Why OSU Wants Jameis Winston To Play Aug. 30

The NCAA's new rule on unlimited meals can't get on the books soon enough. First, it's the NCAA Final Four MVP Shabazz Napier complaining of going to bed hungry. Now it's reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State walking off with $32 of crab legs and crawfish from a grocery store. If that rule doesn't go into effect soon I can see a full team assault on a Golden Corral.

All kidding aside, Winston did order the $32 worth of crab legs and crawfish and walked out of the Tallahassee Publix without paying. Leon County Sherriff deputies caught up with him later and issued a civil citation to the cooperative Winston, who claimed he simply forgot to pay for the seafood.

He has been suspended from the baseball team where he is a standout pitcher and hitter. The civil citation carries a penalty of 20 hours of public service and he will likely need to make restitution of the $32 owed to the store.

FSU football head coach Jimbo Fisher said he supports baseball coach Mike Martin's actions, but don't expect Fisher to copy them for the start of the football season. That is a good thing for OSU.

What? A good thing? You mean Florida State having the returning Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback against a young Oklahoma State secondary in the Advocare Cowboys Classic is a good thing? I believe it is, and I think Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy would agree with me.

In fact, I can quickly come up with three good reasons Cowobys fans should want Winston taking the snaps for the defending national champions and expected to be top-ranked Seminoles in Arlington on Aug. 30.

I'll start with the one I mentioned above, although I don't think it is the most important reason you want Winston in his garnet and gold jersey on the field.Gundy and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer have a young secondary with proven corner Kevin Peterson and talented junior but first-year starter Ashton Lampkin at the corners.

The safeties will come from the group of lightly seasoned sophomores Jordan Sterns and Deric Robertson and redshirt freshman Tre Flowers. Back-ups include corners Darius Curry, Jerel Morrow and Taylor Lewis, all red-shirt freshmen. Safeties in reserve include veteran Larry Stephens and a trio of walk-ons. There is talent in that group, actually a lot of talent, but little experience.

I would like to think those youngsters will grow up fast preparing all summer and then playing against a Heisman Trophy winner and a talented cast of receivers. If this were a veteran crew with a high preseason ranking, they might be more prepared for this showdown but they also would have more to lose and might not end gaining as much.

The second reason is the team overall and the attitude and work ethic this matchup creates over the summer. Take the Heisman Trophy winner off the team and some of the luster is gone. Now, if everybody would join the offense in watching the Seminoles defense on video all summer the loss of Winston might have little impact.

I think the FSU defense is the greatest challenge for the Cowboys on Aug. 30. They are really good and if you don't believe me go ask Auburn and the ACC or just look at first half of Florida State's spring game when it shut down Winston and the offense.

The final reason is this. I don't think the Cowboys will win. Early lines on the game have the Cowboys a 12- to 15-point underdog, and that seems gracious to some. However, this is an Oklahoma State team that may not have as much needed experience, but they do have talent.

Let's say they pull off the big upset or play a heckuva game and keep the number one team close. If Winston is home sitting out because of a seafood heist then little credit will come the Cowboys way. The spin doctors of college football will just say they did it against a Winston-less Seminoles.

You want Florida State to have Winston, and it's a good thing because it will take a lot more than crab legs to cause Jimbo Fisher to leave his seafood lover at home.


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