BY RONAN KHALSA
Baker Mayfield planted the Oklahoma Sooners flag in the middle of Ohio Stadium last Saturday after leading his team to a 31-16 victory over the Ohio State Buckeyes. This fall, the quarterback will go even further by planting himself in college football history by winning the Heisman trophy.
Mayfield has experienced plenty of ups and downs throughout his college career, and has defied the odds to get to where he is now. As a true freshman walk-on at Texas Tech, the quarterback won the starting job and led the Red Raiders to an 8-5 record. Mayfield then transferred to Oklahoma. After sitting out his sophomore season due to NCAA transfer rules, he claimed the starting spot for the Sooners.
Mayfield has steadily improved his game each year, and now, in his senior season, the quarterback is primed for a successful 2017-2018 campaign. Mayfield is a great pocket-passer, being able to both read defenses and throw the ball with extreme accuracy. One skill the quarterback has improved on, though, is his elusiveness. Within the first two weeks of the season, Mayfield has shown the ability to escape the pocket and to evade defenders while extending the play.
Although Kevin might tell you Josh Rosen deserves the Heisman for his clutch play, but UCLA simply is not good enough. Two out of the last four Heisman winners have come from teams that won the National Championship. Oklahoma is ranked as the second team in the nation and is a favorite to be one of the four teams in the College Football Playoff. UCLA will not even win their own conference.
Last year, Mayfield finished third in the Heisman voting; however, this season he will lead his team to a National Championship and collect the Heisman Trophy in the process.
BY KEVIN LINDGREN
Last season, Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson both captivated college football fans with his play-making ability and proved that Heisman trophy winners can emerge from non-powerhouse conferences. This year, UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen will follow in Jacksons footsteps by taking home the coveted award.
Rosen, a top recruit out of high school, was limited to just six games last season due to a shoulder injury. Now, as a junior, Rosen is finally beginning to live up to the hype that got the Bruins nation excited about him in the first place.
The shoulder issues seem to be in the past for Rosen as he opened the season by leading his team to an incredible 34-point comeback win against Texas A&M. Rosen followed his week one performance with a convincing 33-point victory over Hawaii. On the season, he has nine touchdowns and zero interceptions.
Rosen plays in a competitive PAC-12 conference with #4 USC, #6 Washington, #19 Stanford and Oregon all slated on his schedule. If Rosen continues to play at an elite level, the Bruins have a great shot at the PAC-12 title, and Rosen has an even better chance for the Heisman.
Ronan will tell you that Baker Mayfield is fit for the Heisman title. However, Mayfield lacks the ability to come through in the clutch. When choosing the Heisman trophy winner, voters should look for signature wins and drives. Rosen already has one of those in the books this season against the Aggies.
If Rosen can keep up his elite level of play throughout the season, come December, the UCLA quarterback will be the second Bruin ever to take home college footballs most prestigious award.