Another week of ups and downs for the Big 12. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Iowa State and TCU took care of business against their final non-conference opponents until bowl season rolls around. Texas Tech squeezed by their Pac-12 equivalent Arizona State to remain undefeated. Kansas State blew a very winnable game against Vanderbilt. Texas played an extremely respectable game against fourth ranked USC, but fell in double overtime, and Kansas and Baylor lost…once again…oof.
Oh, and we also have a brand new leader for Heisman in the Bovada odds!
QB Baker Mayfield [Oklahoma] +175
Baker Mayfield is your new leader for the Heisman after another strong performance against Tulane and a Lamar Jackson loss to the powerful Clemson Tigers. Mayfield has only been jumping players left and right in the Bovada odds since the season has started. This is great news for the Big 12 conference and not-so-great news for the individual Big 12 teams that have Mayfield and the Sooners on the 2017 schedule.
Baker Mayfield’s 331 yards and four touchdowns against the Green Wave was enough to boost him to the number one spot. Tulane never really had a chance. It took a quarter for the Sooners to break away from Tulane, but Baker was great the whole game.
The Sooners face the not-so-mighty Baylor Bears in week four to kick off Big 12 play. This should be another stat padding day for Mayfield.
QB Mason Rudolph [Oklahoma State] +900
Mason Rudolph finally moved up from fifth place on the Bovada odds after three very strong performances against non-conference opponents. This week’s game was the first Power Five team that Oklahoma State played and they really took care of business. Pitt is not a very strong opponent, don’t get me wrong, but it’s always for the Big 12 to beat a team from the ACC on the road.
Rudolph threw for 497 yards and five touchdowns in this beat down. This is Rudolph’s strongest game of the year so far and it came against arguably, the Cowboys toughest opponent they’ve faced. What is really encouraging for Rudolph was that he got multiple receivers involved in this game. Oklahoma State had four separate receivers with 100 yards with Jalen McCleskey leading the way at 162 receiving yards and three touchdowns.
Rudolph and the Cowboys face their first ranked opponent of the year as they host #16 TCU.
WR James Washington [Oklahoma State]
Washington was definitely the star receiver of the Cowboys’ first two games of the year, but got overshadowed last week by Jalen McCleskey’s crazy performance. Washington did not slack though. He still had five receptions for 124 yards. There is no doubt that Washington is Mason Rudolph’s favorite target and as Oklahoma State starts to play better opponents, but the number of options Rudolph has will hurt Washington’s Heisman chances.
QB Will Grier [West Virginia]
Grier had another strong performance against Delaware State. He threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, while having a QBR of 90.1. Grier’s stat line could have been better considering the caliber of his week three team, but nonetheless it was still a strong performance and West Virginia won 59-16. Grier and the Mountaineers take on the Kansas Jayhawks in week four, which means Grier should have another great stat line.
QB Nic Shimonek [Texas Tech]
What a week it was for Nic Shimonek. The Sun Devils could not stop the Red Raider offense early on and Shimonek threw for 543 yards and a Big 12 season high six touchdowns. The Texas Tech defense looked like their usual self in the second half as Arizona State erased a huge deficit, but thanks to Shimonek’s arm, the Red Raiders prevailed in the end. The six touchdowns are Patrick Mahomes numbers and show that the Texas Tech offense has not taken a step back since losing Mahomes to the NFL. Regardless of the way the won, the Red Raiders are 2-0 and face their toughest challenge yet in week four when they take on the Houston Cougars.
QB Kenny Hill [TCU]
Kenny Hill remains on the Heisman Watch after his week three performance against rival SMU. Hill was very close to not being on the list after his mediocre performance against Arkansas, but he more than made up for that as he threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns against the Mustangs while not throwing any interceptions. TCU looks good early on, but face a rolling Oklahoma State team that doesn’t seem to slow down.
RB Justin Crawford [West Virginia]
Jesse Ertz is out and Justin Crawford is in. Crawford is the newest addition, and first running back, of the 2017 Heisman Watch. After three strong performances in the Mountaineers first three games, Crawford deserves some recognition. Against Delaware State, he ran for 102 yards and three touchdown while only having 15 carries. Crawford has been far and above the best running back in the Big 12 so far this season and has been slashing through defenses as he’s averaged over 100 yards rushing yards a game. He should have another field day against the Jayhawks in week four.