Yesterday was a big sports day. The Army-Navy game was a classic especially if you like old fashioned smash mouth, run it down your throat football. Woody would love three yards and a cloud of snow! The Marlins decided to dump, er… I mean trade Giancarlo Stanton and that will be the topic of a future blog. Then there was the annual awarding of the Heisman Trophy, an award that goes to the best college football player in the country.
The three finalists were Stanford running back Bryce Love, Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield and last year’s winner Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Mayfield won in a landslide vote and that will bring out a few doubters. Let’s look at three factors that may have had something to do with the voting outcome.
1) The record of the team. To me the best football player in the country – something that is, like choosing the four best teams to compete for the national championship, very subjective – does not have to be part of a winning team. He could toil for a five hundred unit or even a winless team, though that is never likely to happen. Jackson won the award last season and his stats were even better this year, but Oklahoma had a better season. A factor? For some perhaps.
2) Poor behavior. Mayfield had some issues with behavior. From his encounter with police during the offseason to the “planting” of the flag at Ohio State to the crotch grab, some felt he has character issues. Whether this should affect voting or not is open to question, but clearly it did not have an adverse effect. I’m sure there was at least one voter who dropped him down on his list for his boorish behavior- then again, maybe not.
3) Conspiracy theory. You know there has to be some people out there that feel Jackson may well be the best player in the land. To vote him the award again would be to relieve Ohio State’s Archie Griffin of being the only two-time winner. You know someone out there believes since he is from Ohio State that voters want to insure he keeps his place in Heisman history.
My take is simple. The Heisman voters made a good choice. Baker Mayfield, whether you like him or not, delivered big in the most meaningful games of the season.
The view from my seat suggests that Mayfield’s rise from walk on to Heisman winner is a great sports story.