Baker Mayfield decided to come back to school for three reasons: 1.) To three-peat in the Big 12. 2.) To win the 2017 Heisman Trophy. 3.) To win a national championship quarterbacking the Oklahoma Sooners. He has already been to the College Football Playoff before as a redshirt sophomore in 2015. Mayfield has finished in the top-four in the Heisman race twice. This is the year he and Oklahoma football might be able to put it all together.
It will be a year of great transition in Norman, as former head coach Bob Stoops retired this summer. Replacing him is former offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, a guy who Mayfield has been his biggest disciple. Mayfield just toys with lackluster Big 12 defenses in the Air Raid. He loves to let it rip, much to the chagrin of the other nine schools in the conference.
In 2016, Mayfield completed 70.9 percent of his passes for 3,965 yards, 40 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He averaged an absurd 11.1 yards per attempt with a quarterback rating of 196.4. Being undersized and a fringe NFL prospect were probably big reasons he came back to school, but Mayfield has already mastered dissecting college football defenses.
What will help him on his quest to win the Maxwell Award among other things is that the Big 12 looks to have a few other good teams in it this year. The Bedlam Series with in-state rival Oklahoma State might decide who comes out of the Big 12. Texas can’t be that bad again, right? Kansas State, TCU and West Virginia should be solid as well. 2017 is shaping up to be a big year for Mayfield and the Sooners football program.