The Florida State Seminoles have been as impressive as any team in the country this season, blowing out their opposition week after week as they’ve positioned themselves for a run at the BCS National Championship. Key to their dominant run this season has been freshman quarterback Jameis Winston who is on every Heisman Trophy shortlist on the country at this point. But as FSU gears up on a cakewalk schedule to close out the season, could the Noles’ blowout wins end up costing Winston the Heisman?
On Saturday, Florida State took care of business against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in a 59-3 blowout. The game was pretty much over by halftime with FSU rolling to a 42-0 advantage at the break. That was also the end of the day pretty much for Winston who finished the day completing 17 of 28 passes for just 159 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Looking at that box score, does that look like a Heisman Trophy winner?
The body of work is still undeniably impressive for Winston as he’s led the Noles to No. 2 in the BCS Standings. But over the final month, he can expect a lot of early days with the dominance of the FSU running game, defense and special teams over a final month of games with no apparent challenges in it. Jimbo Fisher isn’t going to keep throwing out his starters to put 70 points on the Idaho Vandals when he could pull them early, save them from the risk of injury and still hang 56 points in an easy win.
That makes the question for Winston whether or not it’s possible to win the Heisman Trophy while standing on the sidelines. With strong candidates around the country, like Bryce Petty with the Baylor Bears, sure to playing deep into ball games down the stretch in marquee matchups, it would be easy to see voters fall in love with a guy who finishes strong over Winston who is likely to see his stats taper off.
At the end of the day, Florida State is in the business of winning national championships and Winston has put them in a position to cruise into the title game this January. But has he helped build such a confident and dominant team in 2013 that it will cost him the Heisman?