DALLAS -- For hire: one Heisman Trophy finalist.

OK, so "hire" is probably too much when we're talking about a college quarterback. And to project Baker Mayfield as a Heisman Trophy finalist for some lucky school two seasons from now might be a stretch, too.

Just not much of one.

In one contorted, confusing vote Wednesday by a bunch of egg-head faculty athletic reps, Mayfield became a martyr at the Big 12 Spring Meetings.

He also might have become a graduate transfer free agent in 2017 -- maybe the best ever. That's where Mayfield could no doubt be headed after those faculty reps denied him an extra year of eligibility in the Big 12 after the 2016 season.

Big 12 rules require intraconference transfers -- those within the league -- to sit out a season and lose a year of eligibility, regardless of scholarship status.

The big issue with Mayfield: When he transferred from Texas Tech to Oklahoma in 2014, he was a walk-on -- a walk-on who had led Texas Tech a 7-0 start in 2013 before losing his job and then being deemed not good enough to earn a scholarship in Lubbock, Texas.

So he left, and Texas Tech refused to sign off on a one-year transfer exception when Mayfield blew up at OU.

Mayfield led the Sooners to the College Football Playoff last season and finished fourth in the Heisman voting. The Red Raiders and their coach, Kliff Kingsbury, continue to hold Mayfield hostage.

Mayfield beat them last year. He's likely to beat them again this year.

All of it is petty. If Mayfield was injure,d there would be all the usual coaching platitudes about wanting to play Oklahoma "at their best." With the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year returning, Texas Tech is hiding behind a rock dodging Mayfield's bullets.

Those faculty reps deadlocked 5-5 on awarding Mayfield an extra year on Wednesday. The vote only needed to be a simple majority (6-4).

"Obviously, we're disappointed in the outcome," OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said.

The larger issue here: Because of those petty politics, Mayfield can transfer outside the conference in 2017 and -- if not beat Oklahoma directly -- indirectly knock the Big 12 out of the CFP.

He's that good.

Baker Mayfield could lead Oklahoma back to the playoff in 2016. USATSI

You think Nick Saban with all this quarterback issues wouldn't want him? Jimbo Fisher? Oregon, which has gone fishing two straight years for an FCS graduate transfer quarterback?

Mayfield could become the best graduate transfer quarterback in history. (Russell Wilson, who left NC State for Wisconsin in 2011, is widely considered the best graduate transfer QB in the short history of the rule.)

"I don't think that would make anyone else feel better," Castiglione said.

This is also the Big 12 slowly slitting its own throat. The league already looks to be diminished with Baylor likely falling off the national radar.

"I think there was some apprehension about any walk-on at any one of our schools being recruited to another school by an offer of a scholarship," commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.


We're talking about walk-ons who were deemed unworthy of a scholarship in the first place. If their current school is not going to reward them with a scholarship, why can't another -- which would seemingly hold the player in a higher regard -- step up and do so?

In essence, what are the odds of a Baker Mayfield ever happening again in the Big 12?

The reaction has been swift. Mayfield released a lengthy, emotional statement.

" ... to the people that do not like me," he wrote, "you probably think that ... I am a spoiled crybaby ... But I really do not care."

Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops shared his thoughts as well. "Yes, today's vote impacts Baker Mayfield, but it reality, this about all student-athletes in all sports at Big 12 schools. Again, I'm disappointed for Baker, but also for anyone down the road who may be negatively impacted by today's vote."

A day later, the buzz is about finding out how the Big 12 schools voted. Agendas are being questioned and accusations are being made. All we know for sure is that Oklahoma was for it and Texas Tech was (most likely) against it.

Castiglione is hoping for one last Hail Mary. One source told CBS Sports that the issue could be brought before the conference's board (presidents), though a reversal isn't likely.

The eggheads have spoken. Those petty jealousies have been exposed. All it would have taken is one more vote for Mayfield to finish his career where he always wanted to play.

Sure, Oklahoma would profit, but so would the Big 12.

Get ready SEC (or ACC or Pac-12 or Big Ten), you're getting a hell of a quarterback.