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Place your bets: The C.J. Stroud Heisman hype train has left the station

Vegas is putting out early odds for the award, and a certain OSU QB is in the top five according to one oddsmaker. Is it too early for the hype?

Could C.J. Stroud follow Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields to the New York ceremony?
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Although Ohio State sophomore C.J. Stroud has yet to attempt even one pass as a college quarterback, SportsBetting.ag currently has the Buckeye signal caller at +1200 to take home the 2021 Heisman Trophy. So, you could bet $100 to win $1,200 if Stroud takes homethe prize in 2021.

Disclaimer: Land Grant Holy Land only condones sports betting where legal – which is not the case in Ohio, as we seem to be allergic to gambling revenue.

As ludicrous as it might seem, there is precedent for inexperienced OSU quarterbacks making the trip to New York. If Stroud were indeed named a Heisman finalist, he would join recent first year starters Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields, who received the invite in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

All odds are speculative in nature, and honestly, meant to take your money. That being said, who says +1200 is not worth the gamble? Players with even better odds according to SportsBetting include D.J. Uiagele from Clemson and Bryce Young from Alabama. Both of those quarterbacks are largely unproven, aside from Uiagele’s stellar game against Notre Dame last year. Stroud is in a similar position; potentially taking the reins of a Ryan Day-coached offense, which has proven to be explosive — and rather lucrative for whomever runs it.

Before I tell you to lay down a mortgage payment on C.J. Stroud, let’s wait to see if he wins the starting quarterback gig first. As of now, Day has not tipped his hand in naming a starter. Stroud will still go through spring and summer battling fellow sophomore Jack Miller and exciting freshman Kyle McCord. While Stroud started the spring game, and looked good doing so, there is still much work and coaching to be done before Ohio State travels to Minnesota on Sept. 2. Would anybody be surprised if Miller or McCord makes a move? Given the pedigree of both quarterbacks, it would not be a shock.

Stroud came to OSU as a five-star recruit out of California, and has had to wait for his opportunity. Nobody was overtaking Fields last year, so he and Miller got to sit and learn. They will both be mentally prepared for the position battle, and Mickey Marotti should have them physically prepared as well.

However, as they move into a new season, the QB room is even more crowded, as they are joined by mega-recruit Kyle McCord. The Pennsylvania native has already shown his stuff in a solid spring game performance.

C.J. will not simply be handed the starting job. What will work in his favor, is the fact that Ohio State does not open up the season against a weak opponent. They will be on the road against Minnesota; a team out to prove 2020 was a fluke. Stroud has been learning the offense for over a year, and has at least seen live game action for OSU. On top of that, Day and staff worked hard to get him because they saw the obvious talent that he possesses. Starting the spring game makes Stroud the current frontrunner, whether coaches admit it or not.

More than the uncertainty surrounding the position, there are other odds to consider. Covers.com has Stroud listed at +3300. VegasInsider.com has him +4000; the same odds as Miller. The odds are all over the place, and updated at different times. Early numbers are meant to entice bettors who are willing to jump on the big numbers before they inevitably shrink for certain players as the season plays on. Again, these current odds just don’t happen to apply to bettors in Ohio (degenerates like me).

Stroud has all the potential in the world. Buckeye fans sure as hell hope he is invited to New York. However, I personally believe he could just be one of many chess pieces for Ohio State and Ryan Day in 2021. I expect OSU to lean on the running game early while a new quarterback learns the ropes.

Whomever wins the job will have a plethora of pass catchers to throw to, Chris Olave, Garrett Wilson, Jeremy Ruckert, etc. All of the weapons will make the eventual starting QB’s life easier, but could also steal some shine or garner Heisman buzz themselves. For all of our collective sakes, let’s hope that Day done it again and brought another stud quarterback into the Buckeye fold; from there, just let the chips fall where they may. Regardless of whether or not we have a Heisman candidate, it could be worse… We could be choosing between Cade McNamara or a transfer from Texas Tech.