Any Given Saturday, Week 10: “Rick Jameis” Winston Ain’t Never Scared 

Halloween is supposed to be the most frightening time of the year. But who needs a haunted house when Florida State’s regular season schedule triggers the alarm pheromones in our bloodstreams?

They’ve been surviving scares since early September. Thursday night was no different.

According to research from Vanderbilt psychology professorDavid Zaid , some individuals lack brakes on the dopamine release that occurs in scary situations, which results in them actually enjoying those moments more than the average person. 

While the faces of FSU fans flushed pale like a ghost as Louisville took a prodigious first round lead, Jameis Winston came out like Bonecrusher in a haunted house. He ain’t never scared.

Florida State may not be as indomitable as they were last season, but this run is much more compelling and indicative of a national champion’s mentality.

Winston’s first half struggles have become a pattern of late against competition. However, it’s also put his steely resolve on display.

In Winston’s second half performances against Notre Dame, NC State and Louisville, we’ve seen intrepidness where lesser quarterbacks would have curled up into a fetal position.

The extraordinary has become the quotidian for Winston.

The Heisman won’t recognize Winston’s 2014 season because the numbers have fallen off, and he’s toxic of the field, but the gridiron heroism is even more extraordinary than it’s ever been.

Each week, Any Given Saturday’s Heisman rankings this season have been posted underneath the “Lies, Damn Lies and Heisman Statistics” banner for a reason.

Statistics are conspicuous for skill position players, which is why the myopic voters and media are apathetic about what goes on in the trenches and on the defensive side of the football.

Pass rushers only get credit when their penetration behind the line of scrimmage results in a sack. Hurries and tackles for losses rarely draw notice.

Conversely, quarterbacks get penalized for interceptions without putting them into context.

Marcus Mariota’s various interception-free streaks are a cornerstone of his Heisman campaign, but the case against him is that he doesn’t possess an extra gear when the offense isn’t clicking.

Against the nation’s No. 1 defense, Winston threw two first half interceptions. However, before he began redeeming his play, he made one more mistake. On his first play from scrimmage, Gerod Holliman, the nation’s leader in interceptions, picked off a Winston throw. However, in the course of trying to gain yardage, Holliman ended up getting stripped of the football, allowing Florida State to regain possession.

It was Winston who swooped in and loosened Holliman’s grip.

Prior to halftime, the Seminoles trailed 21-0 while Winston was 10-of-22 for 123 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions against the nation’s No. 1 defense in multiple metrics.

In the final two frames, Winston went 15-of-26 for 278 yards and three touchdowns.

If there was one game to win and you gave an objective coach one player, the obvious choice is Jameis Winston. He won’t win the Heisman, but he’ll win a few more games.



Throw that box score out the door.  This ain’t your father’s Heisman list. Our equal opportunity Heisman list is headed for Ellis Island. Women, children and quarterbacks are usually first, but defensive players and offensive linemen are also welcome.

1. Dak Prescott (QB, Mississippi State) – He was outshined by running back Josh Robinson, but his completion percentage of 53.7 in the last two games and three interceptions have his lead slimming over the field. His newest Halloween fashion isn't too comforting either.

2. Jake Fisher (OT, Oregon) – It’s much harder to argue for an offensive lineman who protects the most valuable ballcarrier on the nation’s most prolific offense. They’re the anonymous Secret Service agents who protect the President from assailants. They’re only seen or heard from when someone jumps the White House fence or when things don’t go according to plan. Oregon has allowed zero sacks in four of the six games they played withoug Fisher.  In his two conspicuous absences, Oregon allowed 12. We're taking notice. 

3. Jameis Winston – This award is for the nation’s most outstanding player, not the best stat line, or the most mature individual.

4. Marcus Mariota (QB, Oregon) – He finally threw his first intercepition of the season. He can rise by overcoming his demons, not tightening up and beating Stanford.

5. Senquez Golson – The Ole Miss offense moved the ball like it was Loki trying to move Thor’s hammer, but the defense was as breathtaking as usually and Golson got his piece of skin in form of a third quarter interception. LSU’s offense could barely breathe. Allowing 10 points in a loss shouldn’t reflect negatively on Golson.



Halloween is upon us which means that it's time for most of you nightcrawlers to dress up in someone else's skin for the day. However, college football's prolific stars will be prepping for Saturday, but in case they do want any last minute suggestions, we've given our suggestions for a few that fit. 

Mark Emmert – Lorne Michaels

The leader of a culturally relevant, but struggling entity that reached all-time lows as recently as Oct. 13. It’s perfect for the NCAA’s executive director. Michaels thrived on jokes over the last 40 years. Emmert’s become one.

Trevone Boykin – Prince

TCU’s quarterback is the only man in college football bringing purple back in style.


Jameis Winston – Rick James

A quarterback who has a proclivity for shouting profanity and putting his feet on people’s furniture. Yeah, that sounds familiar.

Todd Gurley – Gordon Gekko

While Gekko sparred with the Security and Exchange Commission, Gurley battles the Southeastern Conference. Gurley’s pursuit of money had UGA in hot water, but Gurley hasn’t let the NCAA keep him down. In this context, “greed is good.”

Bo Wallace – Headless Horseman

His hair is his most notable feature when his helmet’s off, but once he straps up he has a tendency to lose his head and make rash choices. The LSU ending was the latest example.

Dak Prescott – The Da(r)k Knight

Mississippi State needed a hero for a struggling.  Prescott has answered while honoring his mother’s legacy.

Brady Hoke – Peter Griffin

Brady Hoke doesn’t strike many as a very inspirational speaker. He’s also in over his head as the Wolverines head coach. Do you know what it’s called when an individual rises to the peak of his ability in a profession or career? The Peter Principle.