We return after a week off for our MNC Wednesday miniseries scrutinizing Heisman Trophy history, and in 61 seasons overall, we have confirmed just 17 vote winners. There’s just too much hype that goes into shallow-thought voting, and with the ballots so public, too, mediots are worried about backlash if they vote for someone their uninformed audiences don’t think is worthy. It’s a shame real journalism has gone the way of the dodo in modern times, isn’t it? We live to fix this …

2017 Heisman Trophy winner: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma (original, confirmed)

The Oklahoma Sooners won the Big XII with a 12-1 record and earned a berth in the CFP behind quarterback Baker Mayfield: 4,940 total yards for 49 total touchdowns and just 6 interceptions. His 198.9 QB rating was absolutely insane, leading the nation by almost 20 points, and Mayfield did this against a Top 25 schedule. He has been one of our finalists here the last two seasons (2015, 2016), but this was his best college season, by far. Will it be enough? We think it might be.

We have learned through strange ways that there are always other high-quality candidates to consider. This is our final list of firmly vetted Heisman candidates for the 2017 Heisman Trophy, and it’s not much due to Mayfield’s domination of the QB field:

  • Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: 2,365 total yards for 24 TDs (No. 12 SOS)

Barkley helped the Nittany Lions to a 10-2 record and second-place finish in the loaded B1G East Division, trailing Ohio State by 1 game. Penn State had reached No. 2 in the polls before back-to-back road losses to the Buckeyes and Michigan State left them on the outside looking in. The Nittany Lions still got a very worthwhile Fiesta Bowl bid out of the process, but the also-ran finish in the conference hurts Barkley’s slate in comparison to Mayfield’s profile.

So, this is becomes somewhat easy to confirm Mayfield’s win, but we want to point out something significant: Oklahoma had an 1,100-yard runner and an 1,100-yard receiver, but otherwise, this was the QB distributing the ball most efficiently to five different players with at least 800 scrimmage yards. This is one of the more impressive QB seasons we’ve seen at the collegiate level during our Heisman analysis. Just incredible, in truth.

Congratulations to Baker Mayfield, the legitimate Heisman Trophy winner for 2017.