Jameis Winston has been all over the news this year, not just for his NCAA Football prowess, but more recently for his alleged sexual assault charges. Although the validity of these claims seems to be shaky at best, “No press is bad press” does not seem to be an applicable statement for Winston in this case. Whether or not these charges are true, Winston’s chances of winning the 2013 Heisman Trophy have been so damaged from recent events both on and off the field that not even a huge, blowout win over Syracuse on Saturday is enough to rebound.
Winston was pulled out of Saturday afternoon’s mismatch before the start of the second half as the Florida State Seminoles already boasted a 38-0 lead over the Orange. Backup QB Sean Maguire took over the offensive helm and mostly just handed off to his running backs as Florida State cruised to a massive 59-3 victory. Winston finished the day with a respectable 277 yards in an amazingly efficient 19-22 performance. Adding two more passing touchdowns to bring his season total to 26 and not throwing any interceptions certainly seems to have bolstered Winston’s Hesiman case, but he is just too far behind now to make up the difference.
After the ‘Noles dismantled the University of Miami Hurricanes two weeks ago, Winston’s Heisman stock had fallen as his 325 passing yards impressed, but throwing only one touchdown and two interceptions reflected poorly. Last week, Florida State decimated Wake Forest by over 50 points, but Winston struggled, only completing 17 passes for a total of 159 yards and adding another interception.
With those on-the-field concerns adjoining with the sexual assault allegations, Winston’s season in the eyes of the voters is likely both struggling and tainted. All of these blowouts are proving to be detrimental to Winston as his team is dominating while he is merely coasting along, statistically. The Heisman voters will surely take his team’s success into consideration and will likely reward him for it, but if Winston wants to win the Heisman, he is going to need to explode in the last few weeks of the season.