to launch him ahead of the pack as far as Heisman consideration is concerned.
Odds to win the Heisman
CJ Stroud - Ohio State +180
Bryce Young - Alabama +200
Kenneth Walker III - Michigan State +300
Matt Corral - Ole Miss +900
Kenny Pickett - Pitt +2500
Jordan Davis - Georgia +3300
Will Anderson - Alabama +4000
Desmond Ridder - Cincinnati +5000— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) November 16, 2021
For Stroud, that would mean distancing himself at the top of the heap in the eyes of many, as the redshirt freshman Buckeye overtook Young as the Heisman favorite per several sportsbooks after this past weekend’s win over Purdue.
“That don’t surprise me,” Buckeye wideout Garrett Wilson said Tuesday. “Coming into the year I thought it would be the kid from Oklahoma (Spencer Rattler) or our dude. So it don’t surprise me at all. I’ve seen him sling it for a year-and-a-half now, two years, and he’s something really special.”
Other oddsmakers, such as DraftKings, still have the Crimson Tide passer as a slight favorite over Stroud to take home the trophy. DraftKings has Young's odds at +180, with Stroud coming in at +200.
In most cases, Walker is the clear second runner-up as of now, but he’ll have his chance to shake up that order when he collides with Ohio State’s 14th-ranked run defense this weekend.
The nation’s leading rusher has not faced a run defense ranked any higher than 27th nationally (Michigan) so far this season. When Walker faced off with the Wolverines, he torched them for 197 yards and five touchdowns on 23 carries.
“He does have great patience, running the ball just about better than anybody in the country,” Day said. “Their line does a good job, they have a very good offense and he’s a big part of it. Makes a lot of guys miss in the hole, and so you’re gonna need to do a great job up front in defeating blocks, and then it’s gonna take more than one guy to take him down. But his vision and his patience and his ability to make a guy miss in the hole are probably some of the things he does best.”
Source : https://www.elevenwarriors.com/ohio-state-football/2021/11/126876/major-heisman-trophy-implications-on-the-line-for-cj-stroud-kenneth-walker-in-ohio-state-michigan-state-matchup729