Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield missed out on winning the Maxwell Award and Davey O’Brien Award on Thursday night. The Maxwell — given annually to the nation’s top player, and the O’Brien, given to the nation’s top quarterback, instead went to Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, respectively. Mayfield who is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy, leads the nation (and is on pace to break the FBS record) in passing efficiency with a rating of 197.8.
Baker’s done a phenomenal job of leading this team since the two early losses to Houston and Ohio State, and he finished the regular season with 38 touchdown passes and only eight interceptions. Mayfield was exceptional against TCU and Texas, which was when he really started to connect on the long passes — particularly ones thrown to Dede Westbrook.
From then on, Baker was nothing short of phenomenal. He went blow-for-blow against Patrick Mahomes in Lubbock and was deadly-accurate in harsh weather conditions against West Virginia and Oklahoma State. He had a killer instinct down the stretch while remaining poised at the same time, and he deserves some recognition for it.
These awards were toss-up in my eyes (even though many thought Jackson was the favorite for both), but Jackson and Watson are both deserving winners. It would’ve been cool to see Baker go home with some hardware, but it’s definitely an honor just to be nominated for those awards.
Baker is a longshot to win the Heisman on Saturday evening, but he’ll definitely have another opportunity next year to win some awards.