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OU football: The weird and wild timeline of Baker Mayfield’s journey to the Heisman Trophy

December 9, 2017 GMT

2012: Baker Mayfield finishes his Texas high school career at Lake Travis with a 25-2 record and a 2011 state title. He passed for 6,255 yards and 67 touchdowns but only held Division I offers from Washington State, Rice and Florida Atlantic. As a kid growing up in Austin, Mayfield was a fan of the Sooners.

Aug. 31

, 2013

Mayfield walks on at Texas Tech, wins the starting quarterback job and leads TTU to a 41-23 victory over SMU in the season-opener, throwing for 413 yards and four touchdowns. He was thought to be the first walk-on to start a season-opener for a Power 5 school.

Dec. 11

, 2013

After an up-and-down year, Mayfield announces his intentions to transfer from Texas Tech. He won Big 12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year honors and threw for 2,315 yards, but after a midseason injury, Mayfield never regained a firm hold on the starting job. He later cited miscommunication with coach Kliff Kingbury and discrepancies over whether he would receive a scholarship as reasons for transferring.

January

2014

Mayfield enrolls at Oklahoma despite no contact with the OU coaching staff. Sooners’ incumbent quarterback Trevor Knight had just led OU to a Sugar Bowl victory against Alabama.

2014 season

Mayfield spends a year leading OU’s scout team, sitting out because of NCAA and Big 12 transfer rules. He also played intramural football and softball in his lost year at OU.

Aug. 24

, 2015

Mayfield is named Oklahoma’s starting quarterback over Trevor Knight and Cody Thomas. “We just felt Baker was a little more consistent overall in what we need to get done,” coach Bob Stoops said at the time.

Sept. 12

, 2015

Mayfield leads OU back from a 17-point deficit on the way to a 31-24 victory against Tennessee in double-overtime. The game became a defining performance in Mayfield’s career.

Dec. 31

, 2015

Mayfield leads to Sooners to the College Football Playoff and finishes fourth in Heisman Trophy voting. OU loses to Clemson in the Orange Bowl 37-17, and Mayfield finishes the year with 3,700 passing yards and 36 touchdowns.

June 1

, 2016

The Big 12 grants Mayfield an additional year of eligibility in a decision that alters the conference’s intraconference transfer policy for walk-ons. Texas Tech was among the schools that voted in favor of the “Baker Mayfield Rule.”

Sept. 17

, 2016

OU starts the season 1-2 after a 45-24 loss to Ohio State, and Mayfield promises in postgame interviews he will lead the Sooners back to a Big 12 championship.

Dec. 3

, 2016

Mayfield unveils a back-to-back Big 12 champions patch on his undershirt after the Sooners beat Oklahoma State 38-20 to win the conference. Mayfield becomes a Heisman Trophy finalist and finishes third after throwing for 3,965 yards and 40 touchdowns. The Sooners go on to beat Auburn 35-19 in the Sugar Bowl.

Feb. 25

Mayfield is arrested on public intoxication, fleeing and resisting arrest charges in Fayetteville, Arkansas. A police dash cam video of officers tackling Mayfield went viral. After a lengthy apology, Mayfield eventually reached a plea bargain. His punishment from the OU football program did not include a suspension.

June 7

Bob Stoops announces his retirement as head coach, and former offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley takes over a new era in Mayfield’s last season. “Thank you for everything Coach,” Mayfield posted to Twitter that day. “You turned a little boy’s dreams into a reality. I will be forever grateful.”

Sept. 9

Mayfield plays one of his most iconic games, throwing for 386 yards and leading OU to a 35-16 victory at Ohio State. After the game, Mayfield celebrated by striking an OU flag into Ohio State’s turf, and he apologized for the action in a press conference the following Monday.

Nov. 4

Mayfield throws for a career-high and OU record 598 yards in a 62-53 victory against Oklahoma State. He finishes his OU career 3-0 against OSU and 2-1 against Texas.

Nov. 18

Mayfield grabs his crotch and shouts expletives on national television in a 41-3 victory against Kansas. Amid more national scrutiny, Mayfield was suspended from the first series of OU’s Senior Day game against West Virginia and issued another emotional apology.

Dec. 2

OU wins its third consecutive Big 12 title with Mayfield at quarterback after beating TCU 41-17. Mayfield, who also had spats with TCU coach Gary Patterson in the past, added “Again in 2017” to his Big 12 champions undershirt.

Now

Mayfield is again a Heisman Trophy finalist and the overwhelming favorite to win the award. Oklahoma is set for a return to the College Football Playoff with a semifinal game against Georgia in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

— Cody Stavenhagen, Tulsa World