Lake Travis is a beautiful lake located right outside the city of Austin, Texas. It sits right on the Eastern edge of the Texas Hill Country and is known for it’s fantastic scenery and mild climate. It’s also known for million dollar houses and a nudist beach at Hippy Hollow. Lately, it’s been more widely known for an incredibly ugly drought in Texas which stole a vast majority of the body of
water and a great deal of that scenic beauty.
Recent rains have restored the water level at Lake Travis, and returned the hordes of visitors from nearby Austin.
On a typical summer weekend, this lake is overrun with boaters. On special weekends, jet skis are even banned because there are so many people out there and it gets really dangerous.
Nearly all of the population around Lake Travis is of the more recent variety and Lake Travis High School is a fairly new school district. But, in the mid to late 2000’s, Lake Travis High School made Texas High School football history by winning 5 straight 4A state championships in a row.
Former Texas and then SMU, and current Oakland Raider reserve Quarterback Garrett Gilbert was one of their star players. Michael Brewer of West Virginia was Garrett Gilbert’s back up for a couple of years, before he took over the starting role. Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma was another Quarterback that led the Lake Travis Cavaliers to a state championship.
Garrett Gilbert was one of the highest rated recruits in the state of Texas and in the nation. He signed with the University of Texas in 2009 and was an almost complete and total bust. Mayfield led his team to the state championship and had interest in Texas, but he was told they had no room for him. This is a program that had Case McCoy, Tyrone Swoopes and Connor Brewer over the past few years, and they rejected Baker Mayfield.
Part of the problem may have been the disappointment over the Garrett Gilbert situation. The
thinking may have been that these guys out of Lake Travis were system Quarterbacks much like the NFL feels about a Mike Leach Quarterback.
Mayfield walked-on at Texas Tech, joining his Lake Travis predecessor Michael Brewer who was on scholarship with the Red Raiders. Brewer and Mayfield joined another walk-on, Davis Webb, as the starters for new coach Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury is also known by some as Coach Cool, and Cool decided on Davis Webb as his starter going forward. That was not such a cool move.
Both Brewer and Mayfield left Texas Tech for other destinations, leaving Texas Tech with serious Quarterbacking issues. Brewer went to Virginia Tech and he had graduated already and then he
became an instant starter for Frank Beamer and his Hokies. Brewer wanted to go to Texas where both his father and his grandfather played but he was denied by Texas Tech and Coach Cool. Again, not such a cool move.
Baker Mayfield, since he was a walk-on, could transfer anywhere he wanted and he chose the Oklahoma Sooners. He was a walk-on, but he still had to sit out a year because of stupid transfer rules. I don’t believe a walk-on should ever have to sit out. It’s not like he was a 5 star recruit and was being stolen by another program. Why not just let the guy play football since nobody had ever recruited him in the first place.
If you had witnessed the Oklahoma Spring Football game in 2014, you probably agreed that Baker Mayfield was the best Quarterback on the field and that was over Sugar Bowl hero Trevor Knight and other scholarship Quarterbacks.
But, he had to sit out a year.
The Oklahoma Sooners had a bit of a down season in 2014 after being ranked at one point in the top 5 and many expected a national championship.
The Sooners sputtered to an underwhelming 8-5 record and ended with 2 straight losses. The first loss was in their annual Bedlam game against Oklahoma State when they lost 35-38. Then, in their bowl game, they got blown out by Clemson, 6-40, and I am not even sure it was that close.
Baker Mayfield watched from the sidelines patiently waiting his turn, probably knowing fully well that he could have done better. The guy is a winner and he has proven it on the high school level and now again at the college level.
Mayfield officially won the starting job and has been the starter all year for the Sooners. After 10 games, he has now thrown for 3,082 yards and 31 Touchdowns while only giving up 5 Interceptions. He has also run for 301 yards and 6 more Touchdowns.
Last week, the Sooners beat the unbeaten Baylor Bears, 44-34. Mayfield threw for 270 yards and 3 Touchdowns which was far from his best performance on the season.
Now, suddenly all of the college football experts have Baker Mayfield as a leading Heisman
candidate. Mayfield was good before the Baylor game and he will be good after the Baylor game and this should have little bearing on the Heisman race.
With Mayfield behind Center, the Sooners are just a different team than last season in spite of the fact that they lost 4 starters in the Offensive Line.
Oklahoma has now played it’s way into a possible contender for a playoff spot, if they can win out. With outstanding play from the Quarterback position, the Sooners are 9-1 and in control of their own destiny.
Baker Mayfield is trying to gain on Alabama’s Derrick Henry for the 2015 Heisman Trophy and he may very well do it.