Baker Mayfield has distanced himself from his Heisman competition, but not from his detractors.
by Jack Kerwin | firstname.lastname@example.org
Absolutely. Positively. No doubt about it. Silly.
From the time he arrived on the national scene as the starting quarterback for national college football power Oklahoma, Baker Mayfield has been an emotionally driven, annoying pain in the ass to the ever-depreciating spirit of sportsmanship.
He thumbed his nose at good taste, made obscene gestures at the opposition, lewd comments to anyone within earshot and gloated about all of it with the arrogance of a supremely intense athlete hell bent on proving himself to others.
Very little, if anything, was ever made out of his behavior.
But, now, with time winding down in the race for this fall’s Heisman Trophy award and him blowing the doors off any competition … now all that is a problem.
Get real, people.
If it wasn’t a big deal before, why make it one now?
If character were a prerequisite for being considered, then Mayfield never had any business being on the ballot in the first place.
Look, personally never been a fan of the dude. Thought he was vastly overrated as a player when he initially started getting attention three years ago, and that he actually “benefitted” from being a bad seed.
Now, he’s reached a point of being a child in a 22-year-old man’s body whose post-screwup apologies anymore are as meaningless as his knee-jerk reactions are thoughtless.
But there is no ignoring what he has become: The best player in the game. Bar none … and it’s not even close.
All that hype and hyperbole about his performance in the past has turned into reality these days.
He’s the top-rated passer in the country. Completes passes at the highest rate in the country. For the most yards per attempt in the country. He has accounted for 39 touchdowns. Thrown for 3,816 yards in 11 games.
Oh yeah, he also has the 10-1 Sooners poised for a second appearance in the College Football Playoff in his three years at their helm.
Statistically speaking, his worst performance of the year occurred in a 22-point victory against Texas Tech to close out October. In that one, he completed only – only – 22 of 34 passes for 281 yards and four TDs. He also ran for another score. He did throw one of his five INTs of the season in that one, though.
In Oklahoma’s lone loss, a seven-pointer to Iowa State, to open October, he completed 24 of 33 passes for 306 yards and two scores. He also ran for another score in that one, and didn’t toss any picks.
In Oklahoma’s three biggest games of 2017, Mayfield:
Picked apart then-No. 2 Ohio State, in Columbus, Ohio, connecting on 27 of 35 passes for 386 yards and three TDs.
Blistered then-No. 11 Oklahoma State, in Stillwater, Okla., for 598 yards and 5 TDs passing, and ran for another score.
Silenced then-No. 8 Texas Christian with 333 yards and 3 TDs passing, and another 50 yards rushing.
Thing is, it’s not just numbers with this guy. Mayfield often manages to suck the life out of opponents by making plays when nothing seems there, or by somehow turning single-digit gains into long TDs.
Yo, he’s deserving of the Heisman. Anyone else receiving the honor this season would be silly.
Contender or pretender?
He comes across as everything Baker Mayfield seemingly is not.
Never just about himself.
About the only thing Penn State running back Saquon Barkley possesses in the same vein as Mayfield is the type of talent to star at the college level.
In fact, he may possess even more to star at the next level.
The reality, though, when it comes to the Heisman race in 2017, he just doesn’t compare to the Oklahoma quarterback.
Like it or not, he just doesn’t.
Mayfield, even his haters must admit, has been incredibly productive and effective every single week of the season. He has no “off” days. The numbers are big, and the plays spectacular without fail.
He ranks first or second in the nation in just about every statistical category for passers.
He’s got a pair of kickoff returns for score, has thrown a TD pass and delivered some of the most electrifying plays of the fall. But he’s not even top 25 in the country in rushing yards. He’s not even top 60 in the country in rushing yards per attempt.
With the Nittany Lions junior, we’re talking about a guy who has had, well, one great game all season – his 300-plus all-purpose yardage effort at Iowa back in September.
He’s run for 100 yards or better just four times in 11 games.
Conversely, Stanford running back Bryce Love has done so nine times in 10 games, and ripped off single-game efforts of 301 and 263 yards. Heck, Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate rushed for 150 more yards in his first six starts than Barkley’s season total of 1,057 … on 82 fewer carries.
Sorry, but Barkley, as great a player as he is, has no business even being considered for the award this season.