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Heisman Watch, Week 12: It’s officially a two-quarterback race

Bryce Young and CJ Stroud have left everyone else in the dust.

Arkansas v Alabama
Bryce Young of the Alabama Crimson Tide reacts after passing a touchdown to John Metchie III against the Arkansas Razorbacks with Javion Cohen during the first half at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 20, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It took 12 weeks of college football action, but there are finally two players who have separated themselves in the Heisman Trophy race. Predictably, it was the two quarterback’s orchestrating two of the country’s best offenses this season who have left what was once a packed field far behind. There will naturally be a third candidate at the Heisman ceremony, but that will be a courtesy invitation.

Here’s a look at the contenders for the award after Week 12, and their odds from DraftKings Sportsbook.

Bryce Young QB, Alabama (+150)

Stock: Up

Young threw a school-record 559 yards with five touchdown passes in a 42-35 victory over Arkansas to help the Crimson Tide clinch a spot in the SEC title game. Young now has 38 touchdown passes to only three interceptions. He’s thrown for 18 touchdowns since losing to Texas A&M, with zero interceptions against. The next two weeks are massive for Young, with Auburn and Georgia in the SEC title game. If he can deliver a big outing in either game, Young will have that Heisman moment if Week 12 wasn’t enough for voters.

CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State (-200)

Stock: Up

Stroud threw for six touchdowns in the first half of Ohio State’s romp over Michigan State. This was a massive statement for the freshman, who looks like a completely different player over the last four weeks. Stroud now has 36 touchdown passes, and gets a chance to further bolster his resume in “The Game” against Michigan. The quarterback has kept Ohio State’s playoff hopes alive and is now the favorite to win the Heisman.

Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State (+2500)

Stock: Down

Week 12 was basically the disaster outing for Walker. He had six carries for 25 yards and one reception for four yards in a 56-7 loss. There were no second-half heroics in this one, as the Spartans had to throw the ball in an attempt to make the scoreboard look less ugly. Walker’s Heisman hopes and Michigan State’s CFP chances died an ugly death in Columbus. Sometimes, things just don’t work out.

Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati (+7000)

Stock: Fading

Ridder and the Bearcats put up style points in a 48-14 win over SMU, although it is yet to be seen if that result helps Cincinnati’s CFP cause. The quarterback threw three touchdowns, which gives him 25 on the season. It’s not quite at the level of Young or Stroud, but Ridder is the only one of the trio who’s team is undefeated. Remember when that used to mean something?

Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt (+4000)

Stock: Fading

Pickett threw four touchdown passes in Pitt’s 48-38 win over Virginia to send the Panthers to the ACC title game. Pitt did make it to the conference title game in 2018 as well but that team didn’t have a quarterback like Pickett. The senior has 36 passing touchdowns, which gives him numbers similar to the CFP contenders. The only issue is Pitt’s two losses, which basically has the Panthers looking at a nice bowl game instead of the Playoff.

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