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Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield wins 2017 Heisman Trophy

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As the 2017 season continued to play on, it became more and more apparent Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield would be winning the Heisman Trophy. On Saturday night in New York, the inevitable result became official. Mayfield was named the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner by the Heisman Trust during a ceremony in the PlayStation Theater in Times Square of New York City.

Mayfield beat out Stanford running back Bryce Love and Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner. He becomes the sixth Heisman Trophy winner in Oklahoma history, officially moving the Sooners into a tie for second-most all-time Heisman Trophy winners with USC (USC has actually had seven Heisman Trophy winners, but Reggie Bush had his Heisman Trophy officially vacated, thus reducing USC’s official count to six).

Mayfield received 2,398 total point sin the voting. Love received 1,300 points, and last year’s Heisman winner (Jackson) received 793 points. Mayfield received 732 first-place votes.

  1. Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma – 2,398 points (732 first-place votes)
  2. Bryce Love, Stanford –  1,300 points (75 first-place votes)
  3. Lamar Jackson, Louisville – 793 points (47 first-place votes)
  4. Saquon Barkley, Penn State – 304 points (15 first-place votes)
  5. Rashaad Penny, San Diego State – 175 points (7 first-place votes)
  6. Jonathan Taylor, Wisconsin – 58 points (2 first-place votes)
  7. Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State – 56 points (2 first-place votes)
  8. McKenzie Milton, UCF – 54 points (4 first-place votes)
  9. Kerryon Johnson, Auburn – 45 points (0 first-place votes)
  10. Roquan Smith, Georgia – 38 points (3 first-place votes)

Only Ohio State and Notre Dame have more Heisman Trophy winners in the history of the award. The Buckeyes and Irish each have seven winners in Heisman Trophy history. Oklahoma fans will also take pride in knowing the Sooners now have three Heisman Trophy winners since the last Texas Longhorn player won the award (Ricky Williams in 1998).

The most recent Oklahoma player to win the Heisman Trophy before Mayfield was Sam Bradford in 2008 and Jason White in 2003. Officially, Oklahoma is the first school to have three Heisman Trophy winners in the 21st century (again, USC is also in this category if not for the Reggie Bush Heisman). Mayfield is also the first Heisman Trophy winner from the Big 12 since Robert Griffin III of Baylor won the award in 2011. Among power conferences, the Big Ten owns the longest Heisman Trophy drought; the last Big Ten Heisman Trophy winner was Troy Smith of Ohio State in 2006.

Mayfield will now attempt to become the second Heisman Trophy winner of the College Football Playoff era to lead his team to a national championship. Heisman Trophy winners are 1-1 in the national championship game in the playoff era. Oregon’s Marcus Mariota lost to Ohio State in the first playoff national championship game, but Alabama’s Derrick Henry captured a national title against Clemson in the second season of the playoff. Jackson and Louisville did not reach the playoff a year ago.

Wisconsin renews contract of Paul Chryst into 2024

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In what has seemingly been an annual tradition in Madison, Wisconsin has renewed the contract of head football coach Paul Chryst by tacking on another year. Chryst is now under contract through Jan. 31, 2024 with his latest renewal following approval from the University of Wisconsin Athletic Board.

Wisconsin renewed Chryst’s contract a year ago, extending his contract through the end of Jan. 2023. Wisconsin and Chryst originally agreed on a contract that was set to expire on Jan. 31, 2020 with a written agreement that the contract may be extended with a positive annual review beginning after the 2015 football season.

The Badgers may be coming off a relatively disappointing season with a record of 8-5, but Chryst has gone 42-12 in his first four seasons as head coach of the Badgers and it is expected Wisconsin will remain a consistent contender in the Big Ten West Division with a shot to play for and win the Big Ten championship in the years to come.

According to the USA Today coaching salary database for the 2018 season, Chryst was paid $3.75 million last season. Specific details of how much Chryst will be paid now were not announced by Wisconsin.

Wisconsin also renewed the contracts of volleyball coach Kelly Sheffield, women’s soccer coach Paula Wilkins, and men’s soccer coach John Trask.

Toledo losing RB Nevone McCrimmon to transfer

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One MAC school will head into the spring with a little less depth in its offensive backfield than they had at the end of the 2018 regular season.

On Twitter this week, Nevone McCrimmon announced that he has decided to transfer from Toledo and continue his collegiate playing career elsewhere. In his social-media missive, the running back described leaving UT as “being the hardest decision of my life,” albeit one that he “and my family feels like… is the best decision to make.”

After redshirting as a true freshman, McCrimmon carried the ball nine times for 80 yards in 2017. He totaled 116 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 14 carries this past season.

Kent State adds a pair of Power Five transfers

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Thursday was potentially a good day on the personnel front for the Kent State football program.

The school confirmed in a release that it has added a pair of Power Five conference transfers — offensive lineman Bill Kuduk and defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight (pictured). Kuduk, a redshirt freshman, began his collegiate playing career at Kansas State, Knight, a redshirt sophomore, at Maryland.

Neither player is expected to be eligible to play in 2019 as they will be forced to sit out a transfer year as mandated by the NCAA.

“We are excited to add an exceptional person in Bill to our FlashFAST Family,” second-year head coach Sean Lewis said in a statement. “He comes from a great high school on the south side of Chicago and knows what it takes to win. His athletic ability and size will be a great addition to our O-line room. …

“Q is another high character individual who is going to be a great member of our family. He brings collegiate game experience with him and will add a lot of position versatility to our back-end.”

Knight played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2016 and a dozen the following season. He saw action in just four games this past season before deciding to transfer in November of last year.

Kuduk didn’t see the field during his brief time with the Wildcats.

Nick Saban poaches Florida, NFL to fill holes on Alabama staff

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After spending the last month as the poachee, Nick Saban has turned into the poacher as he looks to retool an Alabama coaching staff ravaged by attrition.

While it’s not yet been confirmed by the football program, multiple media outlets, including al.com, are reporting that Saban will hire Kyle Flood and Sal Sunseri as Crimson Tide assistants.  Flood would take over as offensive line coach for Brent Key, who left for the same job at Georgia Tech, while Sunseri will be taking an unspecified position on the defensive side of the ball.

Flood, the former head coach at Rutgers whose show-cause from the NCAA expired last September, would come to Tuscaloosa from the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, where he spent the past two seasons.  The offensive coordinator of the Falcons during that time, Steve Sarkisian, is expected to return in the same role with the Tide.

Speaking of returns, Sunseri spent the 2009-11 seasons as Saban’s linebacker’s coach and assistant head coach before leaving to take over as the defensive coordinator at Tennessee.  Sunseri just completed his first season as the defensive line coach at Florida.