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Oklahoma Sooners Football: Is the Heisman Trophy race even close at this point? Baker Mayfield seems to have a commanding lead

After throwing for nearly 600 yards against Oklahoma State, Baker Mayfield appears to have a commanding lead in the Heisman Trophy race.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Oklahoma Sooners are more than familiar with a little thing called the Heisman Trophy. After five winners in program history, folks in Norman know what it takes to win the prestigious award, and Baker Mayfield absolutely has what it takes. You want numbers? He has the numbers. You want moments? He has those, too.

Heisman Numbers

Before I illustrate how efficient Baker Mayfield has been as an individual, I’ll first tell you how the offense has been the most efficient unit in the FBS with Mayfield than virtually any other offense with any other quarterback in college football history.

Currently, the Sooners’ offense leads the nation in offensive efficiency with a score of 96.5 (on a scale of 0 to 100). Past Heisman winners such as Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Jameis Winston, and Marcus Mariota all led offenses that topped the country in offensive efficiency during their trophy winning seasons. Mayfield’s offense has the highest rated efficiency since the analytic has been recorded.

Last season, Mayfield broke the single-season record for passer rating with a score of 196.4. This season, Mayfield is on pace to re-write the record books once again as his passer rating is currently a nation leading 201.6. The next highest rated passer is Central Florida QB McKenzie Milton with a rating of 189.1, and the drop off after that is even more drastic. If his numbers hold up, I could easily see Mayfield’s passer rating standing as the benchmark for years to come.

You might be asking yourself which statistics go into passer rating and efficiency analytics. I’ll tell you it’s a combination of several statistics: pass attempts, completion percentage, yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Baker Mayfield leads the FBS in completion percentage at 71.7%. He also leads the country with 11.9 yards per attempt, is second in overall passing yards (3,226), is third overall in passing touchdowns (28), all while throwing only 5 interceptions on the year.

Heisman Moments

It should be no surprise to anyone that Baker Mayfield is a flat-out gamer. After jumping out to an early lead against Texas, the Longhorns battled back and eventually took a 1-point lead in the 4th quarter. The Sooners wouldn’t trail for very long, though. Mayfield led the way with a monster touchdown pass on a wheel route to TE Mark Andrews. It’s a moment the Longhorns won’t be forgetting anytime soon:

The following week, the Sooners found themselves down by two scores early against the Kansas State Wildcats. The purple crowd was alive and thumping, and for a moment it appeared another disappointing defeat was in the works. But Baker refused to lose:

Mayfield rallied his troops and willed the offense down the field time and time again with the help of running back Rodney Anderson. In the end, the Sooners overcame a sizable deficit and left Manhattan victorious, and they couldn’t have done it without their field general.

Last weekend, Mayfield played arguably his best game ever. On the road (where Mayfield is now 13-0), against the in-state rival Cowboys, Mayfield threw for 598 yards, which is the most in Sooner history. He also accounted for 6 total touchdowns and recorded a QB rating of 98.1, which is tied for the best performance of his career. Whenever the Cowboys scored, Mayfield had an answer. Oh, and he also did this:

Now, it might be unprecedented, but if Baker Mayfield does indeed win the Heisman, his most iconic moment may actually end up being from Week 2 in Columbus. While it certainly was a masterful performance by Mayfield, carving up the vaunted Buckeye defense was not the headliner from that night. The flag plant heard ‘round the college football world remains the single most discussed moment of Mayfield’s Heisman worthy season. Whether you were a fan of it or not, it cannot be denied it was a moment unlike any other:

What that planting of the OU flag represented was more than just some braggadocious antic. Baker Mayfield made a statement. As long as 6 is manning this ship, Oklahoma is a force to be reckoned with.

The Others

At the end of the day, it’d be tough for me to argue that there is another player in the country doing more for his team than Mayfield is doing for his. Additionally, the other contenders keep stumbling. JT Barrett threw four interceptions in an embarrassing loss to Iowa on Saturday, and Saquon Barkley now no longer has the wins or the numbers to make a great case. Darkhorse candidates such as Mason Rudolph, Kahlil Tate and Bryce Love also lost this past weekend, and another darkhorse — Notre Dame RB Josh Adams — is battling an injury. Baker Mayfield may seal the deal by beating TCU, but he may not even have to win out to take the award.

On a weekly basis, Mayfield is quite simply the best player on the field. He performs at his best when the odds are stacked against him and when the pundits doubt him. He has the stats and the moments to back up his Heisman candidacy, and as the stages get bigger, his case grows stronger.

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