Making the Case For and Against Each Heisman Finalist
The Heisman Trophy will be awarded tomorrow night, Dec. 9th. The presentation will begin at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. We’ve seen incredible plays and stats put up by several players this season, but only one player can win, and the decision has been narrowed down to three. Let’s take a quick look at the three Heisman trophy finalists and the reasons for and against them winning this prestigious award tomorrow night.
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
For: Baker Mayfield led his team to the best record out the three finalists. His team only suffered one loss on the season. Along with leading his team to a 12-1 record, Mayfield also has some pretty impressive numbers. 4,430 passing yards, 41 TD’s, and most impressive of all, 71% completion percentage. Mayfield isn’t done yet either. He’s got his team in good shape to win the National Championship. Oklahoma is the number two seed in the College Football Playoff, and it’s pretty much because of the incredible numbers Baker Mayfield put up every time he stepped on the field. With a combination of the best record and the best stats, Mayfield is the best choice to win the Heisman. There’s also the fact that Mayfield has already won several other awards for being the best player/QB in football this season.
Against: Really the only reason I can think of against Baker Mayfield is the fact that he had some less than desirable antics against Kansas. Nobody wants to see that from a great player. You want to see great sportsmanship, which Mayfield did not have in that game. Whether you’re an Oklahoma fan or not, that’s not how you want a Heisman winner to be acting.
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
For: Last year’s Heisman winner came on strong again this season. His numbers dipped a little bit from last year, but he still had an incredible 4,932 total yards this season. While he had less passing and rushing yards, he did improve in other areas. Jackson improved as a passer, getting his rating up to 151.5 after a 148.8 passer rating last year. He also improved his completion percentage to 60.4%, up from 56.2% last year. Along with improving as a passer, Jackson also improved as a runner. He had less rushing TD’s this year, but he improved his rushing average to 6.9, up from 6.0 a season ago. He rushed 52 less times for only 128 less yards.
Against: Winning the Heisman is more than just putting up great numbers. A big factor in winning the Heisman trophy is getting your team wins. Jackson’s Louisville team wasn’t terrible, but they finished 8-4 and ranked outside the top 25. That’s not going to look good for his Heisman resume. Those losses will be too much to overcome, even with his incredible numbers.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford
For: Bryce Love fell just short of 2,000 rushing yards (1,973). Anytime a running back gets that close to the 2,000 mark you have to be impressed. Love finished 2nd in the NCAA in rushing yards, and 3rd in yards per rush (8.3). Love was a huge weapon for his team every single game. He had just one game where he didn’t rush for at least 100 yards, and one game where he didn’t score a rushing TD. Without Love on the field, Stanford would likely have finished much worse than 9-4.
Against: The reason against Love is pretty much the same reason working against Lamar Jackson. Love’s team finished the season with a 9-4 record. Unlike Lamar Jackson, Bryce Love’s team did finish in the top 25 rankings, but they finished in the middle of the pack. It’s not like Stanford finished 12-1 or 11-2 with a top 5 rank. Much like Lamar Jackson, Love’s numbers are Heisman worthy, but his teams wins and ranking aren’t.
Baker Mayfield has been the best player in college football all season long and everyone knows it. I personally would have given Mayfield the Heisman already if it were up to me. I feel like the only reason Jackson and Love are finalists is because they had to pick three players. I’d be absolutely shocked if Mayfield doesn’t walk away as the Heisman winner tomorrow night. I don’t think his antics are enough to stop him from winning the Heisman trophy. Nobody liked it, but they sure did like what he did on the field.