From a football standpoint, the impact of Jameis Winston not being charged with sexual assault is a secondary-at-best concern. As Willie Meggs cracked wise during a press conference Thursday announcing the findings of his investigation, though, three things became clear:
— Jameis Winston will not be charged with sexual assault.
— Jameis Winston will almost certainly win the Heisman Trophy.
— Florida State will almost certainly go to the BCS Championship.
CBS Sports’ Jeremy Fowler may have put it best: “Winston probably wins Heisman, but nobody won here. At all.”
Whether Winston is innocent wasn’t Meggs’ job to decide, and it’s only known by two people: Winston and the accuser. For the purposes of this space, though, we’ll delve into the less-meaningful stuff — bullet points two and three.
The general consensus is that, because Winston won’t be charged with a crime, he’ll win the Heisman Trophy. There’s little question Winston has been the best football player at the college level this year. He’s averaged 290 passing yards per game with 35 touchdowns to eight interceptions, powering Florida State to the brink of a BCS Championship berth.
The elite quarterback of an undefeated team? That guy wins the Heisman just about every time.
Perhaps Jordan Lynch gets a swell of support from the Midwest, where his MAC exploits have been on full display. But it probably won’t be enough, and there’s not another serious challenger out there.
Then there’s the matter of the ACC Championship, in which Florida State faces No. 20 Duke. Florida State is a four-touchdown favorite and has won 11 of its 12 games by at least 27 points. Duke’s best wins are over mid-level ACC teams in Miami and Virginia Tech, and none of the 10 teams it beat currently rank in the BCS top 25.
It would take an absolutely monumental effort for Duke to beat Florida State on Saturday in Charlotte. Just because it’s a conference championship doesn’t preclude scores like this.
Come Saturday, Florida State will likely secure a place in the BCS Championship. A week later, Jameis Winston will likely hoist the Heisman Trophy.
But, again, those are secondary impacts to everything else stemming from Thursday’s announcement.