It's not very often that the Heisman Trophy essentially becomes a two-man race before the end of the regular season, but C.J. Stroud and Bryce Young have clearly separated themselves from the field.
The remarkable thing is that with their biggest rivalry games games and conference championships left to be played, their statistics are almost identical.
Name, Games, C-A-I, Yards, TDs, Rating
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, 10, 246-346-5, 3468, 36, 186.74
- Bryce Young, Alabama, 11, 263-367-3, 3584, 38, 186.23
The completion percentages are almost the same, 71.7 percent to 71.1. Their rushing numbers are similar. They're even both sophomores.
A lot of their big days match up as well, with Young setting the Alabama school passing record last weekend against Arkansas, while Stroud lit up Michigan State for six touchdowns in the first half.
However, while Stroud's numbers against Michigan State were impressive, it was disappointing that nearly no one pointed out that the Spartans were dead last at the FBS level in passing yards allowed: 130 out of 130 teams.
In team passing efficiency defense they're 77th, which statistically is about on par with Mississippi State.
Michigan will be a better test on Saturday, as the Wolverines rank ninth in the category.
The point is, there's definitely some Alabama fatigue out there because oddsmakers are favoring Stroud, while Young should have the edge heading into the Iron Bowl.
There are five reasons why:
1] Young has been more consistent.
2] He's been significantly better on third downs.
Name, A-C, Yards, Percent, Avg., TDs, Rating
- C.J. Stroud, Ohio State, 46-60, 606, 76.7, 5, 185.7
- Bryce Young, Alabama 67-87, 1,032, 77.0, 11, 211.5
3] Stroud has more interceptions.
4] Alabama's strength of schedule.
And then there's there's the argument that's been used against Crimson Tide players a lot recently ...
5] Doing more with less.
Young's primary receiver is someone who wasn't going to start at Ohio State and transferred, plus Alabama has had a lot more problems on the offensive line. Young has been sacked 26 times. Stroud only nine times.
Chances are, the Heisman is still going to come down to one thing, though, how well Young does against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game. He'll have the opportunity to sway most of the voters one way or another.
If you're a Crimson Tide fan, you really can't ask for more.