No longer the underdog, Oklahoma QB Mayfield still has fire

Westbrook, who is just the eighth wide receiver to be named a Heisman finalist or win the award (the Heisman Trust didn't start announcing finalists until 1982), led the Big 12 in conference play in receiving yards (145.7 per game; the next highest average was 95.7) and points (11.6 per game).

On the season, Jackson threw for 3,390 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Especially when Jackson's Heisman-caliber season is sure to be used in Louisville football recruiting efforts for years to come.

"It's easy for people to say that I'm not having the type of season I had past year, because to be honest, a lot of people didn't really know me until the end of the season", Watson said. However, for as good as those numbers were they weren't enough to make up for a relatively sub-par season overall. The game is played annually in New Orleans.

Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass as he warms up for the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on January 11. Peppers played defense, offense and special teams for MI, lining up all over the field. The Cardinals star has put together a remarkable 2016 campaign, despite the team cooling off down the final stretch of the season.

Mayfield threw for 3,669 yards, 38 touchdowns, and eight interceptions, with yards-per-attempt and passer ratings that now lead the sport. The Sooners dropped their opener at Houston and then lost to Ohio State in their third game of the season and that was enough to doom their playoff chances out of the gate.

"I knew he was going", Mayfield said of Westbrook.

Like OU as a whole, Westbrook's season took off in October. He capped it with a virtuoso performance against Alabama in the national title game, accounting for four touchdowns and 478 yards in a 45-40 loss. He also rushed for 143 yards and six touchdowns.

Westbrook is the only hope to break this streak of non-seniors to win the award. At a staggering 19.8 yards per reception with some of the best open-field moves since Reggie Bush, Westbrook was one of the most entertaining players in the nation to watch, even if much of his production was against shaky defenses. But there are four other official finalists for the award, including Michigan Wolverines Swiss Army knife Jabrill Peppers. It is presented to the top college player through the bowl season.

  • Angelo Rivera