NORMAN – Kyler Murray wasn’t expected to duplicate Baker Mayfield’s numbers this easily.
The redshirt junior quarterback has a bright future in baseball, but he has been among college football’s best this season. He has the second-best odds to win the Heisman Trophy, according to Bovada.
Murray’s 7/2 odds trail only Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who’s odds are better-than-even at 10/11.
There has not been a dropoff at quarterback for the Sooners. Murray has filled Mayfield’s shoes with ease, slashing opposing defenses with his arm and galloping past defenders when the pocket collapses.
Murray has thrown for 1,460 yards this season while tossing 17 scores to only two interceptions. He has also rushed 46 times for 285 yards and four touchdowns.
Last season, Mayfield rushed for 311 yards and five scores in 14 games. Murray is on pace to have nearly 10 more total touchdowns than Mayfield did, though there are plenty of games remaining.
And Mayfield won the Heisman.
Only four times have Heisman Trophy winners come from the same school in back-to-back seasons. USC with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush is the most recent school to claim this feat, though Bush’s Heisman was later vacated.
If you don’t count USC’s winners in 2004-05, you would have to go to 1945-46 to find a team with different back-to-back winners of the Heisman. Ohio State’s Archie Griffin won the Heisman in consecutive seasons in 1974-75, but Army is the latest school to have separate back-to-back winners.
Junior fullback Doc Blanchard won the award in 1945 while running back senior running back Glenn Davis captured it in 1946. Not only was the Army dominating opponents overseas, it was doing it at home on the gridiron.
The fourth and final school to win the award consecutively is Yale. Larry Kelley (1936) and Clint Frank (1937) won the second and third Heisman Trophy awards.
It’s not often schools could claim back-to-back Heisman winners. It’s also not often players like Mayfield and Murray come along. The two have thrilled fans and terrified opponents for the past four seasons.
In coach Lincoln Riley’s schemes, it’s not asinine to think Murray’s stellar season could continue. Should the Sooners finish high in the AP poll and capture another Big 12 title, Murray will find himself in New York City with a chance to become OU’s seventh Heisman Trophy winner.