Jameis Winston, Seminoles Proving Undefeated Is Overrated
The Seminoles ride on Jameis Winston. Florida State is on his leash, not the other way around.
When he's playing poorly -- generally at the beginning of the game -- they are losing. When he's playing well -- generally at the end of the game -- they are winning.
The defense does its part and deserves credit for protecting the lead or keeping games close. Their running backs are redemptive and Dalvin Cook was the MVP of their win over the Florida Gators. But for the most part, they've been able to provide Jameis Winston the opportunity to get the win. For the most part, he gets the win.
Florida State walks on water.
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) November 29, 2014
But how long until we stop giving them credit when credit is not due?
Imagine if Jameis Winston gets suspended for the student violation codes. Then the Seminoles' best player is gone for good, and they'll be left helpless in the college playoff. He'll take off for next season, too, because Winston will depart for the NFL in Cam Newton-like fashion. And then the NFL has to deal with his punishment, if it's in their jurisdiction -- because they're more concerned with the rules than with what's right. Thus, it would be odd if the NFL tried to punish Winston for violating the FSU student code, no matter whether the violation was rape or academic issues. But I suppose we'll cross that bridge if we ever get there.
But even if Winston is innocent, what's there to show for FSU in this long, comeback-filled season. Is that the only card they can play? The we're-really-good-a-beating-shitty-teams-at-the-last-second card? That's an awful (and wordy) card.
Their "best" win was against Notre Dame. It was a statement win. Until of course, the Fighting Irish turned out to be a bunch of losers -- literally, they've lost four straight games. Before that, their signature win was Clemson. And while they've got a badass quarterback, who plays on an injured ACL, Clemson is relevant as the Florida player that took a cheap shot on Winston.
That's the only echelon of teams that the Seminoles have beaten. Otherwise, the scores are ugly. Jimbo Fisher's point, which is that "the object of the game is to win," holds firm amongst the selection committee. It's the reason why they'll make it into the College Football Playoffs.
But here's a reminder of the uglier scores for FSU this season. It ain't pretty:
Oklahoma State: 37 - 31
Clemson: 23 - 17
Notre Dame: 31 - 27
Louisville: 42 - 31
Miami (FL): 30 - 26
Boston College: 20 - 17
Florida: 24 - 19
That's Marshall status.
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) November 28, 2014
Perhaps, they'll lose to Georgia Tech next week and be served some sort of karmic justice. But College Football doesn't care about Karma, so the Seminoles will probably enter the College Football Playoffs. So, we return to the problem -- there's no way to contextualize just how bad Florida State's schedule is. But consider how bad Florida is, how bad Miami is, how bad Boston College is. Baylor, TCU, Arizona or even Ohio State (without J.T. Barrett) would not allow any of those games stay close. They'd be blowouts.
So by today's College Football math, a win is a win. But that's an archaic thought process.
Admittedly, FSU is only partially at fault. They did schedule "tough" schools by early season standards, so at the time, they were appeasing experts who approved of their schedule difficulty. And FSU isn't incentivized to schedule a tougher season than they need, because they just won a National Championship. They could do no wrong.
So it points back to the broken system. The college football championship system (formerly-BCS and now-Playoff) still has a long way to go. Florida State has exposed a constant problem. With conference inequality, undefeated doesn't mean your invincible.
Photo via Getty
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