Five Thoughts: 2. Where’s The Baker Mayfield Heisman Love?
Why has the Heisman been handed to Saquon Barkley when Baker Mayfield has been better?
5 Thoughts After Week 8
Week 8 Roundup: Rankings, Bowl Projections, Analysis
1. Win Out, Notre Dame, And You’re In The CFP. Maybe
3. What A 16-Team College Football Playoff Would Look Like
4. Really? Are LSU And Auburn Still Alive For The CFP?
5. Does UCF Or USF Have A Shot At The CFP?
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I’m not going to fight you on this too hard, America.
The world has bigger fish to fry, and arguing over the Heisman doesn’t matter as much as things that could – you know – blow us all up, but that’s why the debate is so wonderful. We’re supposed to get all hot and bothered about who the best college football player is, and it’s all fun.
It’s all a part of why the Heisman is the greatest individual award in all of sports.
With that said, I’m not quite understanding why everyone seems to be completely ignoring Baker Mayfield, as if he’s just another quarterback doing college football passing things.
This isn’t an anti-Saquon Barkley argument in any way, and in two weeks I might be singing a completely different tune. If Barkley rips through Ohio State in Columbus on Saturday in a Penn State win, game over. The 2017 Heisman Trophy will go to No. 26.
But Mayfield already ripped through Ohio State, and it appears to have been blown off.
(And no, I’m not forgetting about Bryce Love, but losses to San Diego State and USC – not his fault – make him the No. 3 guy in the debate for now.)
Barkley came through with one magnificent performance against Iowa on national TV, and everyone saw it – but the Hawkeyes sort of stink. It was a high-pressure game, but they’re 4-3 and might have to fight for their lives to go bowling.
Barkley was bottled up by Indiana, and had one big run against Northwestern, but that’s part of the deal. Almost all of Barkley’s positive rushing yards against the Wildcats came on one dash, and he took a pass for a score, but that’s what he does – most of his yards on the ground against Michigan came on the first drive of the game.
But he also made a huge juggling on a touchdown catch to beat one of the nation’s top defenses.
Again, if the Heisman is supposed to go to the signature player of a college football season, I’m not putting up a fight here – Barkley has been it in a whole lot of ways.
But so far, Mayfield has been better.
It’s not like Mayfield is some upstart. It’s not like his season is coming from out of the blue. It’s not like he’s a former Heisman finalist with two Big 12 championships and a College Football Playoff appearance under his belt … oh yeah.
And yet, even though Mayfield completed 77% of his passes for 386 yards and three scores in the blowout win over the Buckeyes – the best performance in the biggest win by anyone and any team so far this season – all anyone remembers is that he tried planting a flag in Field Turf.
Oklahoma lost to Iowa State, but 1) the Cyclones aren’t bad, and 2) Mayfield hit 74% of his throws for 323 yards and two scores – it wasn’t his fault.
So what did Mayfield do after the defeat?
With everything on the line against Texas, and despite being beaten up and battered, Mayfield connected on the game-winning drive to beat the arch-rival.
The defense didn’t get on the plane against Kansas State, and Mayfield threw his second interception of the year, but he also connected on 78% of his throws for 410 yards and two scores, ran for 69 yards and two touchdowns, and again, led the Sooners on a game-winning drive in the clutch.
Yes, Barkley is amazing. Yes, he might be the No. 1 pick in the draft – or top five. But no, he’s not even in the top two in the Big Ten in rushing, and so far, no, he hasn’t been the best player in college football.
Yes, if he’s amazing against the Buckeyes, and Michigan State, and if he leads Penn State to another Big Ten title, the Heisman is his.
But until then, it’s okay to recognize what an all-time great is doing in Norman, too.
Week 8 Rankings & Thoughts
ACC | Big Ten | Big 12 | Pac-12 | SEC
AAC | C-USA | Ind | MAC | MW | Sun Belt
– CFN Rankings & Reaction No. 1 to 130
– Coaching Hot Seat Rankings
– Heisman Race After Week 8
– Scoreboard & Predictions