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Football

WILLIAMS: Don’t forget about this guy

In Big 12 country, even nationally, everybody is talking about Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State and I guess that makes sense. After all, those are the only three unbeaten in the conference.

Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) shouldn’t have lost to Texas (How in the heck did that happen again?).

Here’s a little prediction for you guys though. 

When it comes to the Big 12’s chances to make the final four, Oklahoma, who the Cyclones will face at 6 p.m. on Saturday (ESPNU),  will be the team that we are all talking about at the end of the regular season.  

I want to see what happens when the Sooners travel to Waco next weekend and of course I could be wrong, but I think that the Sooners are the most complete team in the Big 12.

It begins at the quarterback position, where Baker Mayfield has been a significant upgrade compared to what Bob Stoops has had to work with in recent years.  

Speaking of that, why don’t we hear more nationally about Baker Mayfield?

Oklahoma’s quarterback has a 24-to-5 touchdown/interception ratio, has completed 70 percent of his passes and thrown for almost 2,500 yards in eight games. There are a lot of good quarterbacks in this league but to me, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be discussed in that second tier of guys behind Trevone Boykin. 

In fact, I’d go as far to say that he’s the second best gun-slinger in the league. Pat Mahomes of Texas Tech is nice, but he’s thrown 12 picks. At 185.2, Mayfield’s pass efficiency rating is the second best in the league, ahead of Boykin’s only behind Seth Russell (Baylor’s former starter who is out for the season with a neck injury). 

 “As I told some of our corners out there (Tuesday), he can zing it,” Paul Rhoads said. “And he can throw it deep with plenty of distance to his ball. He can get it out fast and execute the speed game on the perimeter. He likes to make things happen with his scramble, whether it be running or throwing, and you’ve got to stop the throw first. I think he throws some very nice balls whether it be a guy tight-roping the sideline or a guy right over the middle.”

Talk about a first-world problem…

Remember the days when Trevor Knight and Blake Bell were competing for Oklahoma’s quarterback job? Knight struggled with accuracy last year (completed only 56.6 percent of his balls and threw 12 interceptions) but is still a talented guy.

As a true freshman walk-on at Texas Tech in 2013, Mayfield threw for over 2,300 yards and 12 touchdowns. 

“For him (Mayfield) to come in and beat him out tells you about his skill set right there,” Rhoads said. “He certainly deserves sitting at the table to be in the conversation about the top quarterbacks in this league.”

Last season, Knight notably threw and ran for three touchdowns a piece in Oklahoma’s 59-14 whooping over the Cyclones.

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