Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is the ultimate example of just how odd this season’s Heisman Trophy race has become.

Oddsmakers will tell you that Young is a significant favorite to win the award, but there are several reasons he should just be in the conversation, not the hands-down favorite.

First, Young is one of the best quarterbacks in the country, but is he truly “the most outstanding player in college football?” That doesn’t seem to be the case if you want to rely on statistics and the very objective eye-test method. Coming into Alabama’s 59-3 win over New Mexico State, Young wasn’t the clear-cut top quarterback in the nation. He was just inside the top 10 and flirting with the top 5, but he certainly wasn’t even close to being the highest-rated quarterback in the country.

Heisman voters shouldn’t rely solely on a passer rating to determine who their vote should go to. There are several other factors that are much more important. Still, Young hasn’t even been the highest-rated quarterback in the SEC for most of the season. Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker has held the top spot for weeks since he secured the starting job for the Vols.

Young also hasn’t provided Heisman voters with many “wow” moments this season. Young has played well (33 TD passes against just 3 INTs), but there haven’t been any Johnny Manziel-like moments in which he’s separated himself as a player who can do things on the field that others simply can’t. Manziel did that. Young hasn’t.

There have been years in which the Heisman Trophy became a team award. That could help Young, but it’s tough to make the case for him in that regard considering Bama lost to Texas A&M and needed some serious defensive help to beat LSU. Even if some Heisman voters go with the team award approach, there is serious debate whether Young is even the best player on his team. Edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. is probably Alabama’s best player. Some analysts have even said he’s the best Bama linebacker since Derrick Thomas, who played for Alabama in the 1980s. Running back Brian Robinson has also been listed on Heisman lists. And Jameson Williams is looking more and more like  DeVonta Smith. However, the collection of Alabama stars doesn’t mean Young can’t or won’t win the award because votes may be split among Bama players. Just look to last season.

I recall talking to several members of the coaching community last season before casting my vote. Typically, I don’t need to do that in order to cast my ballot confidently, but I was just unsure which direction to go. I recall one coach saying simply, “The Alabama guys,” when asked who he thought I should vote for. He was referring to quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris and the eventual winner, receiver DeVonta Smith. I voted for Jones because he was the quarterback for the best team in the nation and I was already leaning in that direction. However, any of the three would have made sense.

That brings us back to Alabama’s incredible recent history. It’s quite possible that Heisman voters have become a bit bored with just voting for another member of the Crimson Tide. It has been a pretty easy path to follow for those years in which there is uncertainty. That could actually work against Young this year.

If you’re going with the team-award concept, Young could end the season with less voting credibility than Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett. While that comment is steeped in hyperbole, it’s not as far from the truth as you might think. Bennett and Georgia haven’t been in a close game all season. No, Bennett isn’t as good as Young, but he could garner some votes from those who can’t decide and just vote for the quarterback on the best team. Yes, that’s taking the easy way out, but remember that some Heisman voters send their ballots in just after Halloween. Most voters take the decision very seriously. Some don’t.

Young also has big crimson ghosts that could undermine his Heisman bid. Is Young better than Jones, Tua Tagovailoa or Jalen Hurts? I haven’t seen any reason to make that case and none of those players won the Heisman Trophy. Neither did Bart Starr, Joe Namath or Kenny Stabler. They were all standout quarterbacks for Bama who couldn’t bring the Heisman back to Tuscaloosa. It would seem very odd for Young to be the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman if he doesn’t win a championship and there’s a debate as to whether he’s even the best quarterback in his own conference.

There’s also the question of whether Young has even become the best version of himself. Young was lauded early in the season for keeping his eyes downfield and thereby keeping the passing game alive when plays didn’t go as planned and he was forced to flee the pocket. Since then, some have wondered aloud if Young should run more often to keep defenses off balance. Young is a good enough runner to do that but not a good enough runner to provide those “wow” moments with his legs. It’s also hard to find many “wow” moments when Young throws the ball because Alabama players are often so wide open that completing a pass doesn’t mean it has to be accurate. It just has to be close.

If Young wins the Heisman, it will be because he stacks up 400-yard passing games like an offensive lineman stacks pancakes. It won’t be solely because of his play, his team or recent history. Young is still the most likely player to win the Heisman Trophy as of mid-November. However, if he wins the award it will just feel odd.