clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Full Heisman Trophy 2017 voting results: Baker Mayfield routs Lamar Jackson and Bryce Love

Mayfield becomes the 82nd different winner of the award.

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas Christian vs Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

New York City — The 2017 Heisman Trophy was awarded to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield on Saturday night, beating out Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson and Stanford running back Bryce Love. Mayfield becomes the first Sooner QB to win the Heisman since Sam Bradford in 2008.

Here's a look at the voting, in detail:

Morgan Moriarty/SB Nation

The regional breakdown shows a consistent result across each region. Mayfield swept the whole country.

Morgan Moriarty/SB Nation
Morgan Moriarty/SB Nation
Morgan Moriarty/SB Nation

Mayfield slowly became the favorite throughout the season.

Reigning champ Lamar Jackson of Louisville was the early favorite for the award, according to the odds tracker at Bovada, before Penn State running back Saquon Barkley took over as the September Heisman favorite due to all sorts of highlight runs early in the season.

As Barkley’s numbers faded, Mayfield took over as the clear favorite, and by mid-November, Bovada had pulled Heisman odds entirely — and that was before OU clinched a College Football Playoff spot and won the Big 12 by lighting up TCU again. On the season, Mayfield has thrown for 4,340 yards and 41 touchdowns, and he rushed for another five scores.

The other contenders were still amazing, though.

Jackson’s 2017 season was even better than the one he had a year ago when he won the award, as Bill Connelly pointed out:

More importantly, Louisville disappointed, suffering three double-digit losses on the way to a 5-4 start. Because the Heisman is more of a popularity contest than anything else, we hold that against you, whether it’s your fault or not.

Still, virtually none of Louisville’s problems were Jackson's fault.

After losing defensive coordinator Todd Grantham to Mississippi State and replacing him with Peter Sirmon, the defense fell from 19th to 88th in Def. S&P+; the Cardinals allowed nearly one more yard per play in 2017, and they allowed at least 39 points in all four losses.

The offense? It improved from 10th to fifth in Off. S&P+ despite Jackson losing his top three receivers and three starting linemen and lining up next to a QB-turned-WR-turned-RB (Reggie Bonnafon) in the backfield.

Comparing Lamar Jackson’s 2016 to 2017

Stat 2016 Lamar (13 games) 2017 Lamar (12 games)
Stat 2016 Lamar (13 games) 2017 Lamar (12 games)
Completions 230-for-409 (56%) 241-for-399 (60%)
Passing yards 3,543 3,489
Passing TDs 30 25
INTs 9 6
Sacks 46 23
YPA (including sacks) 7.1 8
Carries 214 185
Rushing yards 1,896 1,561
YPC 8.9 8.4
Rushing TDs 21 17
Fumbles 8 8

Love finished second with 1,300 points. Like some past Stanford players, he finished as the runner-up:

And yes, East Coast Bias is probably at least some kind of factor here.

There are 870 media members who vote on the Heisman, but only 145 of them are in the “Far West” region. Stanford plays a lot of games awfully late at night, when national media members based in the Eastern time zone are less likely to be tuned in. There’s only been one Heisman winner who played in the Pacific time zone over the last decade (Marcus Mariota in 2014).

But getting this close to the Heisman this many times is a hell of an accomplishment.

Stanford recruits well these days, but it’s no Alabama or Ohio State on the recruiting trail. To be this close to having the best player in the country basically every other year over the last decade or so is a testament to how well Stanford has evaluated and developed talent.

Eventually, they’ll probably win this trophy.

Penn State’s Barkley, who wasn’t invited to New York as a finalist, finished fourth with 304 points. Aside from only accounting for 1,137 total rushing yards, Barkely wasn’t a finalist thanks to how Heisman voting works:

Three players were invited to the Heisman ceremony this season. Sometimes it’s four or five. The Heisman Trust invites only as many players as it deems necessary based on voting results. So Barkley might finish fourth without a trip to New York, but it’ll be a pretty distant fourth.

Heisman voters get to list only three names. Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield is running away with the award, Louisville’s Lamar Jackson was another obvious finalist, and Stanford’s Bryce Love has much better numbers than Barkley does. If almost every voter listed those three names, then there were few spots left for Barkley.

If you aren’t a Playoff contender, your stats better be otherworldly. Jackson’s and Love’s are. Jackson’s having basically the same season he did last year when he won the award, albeit on a worse team. There’s an argument that his campaign is even better than last year’s. Love is hitting home run after home run on basically one leg due to a hampering ankle injury. Taking into account Love’s 19.75 attempts per game, he’s the most bang-for-buck back by a long shot.

In the end, the award still went to college football’s most outstanding player, which was definitely Mayfield by the end of the season. Next up for him is Georgia in the Rose Bowl semifinal on New Year’s Day.

Baker Mayfield's path to the Heisman Trophy