As Others Fall In and Out, Baker Mayfield Picks up Heisman Steam


Sooner fans have felt it all along, and now the rest of the country is starting to take special notice of what a truly special talent OU quarterback Baker Mayfield is.

But is the super enthusiastic, never-say-die, former walk-on quarterback from the heart of hated Texas Longhorn country really, truly Heisman material? You bet he is, and through Oklahoma’s first ten games of 2015, he has gone out and shown it virtually every week.

And I’m clearly not alone in that thinking. Check out this video featuring an endorsement from ESPN college football analyst and ex-Florida State quarterback Danny Kanell.

You could argue that the enormous resurgence of OU football following the increasingly inexplicable loss to Texas, the Sooners’ lone setback to go along with nine mostly runaway victories, was more a reflection of the vast difference in the talent drop-off of the inferior competition Oklahoma was feasting on in the four games after the Texas wake-up call than the outstanding numbers Mayfield and the Sooners were putting up in the box score.

Nov 14, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) is pushed out of bounds by Baylor Bears linebacker Taylor Young (1) during the second half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

If you are someone who feels that Mayfield’s video-game-like stat line this season has come against a schedule that so far has included just 4 teams with an overall record above .500 – and that couldn’t possibly be from anyone who considers him or herself among the Sooner faithful – then you obviously did not see him in action this past weekend against one of the country’s best teams and on their home field in front of a fired-up capacity crowd. Oh, and I should also point out that the weather conditions were not the best in which to put up eye-popping numbers.

Against previously unbeaten and top-10-ranked Baylor, which aside from having the nation’s most prolific offense also has one of the better defenses in the Big 12, all Mayfield did was complete 70 percent of his 34 pass attempts for a game-high 270 yards and three touchdowns. And that’s certainly not all. He also ran for 76 yards, including a touchdown.

Looking at the bigger picture, which is what Heisman voters will be taking into account, Mayfield has accounted for four touchdowns in seven of the Sooners’ 10 games this season. That ties him for the most 4-touchdown games nationally this season. In addition, he ranks second in the nation in passing efficiency, second in passing yards per attempt (10.0) and third in completion percentage (70.2). The OU quarterback has thrown for 31 touchdowns, and his 31/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio is outstanding.

Quarterback is the predominant position among Heisman winners, which also gives Mayfield an advantage among the current Heisman contenders. Two other Oklahoma quarterbacks, Jason White is 2003 and Sam Bradford in 2008, have won the Heisman Trophy under head coach Bob Stoops.

Comparing Mayfield’s numbers after 10 games with former Sooner quarterbacks White and Bradford:

Jason White

195 for 304, 2,745 yards, 64 percent completion percentage, 32 TDs, 6 INT

Sam Bradford

224 for 330, 3,406 yards, 67 percent completion percentage, 38 TDs, 6 INT

Baker Mayfield

193 for 275, 2,812 yards, 70.2 completion percentage, 31 TDs, 5 INT

Pretty comparable, if you ask me.

And with extremely high visibility games remaining against TCU this Saturday followed by Bedlam with Oklahoma State, the stage will certainly be there for Mayfield to put away the rest of the Heisman contenders and become the third Oklahoma quarterback in 13 seasons to take home college football most prized individual honor.