Oklahoma Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield was the winner of the 2017 Heisman Trophy, beating out Stanford running back Bryce Love and the incumbent winner, quarterback Lamar Jackson of Louisville. Mayfield had another excellent year as the Sooner signal caller, leading them to a 12-1 record, a Big 12 championship and a berth in the College Football Playoff. For the season, Mayfield completed 262 of 369 passes (71%) for 4340 yards while throwing for 41 TD’s with only 5 interceptions. The team averaged 45 points per game and only a bizarre 38-31 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones in Norman marred an otherwise perfect season.

The campaign was not without controversy, however. After being snubbed during the pregame handshake at Kansas, Mayfield made some lewd gestures to the Kansas sideline and fans as he led the Sooners to victory, for which he was denied the start in the following weeks’ game. For the most part, Mayfield exhibited terrific on-field leadership and clearly demonstrated that he is a fiery competitor. His small stature (he is generously listed at 6’1″) might give NFL scouts pause, but Russell Wilson showed not all effective NFL QB’s need to be 6’4″.

Oklahoma draws Georgia in the first round of the playoffs.

Drawing done on iPad Pro using Procreate. Some coloring done in Photoshop.

The Pittsburgh Steelers headed up to Buffalo for an important late season matchup with the Bills. The Steelers needed the win to keep their playoff hopes alive and, despite 3 interceptions from Ben Roethlisberger, they prevailed 27-20.

Le’Veon Bell put on an historic performance as he set the Steeler single game rushing record by toting the rock 38 times for 236 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also added 4 catches for 62 yards, falling just short of 300 yards from scrimmage. Bell displayed his usual combination of shiftiness, patience, and burst and he wove his way through the Buffalo defenders.

The Steelers travel to Cincinnati this week for an important division game before their big showdown with the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas.

In a stunning upset, the Ottawa Redblacks defeated the heavily favored Calgary Stampeders 39-33 in overtime to win the 104th Grey Cup CFL championship. At quarterback for the Redblacks was 17 year CFL veteran Henry Burris, who won MVP honors.

The Redblacks took a 27-7 lead in the third quarter and controlled the game to that point. However, the Stamps staged a furious rally and tied the game after a successful onside kick with 10 seconds remaining.

Ottawa scored first in overtime with a pass from Burris to Ernest Jackson, who made a catch reminiscent of Max McGee in Superbowl I. Calgary was unable to respond as Bo Levi Mitchell’s third down attempt was incomplete.

Hank became the oldest Grey Cup MVP in history at 41 and completed 35 of 46 passes for 461 yards, 3 TD’s and one interception while adding two more TD’s rushing. It was a defining performance for a player in the twilight of his career and brought Ottawa it’s first Grey Cup victory since 1976. The 2016 Grey Cup will go down as one of the most exciting in history.

The Miami Hurricanes won their third game in a row by beating the North Carolina Wolfpack 27-13. While the Miami running game was bottled up in the first half, Coach Mark Richt showed patience and it paid off as Mark Walton scored 3 touchdowns in the second half. For the game, Walton carried the ball 19 times for 120 yards and now has 1005 yards on the season. The Hurricane defense played well and QB Brad Kaaya had an efficient if unspectacular day. The Canes finish their regular season against Duke next week.

The Clemson Tigers eked out a close 37-24 win in Tallahassee against the Florida State Seminoles to keep their hopes alive for the College Football Playoff. Zooming out to a 14-0 lead, the Tigers had to hold on as FSU rallied and took at 34-29 lead with just over 3 minutes to play. Clemson QB Deshaun Watson kept his cool, however, and matriculated the Tigers down the field, finishing with a 34 yard TD to Jordan Leggett for the go ahead points. He also threw a 2-pt conversion pass to Mike Williams.

For the game, Watson completed 27 of 43 for 378 yards and 2 TD’s while also throwing 2 interceptions. In addition, he rushed 17 times for 52 yards.

Watson has not been quite as spectacular this year and his steady play has been overshadowed by the pyrotechnics generated by Lamar Jackson at Louisville. But let’s not forget that Watson won the head-to-head battle over Jackson and that he was invited to New York for the Heisman ceremony last year. There is still a lot left to be decided in this college football season.

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