Baker Mayfield is a Collectivist, Not an Individualist

November 9, 2017 by Staff

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield is, per SBG, the odds-one favorite to win the Heisman Trophy. The senior, however, is more interested in collective achievements than on individual accolades. "You’re going to have guys who have individual recognition, but right now, I’m not worried about that," he said. "The guys around this program know I’m not going to get caught up in that and I’m worried about winning ball games. I’ve always been a team-first guy and the most important thing to me is winning. The Heisman won’t come if we don’t win Saturday."

Mayfield has been the Heisman bridesmaid many a time, but never the Heisman bride. The Austin, Texas native could as a matter of fact become the fifth player overall and the first signal-caller to finish in the top four in the Heisman ballot thrice in a row after finishing fourth in 2015 and third in 2016. Mayfield has gone 195 of 272 for 3,226 yards with 28 touchdowns and five interceptions this season, including a couple of performances that are, in and of themselves, Heisman-worthy; 386 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-16 win over the Buckeyes at Ohio State – the infamous flag-planting game – and a whopping, school-record, 598 yards and five touchdown passes in Saturday’s 62-52 win over the Cowboys at Oklahoma State, which entitled Baker to wear the vaunted Golden Hat.

Many are rooting for Mayfield. The Washington Post can barely restrain from declaring him the best quarterback in the history of Oklahoma, and compares him (positively) to Johnny ‘Football’ Manziel, while another Washington Post article predicts Mayfield will be a first-round NFL draft pick (in fact, Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said that "If you're down the street in the park picking sides, he's your first pick"). Nevertheless, no one wants him to succeed more than his own offensive line. "He may say it doesn’t mean much to him, but as an offensive lineman, it means a lot to us," Oklahoma left tackle Orlando Brown said of Mayfield. "We want him to win the Heisman Trophy. We want him to win every award he can win. We want to send him out of this university as one of the best players of all time."

Having said all of the above, the Heisman trophy is a fickle mistress. As the cliché goes, right now it is Mayfield’s to lose, but then, just a couple of weeks ago, it was also Saquon Barkley’s to lose, and he just may have lost it. moreover, while Mayfield was passing for more yards than any other FBS player this year, Barkley ran for just 63 yards, Bryce Love, another candidate, rushed for only 69, and JT Barrett threw four picks. Once again, though, Mayfield would very much rather lose the Heisman trophy and lead the Sooners to the College Football Playoff and win the National Championship than the other way around. "We win ballgames, no matter how you put it,” he said. “Right now, that's all that matters."