Contributor, BIG 12 Football
Every year, we start the search for college football’s Heisman candidates earlier and earlier. We create lists of players we think have a shot at punching their ticket to New York City in early December and follow them throughout the year. There is one thing that every Heisman winner has in common; they experience their “Heisman moment”. It can happen in one play or it can be a culmination of an entire game, but it’s that moment where a single player launches himself into the upper echelon of college football. I can say without doubt that Baker Mayfield experienced his Heisman moment in Columbus. And I’m not talking about his play on the field, although he was brilliant in almost every way possible on Saturday. What I’m referring to is his victorious plant of the OU flag at the center of the Ohio State field. Some people may have differing opinions and Mayfield did apologize the following day, but that was the moment when I truly believed that the sky is the limit for Mayfield and the Sooners.
This game had everything you would need to convince you that Oklahoma is the real deal. As mentioned above Mayfield was spectacular, amassing 386 yards through the air while throwing for 3 touchdowns. He connected with nine different receivers throughout the day again providing evidence that this team has weapons everywhere. On the other side of the ball, the secondary was stout where they allowed only 183 yards through the air. This is a game where the Sooners were dominant all over the field and did this on the road in one of the toughest stadiums in the country. Who’s to say at this point that Oklahoma isn’t the best team in the country at this point?
Speaking of another big road win, TCU traveled across the border to finish off a quality opponent in Arkansas. The narrative of this game was a little different than TCU is used to because the defense was the key to victory. Arkansas simply couldn’t move the ball down field and I must credit this experienced Frogs defense for pulling out a gutsy win. They have one more test against cross-town SMU and then we get the showdown between Oklahoma State.
One final team that impressed me this weekend was Iowa State where they narrowly lost to instate rival Iowa in OT. As I’ve said before, this offense can really put points on the board when they are running on all cylinders. They went toe to toe against an Iowa team that I believe to be a major player in the Big 10 Conference. This game is certainly a tough pill to swallow but after this is what I needed to see to anoint Cyclones as a possible bowl team come December. Finally, Oklahoma State and Kansas State both took care of business with big wins while West Virginia and Texas had nice bounce back wins of their own. Also tough loss for the Kansas Jayhawks who had a nice opportunity to flip the script and start 2-0 but fell short 45-27 to Central Michigan.
Lets’ finish up with an obituary for the Baylor Bears. I don’t think I could create a worse start for Matt Rhule than what he has experienced this season. One would think the situation couldn’t get any worse after a shootout lose to Liberty last week, but losing to UTSA 17-10 might be the nail in the coffin for this season. I honestly don’t know where you go from here if you are Baylor, however congrats to UTSA for their first ever win against a Power Five school.