Who’s going to win the 2017 Heisman Trophy? Can anyone come close to Baker Mayfield? Here’s the best guess on how the vote will go and what the results will be.
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2018 Heisman Finalists
Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield, Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, and Stanford RB Bryce Love were named the finalists for the 2017 Heisman Trophy. How will the voting go?
To be clear, this isn’t my Heisman ballot – I’m not allowed to reveal who I voted for until after the official announcement on Saturday night. This is an educated guess and prediction of how the voting will end up going.
Projected 2017 Heisman Trophy Also-Receiving Votes
10. QB Mason Rudolph, Sr. Oklahoma State
The nation’s leader in passing yards won’t receive any No. 1 votes, but he’ll make several ballots on sheer numbers. He completed 65% of his passes for 4,553 yards and 35 touchdowns with nine picks.
9. QB J.T. Barrett, Sr. Ohio State
It’ll mostly be about winning a Big Ten championship for some voters. He hit 65% of his throws for 2,939 yards and 35 touchdowns with nine interceptions, ran for 732 yards and ten touchdowns, and carried the team to the brink of the College Football Playoff.
8. QB McKenzie Milton, Soph. UCF
Only those from a certain part of the country will put him on the ballot, but for good reason. He finished second in the nation in yards per attempt behind Baker Mayfield – 10.5 yards per throw – with 35 touchdown, nine picks, and 3,795 total yards. He also ran for 497 yards and seven touchdowns on the way to a perfect season and an American Athletic Conference title.
7. RB Jonathan Taylor, Fr. Wisconsin
Held in check in the Big Ten Championship – he only got the ball 15 times for 41 yards – he still finished with a brilliant freshman run, taking off for 1,847 yards and 13 touchdowns as he helped get the Badgers within a drive of going to the College Football Playoff.
6. QB Sam Darnold, Soph. USC
While he didn’t come up with the year everything thought he’d have, he’s a Pac-12 champion. The 12 interceptions were a problem, and the meltdown against Notre Dame hurt, but he threw for 3,787 yards and 26 scores and ran for five touchdowns.
5. RB Rashaad Penny, Sr. San Diego State
The all-purpose yardage winner by a mile, he averaged 224.8 total yards per game. No. 2? Saquon Barkley who finished with 179.5 yards. The 2,027-yard rusher didn’t lead the way to a Mountain West title, but his 10-2 team beat Bryce Love and Stanford.
4. RB Saquon Barkley, Jr. Penn State
The Heisman was there for the taking after his brilliant performance against Iowa, and he just couldn’t crank out the rushing production. Even so, he was second in the nation in all-purpose yards, was a scoring machine, and was hold-your-breath magical every time he touched the ball.
2017 Heisman Trophy Finalists
3. QB Lamar Jackson, Jr. Louisville
He did it again. The reining Heisman winner accounted for 393.4 yards per game in his epic 2016 season, and he was even better in some ways this year, leading the nation – Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes led last year – with 411 yards of total offense. He completed 60% of his passes for 3,489 yards and 35 touchdowns with six interceptions, and ran for 1,443 yards and 17 scores.
2. RB Bryce Love, Jr. Stanford
Gutting it out over the second half of the season through an injured ankle, the devastating home run hitter came painfully close to 2,000 yards, running for 1,973 yards and 17 scores.
With him, Stanford was one of the most dangerous teams in the country. When he was hurt, the offense sputtered and the team almost lost to a lowly Oregon State. He was the difference-making thrill ride whenever he had the ball.
1. QB Baker Mayfield, Sr. Oklahoma
Mayfield still gets to close out his historic career with a trip to the College Football Playoff, but first, he’s the landslide favorite to win the Heisman – flag-planting, crotch-grabbing, smack-talking issues and all.
He hit 71% of his passes for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns with five picks, and ran for 310 yards and five touchdowns. Not only did he average 11.8 yards per attempt, but only two other players – UCF’s McKenzie Milton and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph – were over ten.
Mayfield came up with the clutch performance late in the win over Texas, and late in the win over Kansas State. Every time he was challenged, he got the job done.