By Brandon Daniel @Brandon_Rant on June 2, 2014
Jameis Winston made a historic run last season, winning the Heisman trophy as a redshirt freshman and leading the Seminoles to a national championship. He will enter this season trying to repeat both feats. He absolutely has the talent to accomplish this, but it won’t be easy. Here are five reasons why it won't happen.
The Heisman Trophy has been awarded every year since 1935. Over the course of those 78 years, only one player has ever won the trophy in back-to-back years. That players was Ohio State’s Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. It's been 39 years since Griffin accomplished this rare feat. While this doesn't mean that Winston can't, it certainly means the odds are not in his favor.
Winston burst onto the scene last season as a redshirt freshman and took the college football world by storm. Now, with is a full year of tape on him, opposing defenses will be game planning with one goal in mind: make someone else beat them. Last year, Winston surprised the nation, but he is no secret this year.
Florida State’s schedule is much tougher than it was a year ago. The non-conference schedule has been beefed up, adding Notre Dame and Oklahoma State along with Florida to replace the likes of Nevada and Bethune-Cookman. The Irish and the Cowboys aren’t simply FBS schools; they are perennial top-25 programs and Winston will have to battle hard to beat them. With fewer games to pad the stat sheet, it will make a repeat Heisman run more difficult.
Winston has been in the news this offseason for all the wrong reasons. His Heisman chances were jeopardized in 2013 due to a sexual assault accusation. That has morphed into a federal investigation of Florida State. Then there was the infamous crab legs fiasco at a Tallahassee Publix. Not to mention, he has played baseball this season, and playing another sport while being a starting QB is incredibly difficult. Distractions could abound in 2014.
Voters pay attention to what goes on outside the football lines. Last season, there was heavy debate on whether or not Winston’s alleged transgressions should disqualify him from winning. As is evident by the many negative stories coming out of Tallahassee, Winston has done nothing to quiet this debate. It will continue to be a question, and Winston will need to be off-the-charts good to put the negatives behind him.
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