After missing the playoff in two of the first three years, the Big 12 brought back the conference title game for the first time since 2010.
There was no screaming and pushing at midfield during warm-ups, no snubbed handshakes at the coin toss. He kept the Horned Frogs in the game in the first half Saturday, threading some nice passes into coverage, and picking up some tough yards on the ground (he led TCU with 51 yards rushing).
The TCU Horned Frogs, looking to avenge a loss to the Oklahoma Sooners three weeks ago, found themselves trailing 17-0 after the first quarter in the Big 12 Championship Saturday afternoon at AT&T Stadium. I knew how he was going to approach me with it being the second time we played.
It will be Mayfield's second straight invitation to the Heisman ceremony.
Oklahoma jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead, including Caleb Kelly's 18-yard fumble return for a touchdown after running back Kyle Hicks' turnover on the first offensive play by TCU (10-3, No. 11).
The second half was when the direction of the gam changed dramatically. One of the Sooners' penalties came in the closing seconds when they were called for a delay of game.
Mayfield has been the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy for the past few weeks, and after his play on Saturday, there is little reason that he won't be raising the trophy come December 9. "That's all out in front of us".
Whether or not an eighth national title arrives in Oklahoma this year, a sixth Heisman Trophy is on its way. No other program has won more than two during that span. "He's the best teammate you could imagine", Sooners tight end Mark Andrews said.
Even TCU coach Gary Patterson acknowledged, when asked this week, that "probably the best (outcome) for the Big 12 is Oklahoma to win". How many quarterbacks now in the National Football League can rip off a play like that? "The good thing is I'll be getting to go with some teammates as well". Mayfield also had a 54-yard dash out of the pocket, the longest run of his career.
But the second half looked like a statement by the Sooners to the College Football Playoff selection committee: Invite us, and watch out.
"We're gonna enjoy this one here tonight, and then we've got bigger things to come", Sooners coach Lincoln Riley said during the confetti-showered trophy celebration on the field. The Sooners were able to rush for 218 yards against the Horned Frogs. The Sooners separated themselves from the Horned Frogs in the second half en route to a 41-17 victory. Hill aired the ball out for 3,208 yards as he recorded 17 touchdowns on the year. Mayfield also connected with sophomore wide receiver Mykel Jones on a 55-yard score (the first of Jones' career) and with sophomore Marquise Brown on a 52-yard score (Brown's sixth of the year). "There was a Texas Tech pretty well-known quarterback that hit a guy from A&M in the head and they all thought it was amusing, to throw balls and do those kind of things back in those days", Patterson said, never mentioning any names.