Last year, Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson ran away with the Heisman Trophy.
By the eighth or ninth week of the season, there was little debate over who would be getting the award come seasons end. This year is proving to be a much tighter race.
While many were ready to give the hardware to Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, he’s stumbled in recent weeks. Consecutive Nittany Lions losses have also weakened his case, and he’s no longer considered the frontrunner.
Instead, the spark plug quarterback out of Oklahoma who attempted to plant a flag in a turf field earlier this season is breaking away as the favorite.
This should help Baker Mayfield's Heisman campaign. pic.twitter.com/nqJrnRKkZL
— ESPN (@espn) November 5, 2017
“Baker Mayfield. He’s your Heisman Trophy front-runner, folks. And it’s not really close after tonight.”#Baker4Heisman pic.twitter.com/pWdICVTshC
— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) November 5, 2017
Lincoln Riley on Baker Mayfield making a Heisman statement pic.twitter.com/gxxy7JwsQN
— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 5, 2017
Mayfield took over the game, and was forced to score on nearly ever possession in what became an offensive showcase. The Sooners would go on to beat the Oklahoma State Cowboys 62-52, with Mayfield throwing for five touchdowns and 598-yards.
The defenses stayed at home, and while OSU’s defense has been far from stellar this season, he effectively picked apart a team ranked in the AP top 25 and willed his team to victory.
The race is far from over at this point, but Mayfield took a decisive blow.
Winning out the rest of the way and getting Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff will do wonders for his candidacy as well, and has no doubt hurt the efforts of players like Barkley, Bryce Love, and J.T. Barrett.