Jameis Winston: it was nice knowing you as a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Is it fair? Probably not until all the evidence is collected. But the Heisman is very much a subjective award.
Oh, you might get through the next few months without any resolution to the sexual battery charges which are now swirling around you. And you might even throw another 10 or 12 touchdown passes in Florida State’s remaining games and lead the Seminoles all the way to Pasadena and the national championship in January.
But then again, you might not. It could all come crashing down on you if the next step is taken in Tallahassee and you are charged with a crime–something that seems more likely now that your DNA has been linked to the woman who has accused you of sexual battery.
If that happens, your football career at FSU will be placed on hold as you deal with assorted legal issues. FSU is good enough to win its final regular season games against Idaho (the Seminoles are 57 point favorites) and Florida without you. It probably is good enough to beat Florida and win the ACC title game without you.
But beating a team like Alabama minus someone who is arguably the best player in college football this season? That’s not likely to happen.
But let’s get back to the Heisman. Here’s why you won’t win this season, unless the accusations against you disappear over night and that is just not going to happen before the Heisman is awarded in early December.
And it really doesn’t matter whether any of it is true. Your name is out there with an asterisk. Yes, we know this country’s legal system is based on the innocent until proven guilty theory. But that really isn’t worth a whole lot in the court of public opinion. And that is what the Heisman is based upon. It is not an award for the best player. It is an award given to the best quarterback who has the best story and receives the biggest boosts on national television and who has the highest character.
And don’t bring up Johnny football last season because most of the issues surrounding him surfaced AFTER he won the Heisman.
Until these allegations came up you were in great shape Jameis. Unbeaten team, lots of exposure, playing the right position with the right attitude of confidence and maturity, which for a redshirt freshman is a bankable commodity.
But the Heisman panel has more than 900 voters. And lots of them have now eliminated you because of character issues. Again, it doesn’t matter whether you are entirely innocent–although the DNA evidence suggests you were involved.
And the Tallahassee police did you no favors by sitting on this case for almost a year and then suggesting to the victim that she would be better off if she let this one pass as well–if that is true, then more than a few people have some explaining to do.
The wise thing, of course, would be to say nothing and let this play itself out. But then again there is already chatter out there that if you were entirely innocent of these charges, you would be yelling and screaming and proclaiming just that.
No one should make any judgments about anything yet. As a painful reminder of that, we need only mention “Duke Lacrosse”. But in terms of the Heisman, many people already have.
This could all resolve itself in your behalf. There may be just as good a chance that you are sitting in New York City next spring as a potential NFL first round draft pick as you are in a Tallahassee court room in a “he said, she said” battle to clear our name. Or you could be holding up a national championship Trophy in the Rose Bowl on the night of January 6th.
But in terms of being announced as the 2013 winner of the Heisman Trophy Jameis?
Sorry that’s not going to happen.
Just a guess on our part, but it seems likely that the winner of Saturday’s Maryland-Boston College game will be on the top of the list to receive a bowl bid to play a game in Shreveport, La. and the loser will be invited to play a bowl game in Annapolis, Md. Is that like the old W.C. Fields joke, first prize is a week in Philadelphia and second prize is two weeks in Philadelphia?…Duke has won 8 games, which is news. Winning 9 games is bigger news since the Blue Devils haven’t won that many games in a season since 1941.
ACC bowl GUESSES
BCS title game–FSU
Russell Athletic Bowl–Miami
Sun Bowl–Virginia Tech
Belk Bowl–North Carolina
Music City–Georgia Tech
Advocare V100 Bowl-Boston College