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2017 Season - Week 3

Big 12 Heisman Watch After Week 2

An impressive week two has left the Big 12 with two clear front runners for the Heisman Trophy.

Getty Images - Mike Stobe

Big 12 Heisman Watch After Week 2

Week two was a big week for the Big 12 and Baker Mayfield jumped Sam Darnold for the number two slot on the Bovada odds for Heisman.

The Sooners pulled off the biggest win this season for the Big 12 by giving Ohio State their first loss of the year. TCU defeated Arkansas behind their defense and run game. The Cowboys, Wildcats, Mountaineers and Longhorns dismissed their underpowered opponents. Iowa State lost a nail biter to rival Iowa. Kansas lost to the Central Michigan, the team that has seemingly become the Big 12’s kryptonite. Finally, Baylor gained another bad loss to make them 0-2 on the season. Will they win a game this season?

QB Baker Mayfield [Oklahoma] +400

What a week it was for Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners. In a battle vs #2 Ohio State, the Sooners dismantled the Buckeyes. While the defense was a huge part of the win, nobody made a bigger impact than Mayfield. He threw for 386 yards and three touchdowns against the powerful Buckeye defense.

Mayfield finally jumped USC’s Sam Darnold and now only has Louisville’s Lamar Jackson in front of him in the Bovada odds. That could change next week due to Jackson’s tough matchup against the defending National Champion Clemson Tigers. Like I’ve said before, Jackson’s only case against him repeating as Heisman is his team not winning enough. Mayfield looks very dominant to start of the season and should continue that dominance against Oklahoma’s week three opponent.

Mayfield and the Sooners take on AAC bottom feeder Tulane in week three.

QB Mason Rudolph [Oklahoma State] +1000

Mayfield was not the only Big 12 quarterback to have a great week. Mason Rudolph put on another strong performance in week two against South Alabama as the Cowboys routed the Jaguars 44-7. Rudolph threw for 335 touchdowns and three touchdowns, while rushing for another score in the win.

Rudolph is still tied for 5th in the Bovada odds with UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, but Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts has fallen below Rudolph. The only way Rudolph is going to move up higher on the list is when the Cowboys start playing better opponents. Tulsa was not a bad opponent by any means, but they hardly compare to the challenge of playing Power Five teams on a consistent basis.

Rudolph and the Cowboys take on their first Power Five opponent of the season in week three as they face Pitt. The only downside for Rudolph going into the game is that the game will be on Pitt’s home turf.

Honorable Mentions

WR James Washington  [Oklahoma State]

Washington remains off the Bovada odds for some reason. Mason Rudolph’s top target continues to shine as the season moves along as he caught two passes for 98 yards, one of which was a touchdown. Washington is an exemplary athlete and when he is in the open field he is nearly impossible to catch. His reception count was lower than in week one, but that’s probably Mike Gundy trying to take advantage of a weak opponent by trying to get his other guys involved. Washington will get more targets against higher powered teams.

QB Will Grier [West Virginia]

West Virginia’s week one loss is the only reason Grier is not being talked about more. The man had the best performance of any quarterback in the Big 12 and possibly all of CFB in his week two performance. He threw for a season high for any Big 12 quarterback five touchdowns and 352 yards in only 19 completions. That’s a little over 14 yards a completion. Sure, they did play substandard opponent in East Carolina, but those numbers are still very impressive. Grier is fitting well into the system and should be getting some hopes as West Virginia keeps winning.

QB Nic Shimonek [Texas Tech]

Texas Tech’s bye week is one of the wrongest things in any schedule in all of college football. The second week of the season? Really? The second bye week makes sense. The students and athletes are in the middle of finals week, but the second week of the season? Tech starts their 11-straight-game schedule with Arizona State this Saturday. Night games in Lubbock are scary for any team. This game should be a lot like last year, as in a lot of points will be scored. Shimonek should shine against a weak Sun Devil defense that has not looked good in their first couple games.

QB Kenny Hill [TCU]

Like the Sooners, TCU came up with a huge win in week two as they defeated Bret Bielema’s Arkansas Razorbacks 28-7. While Hill did not have a great game, the odds for Heisman are not gone. TCU is 2-0 with a couple solid games under their belt. Hill’s inconsistency has been a huge problem throughout his entire career at TCU and Texas A&M. If he wants to get back in the conversation for Heisman he needs to have a solid next couple games. Next week should be an indicator on whether or not Hill should remain on this list as TCU takes on rival SMU in the annual “Battle for the Iron Skillet.”

QB Jesse Ertz [Kansas State]

Ertz stats don’t do him justice for how solid he was in Kansas State’s game against the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday. He did not throw a touchdown, but went 16/21 on completions and had a total QBR of 94.3. He also ran in a touchdown and 76 rushing yards on 13 carries. Ertz is a veteran quarterback and, should he keep competing at a high level and Kansas State keep winning, could have a solid case for college football’s greatest individual achievement.

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