On paper, it really looks like Baker Mayfield should win the Heisman Trophy.
His passing numbers are extraordinary. His team is great. The competition is wavering a bit.
Penn State’s Saquon Barkley has had a couple of not-quite-so-special games. Stanford’s Bryce Love and others don’t quite measure up.
Mayfield really should win.
But the Oklahoma quarterback is jeopardizing his chances with some fairly classless antics.
First, there was the incident after a Sept. 9 victory at Ohio State. Mayfield ran to the middle of the field with an Oklahoma flag, emphatically planted it in the turf and led teammates in stomping on the Buckeye logo.
He later apologized.
Then, Saturday against a forlorn Kansas team, he was caught on camera grabbing his crotch and shouting obscenities at the Jayhawks’ sideline.
He apologized again — undoubtedly with some prodding — but this stuff is getting old.
"I got caught up in a competitive game, a chippy game, but what I did tonight was unacceptable," Mayfield said. “It's disrespectful. It's not the example I want to set."
How is this for an idea? Don’t do stuff like this anymore.
Then you don’t need to keep apologizing.
You’ve probably never heard of Sutton Smith, but he’s having a pretty special season just a few hours away from the Quad-Cities.
The Northern Illinois sophomore leads the country in tackles for loss and is third in sacks. Last week against Western Michigan, he had as good a game as a defensive end can have, collecting 2.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss and returning a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown. He now has 13 sacks and 27.5 TFLs, both school records.
Smith isn’t your prototypical defensive end. He’s only 6-foot and 225 pounds, but he runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds. He was a 2,000-yard rusher as a high school senior in St. Charles, Missouri, but has used his athleticism to become a defensive dynamo at the college level.
Ohio State was a 41-point favorite to beat Illinois on Saturday, which is believed to be the largest point spread for a Big Ten game in more than 30 years.
The Illini actually beat the spread by only losing 52-14 although you got the feeling the Buckeyes could have won by 80 if they wanted to.
In this day and age of astronomical passing numbers, Northwestern and Minnesota turned back the clock and played a 1970s style Big Ten game on Saturday. Northwestern threw for 86 yards, Minnesota 43.
My wife always tells me “You get what you pay for.’’ And while she’s not talking about football, it’s true there, too.
When you have a bargain basement place-kicker who is earning half the NFL average for his position, you can’t really expect him to make 46-yard game-tying field goals in the final seconds.
And when you depend on walk-ons to do the punting for your college football team, you shouldn’t really be surprised when they average less than 30 yards a punt and constantly put your team in rotten field position.