The clearcut leader in the Heisman clubhouse, Mayfield has been everything and more for the Sooners and their chance at a 7th Heisman winner (eight total Heisman’s but Archie Griffin won the award twice).* It’s a safe bet that as of right now the 2017 Heisman is Baker Mayfield’s to officially lose.
Let’s see how he got here.
I feel like I’ve been copy and pasting this line for the last three years but here it goes again: Baker Mayfield ranks in the top-3 in QB rating, yards, yards/att, TD’s, and completion percentage. Mayfield has done it against top-level competition with three wins over top-11 teams. He’s been so good for so long it makes you wonder how/why he doesn’t have a Heisman already. Amazingly enough, Mayfield is not only an elite QB year-in-year-out, he’s actually improving. Mayfield is having his best year averaging nearly 50 yards per game more than last year and he’s doing it by attempting only two more passes per game. He’s on pace for another 40-TD season and if he throws for one or fewer picks in his final 2-3 games, he’ll have the fewest picks in his Sooner career.
“You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” -The Joker
Like him or hate him, Mayfield is polarizing and has quickly become the face of college football in 2017. Mayfield has a seat with his name on it in NYC already, but let’s hold off on engraving his name in the trophy just quite yet. Mayfield still has two more games plus a BIG-12 Championship game. Like I said, the Heisman is Mayfield’s to lose.
This holiday season, the only race that Rudolph isn’t the leader of the pack is the Heisman race. But he’s not far off. In comparison to Mayfield, Rudolph has 131 more total passing yards, one fewer TD, and two positions back in QB rating and yards/att. The key difference between the two is that one team is 9-1 and the other 8-2, including a head-to-head victory over the other. That’s key in the debate moving forward. If the knock on Rudolph is that he has lost the head-to-head with Mayfield, then what happens if they play each other again in the BIG-12 Championship game? Let’s not forget that Rudolph threw for 448 yards and five TD’s against the Sooners earlier in the year. Mayfield just so happened to throw for a lot more and his defense came up big during the only time either defense decided to show up and Oklahoma won 62-52.
Oklahoma St. needs some help from Baylor or Texas Tech to beat TCU in order to force a rematch with Oklahoma and of course, Rudolph needs to keep doing his thing. But who wouldn’t want to see these two gunslingers go at it one last time? A BIG-12 Conference Championship, a College Football Playoff berth, and a Heisman Trophy could all be on the line in one monstrous game. Sign. Me. Up.
*Editors Note: My mistake, got my “O” universities mixed up. Baker Mayfield would become Oklahoma’s 6th Heisman winner. Ohio State, Archie Griffin’s alma mater has the seven trophies with six winners.