FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida -- Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield isn’t softening his edge for College Football Playoff semifinal week. Mayfield said Monday that TCU “kind of hung me out to dry” by not offering him a scholarship and that Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson simply doesn’t like him.
Mayfield’s story as a two-time walk-on has been well documented. At an Orange Bowl media session Monday, Mayfield was asked what team disappointed him the most that didn’t sign him to a scholarship.
“TCU,” he replied without hesitation. “They told me they were gonna offer me a scholarship and kind of drug it out, and I told other schools I wasn’t interested because I thought I was going to go there, and I truly believed they were going to offer me because they told me that. They disappointed me and kind of hung me out to dry right before signing day.”
Mayfield added this about Patterson: “He doesn’t like me, and I have no comment about that.”
Patterson responded to Bonnie Bernstein of Campus Insiders by saying he likes Mayfield but TCU had no need for a quarterback at the time.
"If Baker Mayfield wants to blame TCU for 128 BCS schools not offering him a scholarship, that's fine," Patterson said. "But ask Kliff Kingsbury why he didn't offer him a scholarship at Texas Tech. Ask about Baker's dad [James]. He's an arrogant guy who thinks he knows everything. If people knew the whole story, they might not have a great opinion of Baker or his father."
There’s other history between Mayfield and TCU. Mayfield sat out the 2014 season at Oklahoma. When the Sooners played TCU that season, Patterson and Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin said Mayfield was able to steal signals from the Oklahoma sideline. This season, TCU linebacker Ty Summers was ejected for targeting Mayfield on a play that caused the quarterback to leave the game with a concussion.
On Monday, Mayfield also said ESPN was disrespectful with negative comments about Oklahoma while broadcasting the Sooners’ 40-6 loss to Clemson in the 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl. ESPN announcers made remarks such as the scout team vs. the varsity.
In addition, Mayfield took exception to a column written in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal with the headline, “Mayfield needs to quit playing politics and just play.” Mayfield and his father are trying to publicly shame the NCAA to regain his fourth year of eligibility after he transferred as a Texas Tech walk-on. When Mayfield left, Texas Tech wouldn’t sign off on a one-time transfer exception to give him a fourth year of eligibility in 2017.
The writer of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal's story is “absolutely ignorant,” Mayfield said. “He’s probably gonna write an article about that, but I could care less. He can sit behind his Journal and talk about me while I’m here at Oklahoma enjoying what I’m doing being successful.
“People there, they’re still hung up on that. I’ve moved on. Coach (Kliff) Kingsbury has moved on. The players, everybody’s moved on, besides the Journal people and some people in Lubbock there. It's kind of ridiculous. It’s been over two years now.”
The same could be said of the chip on Mayfield’s shoulder. Mayfield apparently has never met a perceived slight he won't use, and he said the chip is not going away.
“It’s always there and it will probably never leave,” he said. “That’s just the type of player I am and that’s the type of motivation we have to play with to be successful. (Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley) says it all the time: We play better with an edge. We have to carry that mentality into this game even if we are favored.”