Amid all the headlines surrounding Baker Mayfield’s distasteful on-the-field display over the weekend, on Monday he was named a finalist for two coveted national awards.
The Oklahoma quarterback is one of three finalists for both the Maxwell Award, given to college football’s best player, and the Davey O”Brien Award, which is presented to the country’s top quarterback.
Mayfield is also considered the odds-on choice to receive the 2017 Heisman Trophy, which in the words of the Heisman Foundation Trust, is presented for “outstanding performance (in college football) which best exhibits the pursuit of excellence and integrity.”
Despite his inappropriate actions in a game at Kansas this past weekend, Mayfield is still considered the player with the best chance to add the prestigious prize to his growing collection of hardware.
The Sooner super star is joined by Saquon Barkley of Penn State and Bryce Love of Stanford as Maxwell Award finalists. Both Barkley and Love are also among the top contenders for this year’s Heisman Trophy. Barkley and Love are both juniors and running backs.
Because Mayfield is the favorite to win the Heisman, it would not surprise me to see the Maxwell Club voters go in a different direction in awarding the Maxwell winner. In this scenario, I could see Barkley as the 2017 Maxwell Award winner, although Mayfield is clearly equally worthy based on the numbers he has put up this season in leading the nation’s best offensive team.
Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph and Ohio State signal caller J.T. Barrett are the other two finalists for the Davey O’Brien Award. Both are seniors.
Given the fact that Oklahoma defeated both Oklahoma State and Ohio State this season, both on the road, I believe this award deservedly belongs to Mayfield.
My best guess is that Mayfield will win two of the three awards, but not all three.
The winners of both the Maxwell Award and the Davey O’Brien Award will be announced on Dec. 7 as part of the Home Depot College Awards Show in ESPN.