Joe Mixon would have been good enough to win a Heisman in 2017.
Good enough to be the best running back in the conference, maybe the country, too. Some say Mixon would have been the most-talented player Bob Stoops has coached at Oklahoma. Hard to argue.
Good thing he’s gone, though.
Mixon needed to leave. Needed to try the NFL, needed to take the circus with him – far, far away from Oklahoma, which has been suffering a serious image issue.
And don’t think the Sooner coaches aren’t happy about this, too.
See, Mixon would have helped Oklahoma win games next year. Would have been a prolific runner and would have churned out yards and touchdowns, all of them memorable.
But Mixon would have also been a headache that would have started in July at media days and taken hold by the season opener. Mixon, undoubtedly would have been more available to the media and that would have meant the distance between himself and the gruesome, violent video would have been ultra-thin.
It’s a good thing for Mixon to be gone. It’s a good thing for coaches, who won’t have to continually answer for Mixon, deal with road game questions, deal with a national perception where it appears OU is harboring a criminal. No matter when Mixon entered the draft, it would be problematic, this year or next. There wouldn’t ever be a good time. So, instead of facing another year of questions in college, he can step away from that and deal with the NFL.
The talent Mixon has isn’t worth the trouble and all three rings of the circus that comes with it. Mixon has shown an inability to make good decisions off the field. The worry that trend would continue in 2017 is a legit one. Now, it’s a non-factor.
OU now just has football questions, not off-the-field questions. OU will struggle at running back, particularly early in the season. They have to deal with the loss of Samaje Perine, too, so establishing running backs could be difficult, especially considering OU plays at Ohio State the second week of the season.
But that struggle isn’t near as dynamic as dealing with another year of Mixon.