Oklahoma played at Kansas in Week 12. The Sooners have Heisman Trophy frontrunner quarterback Baker Mayfield, and Kansas is Kansas.
At the pregame coin toss, Mayfield went to shake hands with the guys he was about to put somewhere between 300 and 600 passing yards on. They declined:
Mayfield’s response was a classic, “I’m not even mad. This is actually funny to me” kind of thing, and I respect that. There’s also this anecdote:
So, Mayfield and a Kansas player went helmet to helmet after the coin toss. A ref had to run in from the sideline to separate them. And no, I'm not kidding about this.— Jenni Carlson (@JenniCarlson_OK) November 18, 2017
Mayfield directed taunting at the KU fans, too.
Later, Mayfield taunted Kansas fans, which included suggesting they stick to basketball because their football team isn’t good:
And later in the day, with OU leading:
According to the ESPN broadcast, Baker Mayfield told Kansas fans to "stick to basketball."— Kevin Flaherty (@KFlaherty247) November 18, 2017
Of course, Kansas players were going to get their licks in.
Kansas later put this cheap shot on him:
And Oklahoma took a personal foul, perhaps in retaliation, a short time later.
Then, Mayfield took the taunting to the next level.
In the third quarter of the game, Mayfield looked across the field, and grabbed his crotch as he looked across the field:
Baker Mayfield on his Johnny Manziel bullshit pic.twitter.com/BnTvhCaNiW— 5th Year (@5thYear) November 18, 2017
The very funny part about this was how ESPN chose to later present it:
lol ESPN blurred out Baker Mayfield grabbing his crotch. THE HORROR pic.twitter.com/Xfv7KccbwY— Rodger Sherman (@rodger_sherman) November 19, 2017
Oklahoma won, 41-3.
When you're about to be 1-10 pic.twitter.com/yqlAHwfXmC— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) November 18, 2017
His head coach said after the game that Kansas was clearly going after Mayfield.
After the game, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley said that Mayfield “definitely had a target on him in this game.” He also referenced Mayfield taking late hits as an example:
Riley said Mayfield "definitely had a target on him," referenced the Hasan Defense late hit: pic.twitter.com/Gn8z7zN4Ny— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 19, 2017
Then, another Mayfield apology.
Mayfield issed an apology after the game for grabbing his crotch:
It’s the second time Mayfield has apologized for an incident this season. The other, of course, was when he attempted to plant OU’s flag in the middle of Ohio State’s block-O after their win in Columbus.
Kansas didn’t apologize for how this whole thing started out, by the way:
"It wasn’t meant to be disrespectful towards them, it was us trying to get our guys motivated." - Joe Dineen acknowledged that the gesture of refusing a handshake did look bad but was not intended as a display of disrespect pic.twitter.com/XMANewemX1— Kansas Football (@KU_Football) November 19, 2017
And here’s KU head coach David Beaty, via ESPN’s Jake Trotter:
I'm proud of our guys for getting to a point, and not just -- we're not going to take it anymore. You're going to stick your feet in the ground and you're going to defend your grass. I think we've got to display (it) better than that, obviously, but I get it. I understand where they're coming from. I've got to do a better job as their coach maybe teaching them how to manage that a little bit better. … But I certainly don't think it was anything more than the fact that this is a football game, and we're going to defend our grass. From that standpoint, I think it helped us. We were ready to go.
In a college football Saturday that mostly lacked compelling matchups and exciting storylines, Mayfield and Kansas gave us something.
Mayfield’s legend has grown this year as he’s gotten into heated moments with other teams, though this one wasn’t at all his doing. He previously planted a flag in the middle of Ohio State’s field and got into a pregame ruckus at Baylor, among other little moments along the way.