As if Baker Mayfield didn't already have enough motivation, the Sooners quarterback wasn't one of the names announced for the Heisman Trophy ceremony this Saturday. It's the biggest individual award in college football and Mayfield was just short of making it. Deshaun Watson, Derrick Henry, and Christian McCraffey were all invited to it with Mayfield and Dalvin Cook on the outside looking in. It's a shame, because he's put up five more passing touchdowns and six less interceptions than Watson. But of course, Clemson is 13-0 and Oklahoma is 11-1, which somehow makes him more worthy of a Heisman. For fun, let's just look at Mayfield's ranks among all other quarterbacks this season.
|Passing Touchdowns||Ranks among QB's|
|QB Rating||178.86 (2nd)|
|Completion Percentage||68.6% (7th)|
|Yards Per Attempt||9.6 (2nd)|
|TD-INT Ratio||35-5 (2nd)|
|Redzone TD's||20 (6th)|
|Dance Moves||1st by a mile|
Not too bad from a former walk-on. Not to mention Mayfield is one of the best in the country in taking care of the ball too and has made huge plays with his legs all season long. Not only do the stats prove he very well should of been there, but just his story alone is compelling. From just a couple of scholarships to becoming the first freshman walk-on to start at quarterback for a power five conference to leading Oklahoma to a playoff is a great story. Also could you imagine a Heisman statue of Baker Mayfield dancing? That would be the most awesome statue of all time. At least in Oklahoma, anyway.
Henry will likely come away with the award, as the Alabama running back has been dominant all season and honestly deserves it. But the selection of Watson and McCaffrey above Mayfield doesn't make much sense to me. I understand Watson is the quarterback on an undefeated Clemson team and McCaffrey means a lot to Stanford, but Mayfield's worth to Oklahoma is a lot and he led the Sooners to a Big 12 championship.
But for Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners, this should only add to their already huge list of reasons to be motivated. The players were really hoping to see him win the Award and competitive Mayfield surely wants to be there. It's a huge deal for the program too, even if that program's particular player doesn't win the award.
Mayfield has accounted for 42 touchdowns this season, one more than Watson in less games. The Heisman Award isn't a "whoever scores the most touchdowns" award, but it is a major factor in it. It's the reason Derrick Henry is the front runner anyway. After all, there are 72 players in the country who average more yards per carry than he does but heck he's still ahead of McCaffrey who has 85 players above him (Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon are above them both by the way). Speaking of the touchdown award, McCaffrey has eight rushing touchdowns and gets the second most carries in the country. Watson has 11 of those and Mayfield has seven, and they're quarterbacks.
Now I understand McCaffrey does everything from kickoff returns to receiving. But even when you factor in his receiving touchdowns, rushing touchdowns, passing touchdowns (2), and returns for touchdown he sits at 15 on the year. How does this guy get in over Mayfield? A good running back does more with less, and he has more touches than anyone in the country but can't get more than barely over a touchdown a game. It's not like the Watson situation where Stanford went undefeated, the Cardinal were the only P5 champion to be left out of the CFB Playoff this season. If you want the two best players in from the two best teams in the country in the ceremony, that's fine. But a running back on a two loss team over a flashy quarterback from the fourth ranked team is a little strange to me.
Voters more than likely just went with the best three players from this past weekend, which is why Mayfield was probably left out of a lot of ballots. It's why guys like Mayfield and Dalvin Cook were left out, despite being the second and third most deserving players behind Derrick Henry. Since Henry is winning it, I figured they would invite Mayfield, Cook, and maybe even Leonard Fournette to the ceremony just for the sake of views and entertainment. But I guess the distance between McCaffrey and Mayfield was too much for the Heisman Award to include him as well.
Of course, the last time an Oklahoma quarterback was robbed of the Heisman he went on to win the national championship. I'm sure Josh Heupel would take that Orange Bowl win over the Heisman, and I'm sure Mayfield would do the same.