By A. Suave Fransisco
Francisco is a columnist for inside thunder, web content contributor for news 6 Tulsa and founder of The Suave Report.
The University Oklahoma is known for producing some rather prestigious names during its storied history. Recently, Baker Mayfield surfaced as one of the premier names in Oklahoma football history as well as college football itself.
However, he isn’t on the big list: a list of five Sooners to win the Heisman Trophy. He’s come close but hasn’t reached that milestone yet. In 2015, he was in the race finishing fourth and in 2016 he finished third.
With this being his last season of eligibility, there’s just one more chance for him to leave Oklahoma with his name engraved as one of the six Sooners to leave campus with a Heisman.
There are a few glaring statistics that point directly to him either winning the trophy or falling short for a third straight season.
The most obvious reason Mayfield can run away with the award is his efficiency. In 2016 he set the FBS single season record for passing efficiency, which was an improvement from his very impressive numbers in 2015. He completed 71 percent of his passes for 3,965 yards and 40 touchdowns. Not to mention, he only threw eight interceptions the entire season while leading his team to an (11-2) record and Sugar Bowl victory over Auburn.
Something else, away from statistics is his personality. He’s known to be a great teammate and a dominating, yet jovial presence on the sideline. He doesn’t seem to get too hung up on the offense-defense rivalry, he gets in every Sooners face if needed. His leadership is among the best in college football.
Mayfield would’ve been one of the top NFL prospects last season if he wasn’t so undersized for a quarterback.
Last season, Baker had the luxury of two NFL running backs in his backfield, Semaje Perine, and Joe Mixon. Since they got drafted, Mayfield doesn’t have any keynote players to hand the ball off or pass to, which could end horribly, or spectacularly in his favor. All eyes are on him now.
That’s actually the primary reason why there’s a good chance he won’t win the award. Dede Westbrook, Oklahoma’s first winner of the Biletnikoff Award and fellow Heisman Trophy candidate in 2016, was Mayfield’s number one target last season. And like mentioned, Mayfield doesn’t necessarily have any other premier receivers on his list anymore.
That puts things somewhat in the receiver’s hands. If they step up, Mayfield will look great. If they underperform, Mayfield will have a long, frustrating season.
The main question is, can Mayfield conduct the Sooners offense without any other stars? That’s for us to simply find out.
Mayfield has all the tools to be the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner, but the offense may or may not step up for him. However, if the Sooners finish with two-or-less losses, a Big 12 title and a playoff berth it’ll be extremely hard to argue against Mayfield taking the trophy home.
Read our other Sooner Stories from this week: Changing of the Guard, 3 Reasons why Oklahoma will and will not win the Big 12 in 2017.