The regular season is now in the rearview, which means Heisman frontrunner Baker Mayfield is one step closer to securing the stiff-armed statue that’s eluded him each of the previous two years.
After finishing at No. 3 and No. 4 in the Heisman voting in 2016 and 2015, respectively, Mayfield has largely headlined the 2017 race since the earliest stages of the season. While others, such as USC quarterback Sam Darnold and Penn State running back Saquon Barkley faltered as the season progressed, Mayfield remained a model of consistency.
That consistency has not only allowed Mayfield to become a mainstay in this year’s Heisman race, but create some distance between himself and the rest of the Heisman hopefuls down the stretch. Bearing that in mind, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that entering championship week, Mayfield remains atop ESPN’s latest Heisman Watch list.
Mayfield’s placement in pole position is quite justifiable, to say the least.
The Sooners senior gunslinger not only guided Oklahoma to an 11-1 record, including a perfect 3-0 over ranked competition, but has the Sooners set to battle for a Big 12 Championship and on the cusp of a College Football Playoff appearance, yet again.
As far as Mayfield’s individual accolades are concerned, he thrived in that regard too.
Along with setting a new career-high in passing yards with 4,097, which also ranks second in the nation, Mayfield’s 37 touchdown passes stand as the second-most in college football, as well. Furthermore, after setting the passer efficiency rating last season with a 196.4 rating, Mayfield is well on his way to shattering his own record with a current rating of 203.3, which headlines college football. Mayfield also rushed 79 times for 245 yards and 5 touchdowns.
Considering the productivity Mayfield put forth this season, the fact that he owns 11 of the 12 first place votes from ESPN fits the narrative of the story he performance has told throughout the season.
Heisman ballots are due on Monday, Dec. 4 and the finalists will be announced later that day.
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