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Meet Your 2017 Heisman Winner: Baker Mayfield

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After a record-setting performance against Oklahoma State, Baker Mayfield may have also wrapped up the Heisman Trophy.

Last season, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson seemed to wrap up the Heisman Trophy very early with a five-touchdown game against Florida State in Week 3. Oklahoma gunslinger Baker Mayfield may not have wrapped it up as early, but the award is as good as his. After what Mayfield did to Oklahoma State in Bedlam, the Heisman Trust might as well prepare to put his name on the trophy. 

Mayfield came into the 2017 season with the second-best Heisman odds only behind USC’s Sam Darnold. But according to Westgate Las Vegas Sportsbook, Mayfield has surpassed Darnold and is pulling away with the Heisman. 


There are currently four quarterbacks that have a real, albeit low chance at winning the award: Mayfield, Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, Ohio State’s JT Barrett, and Louisville’s Jackson. In my Week 3 Heisman watch, I mentioned numerous times that the Heisman isn’t about who’s the best NFL-ready player, but who has the best stats. When we look at the numbers, it isn’t any surprise why Mayfield is leading the hunt. 


Total Yards Total TouchdownsCompletion Percentage QBR
Baker Mayfield
Oklahoma
3,407 3371.792.3
Mason Rudolph Oklahoma State3,361 3463.384.2
J.T Barrett
 Ohio State
2,8913267.583.2
Lamar Jackson
 Louisville 
3,837
3360.483.6

As seen in the table, Mayfield is either first or second in every major category, making him perhaps the most complete contending quarterback. In fact, Mayfield is second in the country in passing yards behind only Rudolph and has the nation’s highest completion percentage for quarterbacks with over 200 attempts. 

While it may not be completely fair, voters do take into account the record of the teams. This is particularly bad for Jackson. While still one of the most electrifying players in the country — as one can see from his numbers — Louisville is only 5-4 on the year. Mayfield, on the other hand, has the best record of any of the quarterbacks in the running. Not only that, but the Sooners are currently ranked fifth in the country and right in the hunt for the CFP.

Analysts love talking about a player’s “Heisman moment”, that game that separates a candidate from the rest of the pack and cements their legacy. On top of the staggering numbers Mayfield has put up all year, he’s also provided multiple Heisman moments. 

I’ve always loved the big stage.”

My Purpose, by @baker_mayfield6

✍️ https://t.co/T5oeUgQWP2 pic.twitter.com/4cW4AzqzSt

— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) November 10, 2017

The first big performance of the year came when Oklahoma traveled to Ohio State in an early-season heavyweight fight.  Mayfield was unfazed and turned in his third-highest adjusted QBR at 94.2. Against a Buckeyes team that has only given up 200.7 passing yards per game, Mayfield almost doubled that amount throwing for 386 yards along with three touchdowns. Some may remember that game for Mayfield’s post-game antics, but his performance in the game speaks volumes for the kind of player he is.

Mayfield’s second Heisman moment came just last week. Oklahoma-Oklahoma State isn’t the most evenly matched rivalry (the Cowboys have only won six times over the last 20 years) but this year’s game had major implications in every way possible. The Sooners and Cowboys were playing in what was basically an elimination game to make the Big 12 Championship Game and CFP. Fans also had a chance to see Mayfield and Rudolph go head-to-head, and they didn’t disappoint. Mayfield won the matchup by throwing for five touchdowns and a school-record 598 yards. Even with two interceptions, he still played his best game in term of adjusted QBR with a 98.1 rating. 

Oklahoma gets another chance to strengthen their resume for a playoff push, and Mayfield can pull away even more from his competition. TCU will travel to Norman in a 5 vs. 6 matchup and the Horned Frogs boast the nation’s sixth-best defense. While they only give up 284 yards per game, 214.4 of those yards come through the air, which ranks 59th nationally. The chance is there for Mayfield, and all he has to do is take advantage of the opportunity. 

Tim Tebow: Baker Mayfield can prove himself as Heisman favorite vs. TCU https://t.co/pAmh5CBb9O #Boomer pic.twitter.com/7rZNmO17yE

— Oklahoma DieHards (@OUDieHards) November 10, 2017

Baring any chaos, 2017 is the year Mayfield finally hears his name called in New York. Since arriving in Oklahoma from Texas Tech, Mayfield has been in the Heisman hunt. The past two seasons he’s finished third and fourth in the voting. If he wins, he will be the first player to ever finish in the top-four of the voting three times. Fans have waited long enough, but the Heisman Trophy will finally go to Mayfield. 


Edited by Jeremy Losak.

SQuiz
Who was the first Sooner quarterback to win the Heisman?
Created 11/9/17
  1. Jason White
  2. Sam Bradford
  3. Jamelle Holieway
  4. Steve Davis

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