1-10-14 State attorney will not prosecute Winston, unsure of a conviction. Winston Wins, Controversy Continues. Co-ed to sue Winston and TPD. | Page 2 | Football and General Sports Discussions | Forum

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1-10-14 State attorney will not prosecute Winston, unsure of a conviction. Winston Wins, Controversy Continues. Co-ed to sue Winston and TPD.
October 18, 2013
9:28 am
Hot Sports Chick
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Heisman Pundit at heismanpundit.com has Mariota edging Manziel. Read the entire poll.

HotKiss SportsKiss Chick

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October 20, 2013
1:43 pm
cheerleader111
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http://www.star-telegram.com/2......html?rh=1

Manziel's Heroics Cannot Overcome A&M's Porous Defense

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October 22, 2013
2:20 pm
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Mariota holds off Winston in latest HeismanPundit Straw Poll

MARIOTA (1)

Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston took advantage of his huge showing against Clemson this past weekend to surge into second place in the latest HeismanPundit Heisman Straw Poll released on Tuesday (Oct. 22).

Winston’s 444 yards and three touchdowns against the then-No. 3 Tigers in Death Valley helped garner him 20 points and four first-place votes in the weekly survey of Heisman voters from around the country.

Despite his uptick in support, Winston remained behind Marcus Mariota of Oregon, who tallied 22 points and five first place votes. It’s the second-straight week that the Ducks sophomore has led the poll.

Defending Heisman winner Johnny Manziel dropped to third place with nine points and one first-place vote after Texas A&M’s loss to Auburn.

Now in its eighth season, the HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll is the college football world’s most trusted gauge of Heisman voter sentiment. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the past seven seasons, with the final 2012 poll correctly picking the top five finishers and the final 2011 poll picking the top seven. This year’s poll is made up of 10 anonymous Heisman voters from across the country. Each week during the season they will pick three players. Tabulations for the preseason poll are tabulated like a real Heisman ballot, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week’s poll is released on Tuesdays throughout the season at HeismanPundit.com.

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll, 10/22/2013

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 22 (5)

2. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 20 (4)

3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M — 9 (1)

4. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor — 4

5. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois — 3

6. Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State — 2

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October 25, 2013
12:55 pm
bigten_numberone
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It is not surprising that the top 5 or 6 leading Heisman candidates are all quarterbacks. There is so much passing offense in college today that quarterback, not running backs, is the focus of every school's offense. I like Manziel, but can see why Mariota and Winston may be a bit ahead of Johnny Football at this point. Mariota has a great qb rating, insane stats, and has barely played in most 4th quarters so far. Winston is likeable and new--he has caught everyone's attention and will not lose in the regular season.

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October 27, 2013
11:50 am
bigten_numberone
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Heisman Pundit's 10 Rules that Determine Who Wins the Heisman

http://heismanpundit.com/the-1.....dments-12/

The 10 Heismandments

Heismanpundit.com has compiled its 10 rules that govern the Heisman race –”The 10 Heismandments,” if you will.

The more Heismandments that apply to a player in a given season, the better his chances are of winning.

THE 10 HEISMANDMENTS

1. The winner must be a quarterback, a running back, or a multi-threat athlete.

2. Juniors and seniors have the overwhelming advantage in the Heisman race and, as a general rule, will win over an underclassman.  But underclassmen who put up extraordinary single-season numbers can’t be discounted.

3. The winner must put up good numbers in big games on TV.

4. The winner must have some prior name recognition.

5. The winner must be one or more of the following three: (a) The top player on a national title contender. (b) A player who puts up good numbers for a traditional power that has a good record or (c) A player who puts up superlative single-season or career numbers on a good team, or has numbers that are way out ahead of his Heisman competitors.

6. The winner cannot be considered an obvious product of his team’s system.

7. If you are a quarterback, running back or multi-purpose athlete at one of the following schools–Notre Dame, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Ohio State, Michigan, Miami, Florida and Florida State–you have a good chance to win if you have a very good statistical season, are an upperclassmen and your team wins at least 9 games.

8. Statistical benchmarks exist for each position to help voters gauge a player’s ‘Heisman worthiness’.

a. A running back who is NOT on a traditional power or a national championship contender usually must gain at least 2,000 yards.  This hefty yardage requirement for such backs has risen a bit over the years as the longer regular season has made it more commonplace.  A back on a traditional power or national title contender, must gain at least 1,600 yards. In either case, the back must score at least 15 touchdowns.

b. Dual-threat quarterbacks must produce at least 3,500 yards of total offense and 35 combined touchdowns and have a passer rating of 140 or better.  Traditional pocket passers must have a passer rating over 160, at least 3,500 yards passing and a touchdown-to-interception ratio of at least 4-to-1.

c. A multi-purpose athlete/receiver has to score at least 20 touchdowns and can only win by producing spectacular plays on special teams, specifically kick and punt returns.

9. There will never be another two-time Heisman winner.

10. The winner must be likeable.

These rules favor Mariota and Winston, maybe McCarron. Johnny Manziel may have killed his chances with the off-season conduct and antics in the Rice game.

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November 3, 2013
12:14 pm
bigten_numberone
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Barrett Sallee picks his 5 Heisman leaders in week 10:

http://bleacherreport.com/arti.....or-week-10

 

1. Marcus Mariota (but not if the Ducks lose to the Stanford Indians, uh, Cardinal)

2. Jameis Winston (a bit sloppy vs. Miami)

3. Johnny Manziel (does it all)

4. Lache Seastrunk (insane numbers for the Baylor Bears running back)

5. Mike Davis (the workhorse for South Carolina)

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November 5, 2013
3:59 pm
bigten_numberone
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Heisman Pundit at heismanpundit.com has his picks as of November 5:

Marcus Mariota expands lead in HeismanPundit Straw Poll heading into Stanford game

Marcus+Mariota+Stanford+v+Oregon+a_FDM6fZuNDl

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota expanded his lead in the latest HeismanPundit Heisman Straw Poll just a couple days before undergoing perhaps the biggest test of his candidacy — a prime time showdown with No. 5 Stanford on Thursday night.

Mariota had off last week but still gained strength in the weekly survey of Heisman voters. While he lost one first-place vote from the previous poll, his total points went up due to his appearance on all 10 ballots. The Ducks sophomore tallied 23 total points and 4 first-place votes, putting him ahead of Florida State freshman Jameis Winston, who had 18 points and 3 first-place votes. The Seminoles quarterback appeared on eight ballots.

Gaining a couple points after a six-touchdown performance against UTEP was defending Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, who closed the gap a bit with Winston by totaling 15 points and 3 first-place votes while appearing on eight ballots.

Baylor Bryce Petty is in fourth with three points, but he could make big gains in next week’s poll by playing well against No. 10 Oklahoma on Thursday night. Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch, who placed seventh in the Heisman vote last season, was fifth with one point.

Now in its eighth season, the HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll is the college football world’s most trusted gauge of Heisman voter sentiment. It has been the most accurate Heisman poll in the country during the past seven seasons, with the final 2012 poll correctly picking the top five finishers and the final 2011 poll picking the top seven. This year’s poll is made up of 10 anonymous Heisman voters from across the country. Each week during the season they will pick three players. Tabulations for the preseason poll are tabulated like a real Heisman ballot, with three points awarded for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote and one point for a third-place vote.

Each week’s poll is released on Tuesdays throughout the season at HeismanPundit.com.

The HeismanPundit.com Heisman Straw Poll, 11/5/2013

Total Points (with first place votes in parentheses)

1. Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon — 23 (4)

2. Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State — 18 (3)

3. Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M — 15 (3)

4. Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor — 3

5. Jordan Lynch, QB, Northern Illinois — 1

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November 8, 2013
7:52 am
Pac12 Pat
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Mariota is done for the Heisman. Losing 26-20 to Stanford hurt. Mariota's performance was okay , but not excellent: 20 of 34 passes completed, 250 yards, 2 late TDs, and a lost fumble.

Stanford is as close to a really tough, good SEC team as the Pac 12 has. I shudder to think what Oregon would do if it had to face a full SEC schedule. Would not be pretty for the Ducks

Looks like it is Manziel vs. Winston for the Heisman.

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November 10, 2013
10:23 am
bigten_numberone
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My take---- After Manziel's, Winston's, and McCarron's performances yesterday, I would rank top three Heisman candidates: 1. Manziel (5 TDs, very little talent , they would be nowhere w/o him); 2. McCarron (clutch with a 90 QB ranking against a fierce LSU--Bama was in trouble and AJ carried them); 3. Winston (great player, but the FSU second string QB would have them in the same place--Miami is grossly overrated and beaten by VPI and almost by Wake Forest; Clemson also grossly overrated).

Conclusions of Heisman Pundit at heismanpundit.com as of Friday, November 8.

HP: Overall, it looks like Petty is on his way to a special season. He already leads the nation in passing efficiency and is on pace for 4,100 yards of offense and 44 total touchdowns. But he’ll need to lead Baylor to an undefeated season if he is to have a shot at winning and, even then, it may not be enough. If he finishes really strong, he has the potential to overtake the race’s current front runner if that player’s numbers fall off a bit.

And who is that front runner?

It’s Florida State’s Jameis Winston, who now has a very good chance of becoming the second-straight freshman to win the Heisman.

Here’s how the race would go if the vote was held right now:

1. Jameis Winston

2. Johnny Manziel

3. Bryce Petty

4. Marcus Mariota

5. AJ McCarron

And here are the four candidates by likelihood of winning:

1. Winston

2. Petty

3. McCarron

4. Mariota

Who do I think is going to New York? Winston, Manziel, Petty, Mariota

Still a month to go and a lot can happen, but it looks like FSU might be on its way to its first Heisman since 2000.

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November 14, 2013
2:20 am
bigten_numberone
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This rape allegation may kill Winston's Heisman hopes:http://collegefootballtalk.nbc.....l-assault/

Reports: Jameis Winston investigated for alleged sexual assault

Jameis Winston Getty Images

While considering the source of the initial report, TMZ.com reported early Wednesday evening that Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston is being investigated by the Tallahassee Police Department for felony sexual assault.  The alleged victim filed a complaint of sexual assault with the police department way back on Dec. 7, 2012.

The Tallahassee Democrat subsequently confirmed that the “Tallahassee Police Department last year received a complaint of sexual battery against Florida State University star quarterback Jameis Winston.”

In a statement, FSU said that it could not comment due to the fact that there is an open investigation.  Winston, whose status has not changed per the school, was scheduled to address the media Wednesday evening, but the quarterback would only take football-related questions, again due to the open nature of the probe.

“We look forward to a speedy resolution of the issue,” the statement read in part. “Coach [Jimbo] Fisher and Jameis will be answering questions about football only until there is a resolution.”

An attorney who confirmed he represents Winston expressed surprised that the alleged incident has surfaced as it was his understanding that the case had been all but closed.

“This case has been going on for over a year. The case was basically closed and we’re not sure why it’s opened up,” Tim Jansen told the Democrat. “We’ve been cooperating with the law enforcement agencies and we’re hoping to get a quick resolution in favor of Mr. Winston.”

Winston, the current Heisman front-runner and triggerman for the No. 2 team in the country, has already been interviewed by the TPD, TMZ reported, and the investigation is ongoing.  The attorney Jansen told WCTV in Tallahassee that his client “has never been questioned by Tallahassee police about the incident, not in December of 2012 and not recently.”

Unnamed sources, which TMZ states were law enforcement and others, gave a few of the details of the alleged victims allegations:

She claims the alleged sexual assault was committed with the use of “physical force.”

According to the police report, the motive for the alleged crime was “sexual gratification.”  The alleged victim says drinking was involved before the incident.

The police report says on the day in question, someone called the cops at 4:01 AM.  When police arrived, we’re told there were photos taken of the alleged victim’s injuries as well as physical evidence collected.

There is, however, more to the story.  Or, at least, more to the story than was contained in TMZ‘s original report.

TomahawkNation.com obtained a copy of the police report of the alleged incident — names and details heavily redacted — which lists the suspect as between 5’9″ and 5’11″ and weighing approximately 240 pounds.  In his official FSU profile, Winston’s weight is listed as 228 pounds… while his height is listed at 6’4″.

No charges have been filed against anyone, including Winston, although the case again remains open.  The alleged victim “is working with the State Attorney’s Office,” the Democrat quoted a police spokesperson as stating.

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November 14, 2013
2:34 am
bigten_numberone
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Mike Bianchi: Sexual assault accusation turns Famous Jameis into another infamous college scandal

http://www.charlotteobserver.c.....oR7t-LNMeJ

 
By MIKE BIANCHI
Orlando Sentinel

 

ORLANDO, Fla. This column, which I started writing Wednesday afternoon, was originally going to be about how Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was a shoo-in to win the Heisman Trophy.

Now, sadly, it is about how there's no way he can win it.

Not as long as his name is attached to an ongoing sexual assault investigation.

Obviously, we need to see how this plays out in the next few weeks, but right now the captivating Famous Jameis - at least in the court of public opinion - has become the focus of another dark and infamous college scandal to sports fans and Heisman voters across the country.

I don't know about my fellow Heisman voters, but I would have a hard time voting for player who is being investigated in connection with a sexual assault. I'd rather take my chances with A.J. McCarron of Alabama or Bryce Petty of Baylor.

Back in 1999, Florida State's Peter Warrick was the front-runner to win the Heisman, but his chances were derailed when he was charged with small-scale shoplifting at a Tallahassee Dillard's. The accusations against Winston are obviously more serious; so serious in fact that it seems almost trivial to say this will cost him the Heisman.

This could cost him his future.

This is about more than just some bronze trophy or crystal football being at stake; it's about a woman saying she was sexually battered by a man who is now the quarterback of the No. 2-ranked college football team in the country.

All we know so far is this: The Tallahassee Police Department in December received a complaint of sexual battery against Winston - although the police report does not mention the player by name. It says the complaint was received at 4:10 a.m. and that the sexual battery occurred between 1:30 and 2 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2012. No arrests have been made, but the investigation is ongoing.

Winston has retained an attorney and did not discuss the matter during an interview session with reporters Wednesday. The university released a statement saying coach Jimbo Fisher also wouldn't address the matter because of the ongoing criminal investigation.

There are questions, many questions: Why has this investigation been going on for nearly a year without any arrests being made? Why did Winston's attorney tell reporters that police haven't even questioned Winston during the investigation? And in this instantaneous Internet age of texting and tweeting, how can it be that such a famous football player being accused of such a serious crime is kept secret for 11 months?

Only time will tell whether these accusations are true, but they have already tainted Florida State's season. Unless this year-long investigation is suddenly wrapped up and Winston's name is cleared, this story is going to become bigger and bigger and BIGGER as the days and weeks pass.

How do the Seminoles proceed with a quarterback who is being accused of one of the worst crimes you can imagine - sexually assaulting a woman?

If Winston keeps playing and Florida State keeps winning, there will be those who question why he is playing at all. Can you imagine the headline on TMZ or in the supermarket tabloids should Florida State win it all: "Accused rapist quarterbacks FSU to national title!"

Or what happens if in two weeks police decide they have enough evidence to bring felony charges against Winston? He would, per school policy, then be suspended and FSU's championship hopes would be all but dashed.

I started writing this column Wednesday afternoon and it was supposed to be about how nobody could stop Famous Jameis from winning the Heisman. Not Johnny Manziel, nor McCarron, nor Petty, nor any of the other candidates.

Sadly, as I finish writing this column on Wednesday night, it turns out there is one man capable of standing between Famous Jameis and the sporting world's most prestigious individual award.

Willie Meggs, the state attorney in Leon County.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.c.....rylink=cpy

bigten_numberone: Mike, isn't the only person in the way of Mr. Winston's Heisman the young man, himself? If he did commit the crime, should he not be the person who is responsible for losing the Heisman?

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November 14, 2013
6:11 am
federer_fan
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Why would the police and state's attorney sit on this serious accusation for 10 months? Also, bigten_numberone is correct that the state's attorney will not block Winston's winning the Heisman Trophy; Winston's conduct, if improper or felonious, will.

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November 14, 2013
11:10 am
federer_fan
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I listened to Dan Patrick this morning.I believe it was David Hale, who runs an FSU fan site, tried to discredit the accuser/victim story by saying she identified the sexual batterer as 5'9" to 5'11". He did not list the fact that she identified the weight of the batterer as 235 pounds.

Guess what? Winston is 6'4" and 240 pounds. The average height of an 18 year old woman in America is 5'4".

Observations: Hale had an ethical duty to report that she got Winston's weight almost exactly. He did not. Sounds like a total homer to me.

Second, how does a 5'4" woman (assuming an average height) have any idea what difference there is between a 5'11" man and a 6'4" man? Anyone much taller than a 5'4" woman  could be 5'11" or in the 6' range.

Hale ought to be ashamed of himself.

He is not helping Jameis by cherry picking info. When fans find out the woman's height and the fact that she nailed Jameis's weight, they will see immediately that Hale was spinning. Shameful.

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November 14, 2013
3:32 pm
Pac12 Pat
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Obama supporter and Tallahassee Democrat executive editor Bob Gabordi uses an Obama-like straw man argument to explain why the paper is actually reporting the Jameis Winston rape allegation. What could go wrong?

Bob, did you automatically think your political hero Billy Clinton was innocent? Bet you did.

You used a straw man argument that you had to publish the Winston story because a national news site was going to and they obviously hated your town? Good, Lord!

Bob, did you ever think that the girl was scared to pursue the prosecution and that was the reason for the delay? Or that the police were under intense pressure to forget about the case? You know, living in Tallahassee, maybe going to FSU---with 100,000 die-hard fans in your area? How will she be treated when her name becomes public? Bet her life will be ruined?

Bob, is the evidence (which you have never seen) thin, then, in every case of sexual assault just because the woman says it happened and the man says it didn't?

Bob, this piece is disgraceful and indicates you have a strong weasel streak. I bet your paper's more intelligent readers will be carefully comparing how you handle other sexual assault cases in the future. I guess we will assume you will state that the evidence in each of them is thin against the man, esp. if he shares your political ideology or is a sports star. You had no business making a statement about the evidence you have not seen in its entirety.

Judging from the paranoid comments of many readers at the end of your explanation, I would say, Bob, that your rather frivolous throw away lines have exacerbated a lack of understanding of the case, as well as an intolerance of the young woman who has made the charge.

As an admirer of Winston, I hope he is innocent. Nonetheless, the woman has a right to pursue a legal remedy. After many paragraphs of self-righteous blather, you might have provided more than a short sentence to her plight. You have already poisoned the public by stupidly commenting on the evidence, all of which you have not seen. Wonder how long the woman will stay in town after her name is leaked?

Thanks, Bob, for supporting due process for one side of the case--the popular side.

Gabordi: The story behind our Jameis Winston story

 
http://blogs.tallahassee.com/t.....ton-story/

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November 17, 2013
12:15 pm
Hot Sports Chick
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At the end of week 12, it appears the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner will be a quarterback. There are wild cards like strength of schedule and off-field legal problems that will affect the voting beyond mere statistics. Here are qb passing stats as of November 17,2013. Mannion's passing yardage, Manziel's qb rating, Petty's yards per pass attempt, and Winston's qb rating stand out. I believe these 4 will be going to the Big Apple for the presentation (provided Winston's legal problems do not continue--if they do, then some voters are going to another candidate). HotKiss SportsKiss Chick

Passing Yards Leaders - All Players

RK PLAYER TEAM COMP ATT PCT YDS YDS/A LONG TD INT SACK RAT
1 Sean Mannion, QB ORST 327 482 67.8 3860 8.0 55 33 10 20 153.6
2 Keith Wenning, QB BALL 269 421 63.9 3488 8.3 72 28 6 11 152.6
3 Derek Carr, QB FRES 323 465 69.5 3421 7.4 75 32 4 8 152.3
4 Connor Halliday, QB WSU 341 535 63.7 3417 6.4 72 22 19 21 123.9
5 Garrett Gilbert, QB SMU 316 481 65.7 3390 7.0 79 21 6 26 136.8
6 Shane Carden, QB ECU 306 422 72.5 3320 7.9 60 29 7 25 158.0
7 Jared Goff, QB CAL 310 512 60.5 3314 6.5 89 17 10 31 122.0
8 Johnny Manziel, QB TA&M 230 315 73.0 3313 10.5 95 31 11 15 186.9
9 David Fales, QB SJSU 233 386 60.4 3202 8.3 83 22 12 18 142.6
10 Corey Robinson, QB TROY 268 399 67.2 3086 7.7 64 19 9 17 143.3
RK PLAYER TEAM COMP ATT PCT YDS YDS/A LONG TD INT SACK RAT
11 Teddy Bridgewater, QB LOU 219 309 70.9 3048 9.9 69 24 3 15 177.4
12 Bryce Petty, QB BAY 152 233 65.2 2992 12.8 93 24 1 8 206.2
13 Tajh Boyd, QB CLEM 212 318 66.7 2960 9.3 96 24 7 24 165.4
14 Jameis Winston, QB FSU 185 261 70.9 2938 11.3 94 28 7 17 195.5
15 Aaron Murray, QB UGA 207 324 63.9 2892 8.9 98 22 8 12 156.3
16 Taylor Kelly, QB ASU 236 378 62.4 2838 7.5 74 24 10 25 141.2
17 Marcus Mariota, QB ORE 183 285 64.2 2819 9.9 75 25 0 16 176.2
18 Rakeem Cato, QB MRSH 214 355 60.3 2801 7.9 58 28 7 18 148.6
19 Garrett Grayson, QB CSU 224 355 63.1 2785 7.8 56 18 8 15 141.2
20 Zach Mettenberger, QB LSU 167 254 65.7 2733 10.8 63 20 7 18 176.6
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November 19, 2013
8:21 am
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keggythekeg: I believe Winston's legal problems will prevent him from winning the Heisman unless he is exonerated before the vote. Manziel's 2013 stats are even better than last year's. He is my Heisman front runner.

Yahoo sports Dr. Saturday: Heisman Watch. Excuse us folks, Bryce Petty would like your attention.

Baylor’s junior signal caller has been one of the nation’s most effective and consistent quarterbacks, and now he deserves some serious consideration for the Heisman Trophy.

This season, Petty has thrown for 2,992 yards, 24 touchdowns and just one interception. The only other Heisman candidate with fewer interceptions is Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. The difference between the two players is that Petty is undefeated and has his team knocking on the door of the BCS title game (ahead of Oregon).

Statistics can sometimes be misleading, especially when a quarterback plays in an offense as fast-paced as Baylor’s, but watching Petty play tells the tale. He’s a leader and a gamer. He reads the field exceptionally well, knows when to run, knows how to lead his receivers and can pump fake with the best of them. He’s an all-around player and one that is worthy of serious Heisman consideration.

Here’s Dr. Saturday’s Heisman Watch for Week 13:http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/.....ncaaf.html

.

Heisman Watch Week 13. (Yahoo Sports illustration)

 

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November 21, 2013
4:45 am
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Statement from accuser's family raises questions about police conduct in Jameis Winston case

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.

Jameis Winston has yet to be charged in the 2012 sexual assault case. (AP)

The allegation is now out there, in stark and startling black and white:

Star Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, according to a statement reported Wednesday by the Tampa Bay Times, allegedly raped a woman last December.

But the haymakers don't stop there. The statement released to the Times by Patricia Carroll, the unnamed alleged victim's family attorney, accuses the Tallahassee Police Department of failure to fully follow up on the initial rape complaint; prematurely and unilaterally alerting Winston's attorney and Florida State campus police to the situation; and painting a foreboding picture of the potential fallout from accusing a Seminoles football player of sexual assault.

"We requested assistance from an attorney friend to interact with law enforcement on the victim's behalf," the statement said. "When the attorney contacted Detective [Scott] Angulo immediately after Winston was identified, Detective Angulo told the attorney that Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable."

Thus we have arrived at a freshly ugly, bombshell allegation in big-time college football.

Reggie Bush's stripped Heisman Trophy in 2010 is small potatoes compared to the headlines that have followed: Jerry Sandusky at Penn State in 2011; and now an accusation that the leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy and star of the No. 2 team in the country committed rape.

 

View gallery

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Through his attorney, Winston has denied any wrongdoing. (AP)

The potential damage to Winston's Heisman candidacy is insignificant compared in the grand scheme. The potential damage to the Seminoles' national championship quest if Winston is sidelined also is of secondary importance. The potential legal ramifications, and the search for the truth in an escalating situation, are what matters.

If Winston is charged with a felony, he will be suspended immediately under the Florida State athlete code of conduct. If Winston is found guilty of a felony, he's going to jail.

It's not hard to figure out which potential penalty is more important. And shame on any football fans viewing this solely through the prism of whether it helps or hurts their team.

It is, of course, vital to point out that this is a one-sided allegation. As of now, there are no charges against Winston – State Attorney Willie Meggs is weighing that right now. We have not heard Winston's side of the story, beyond his attorney Tim Jansen saying that the 19-year-old denies wrongdoing. Florida State athletic spokesman Elliott Finebloom told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that the school will not be issuing any statements in response to the Tampa Bay Times Report.

But until Wednesday we had heard neither side of the story. Now we have heard the complainant's side, and it isn't pretty. Going forward with a rape accusation is a perilous endeavor under any circumstance, but when the accused is at the height of national popularity that only ratchets up the stakes for all involved.

That's why the statement Wednesday hits like a ton of bricks. It accuses Jameis Winston of criminal behavior and suggests a police cover-up to protect the five-star recruit – the No. 1 quarterback in the nation in the Class of 2012, according to Rivals.com – from being investigated.

Delays in collecting DNA samples and conducting interviews. The attempt to dissuade the woman from pursuing the case. Alerting Jansen – the go-to lawyer for Florida State football players in trouble with the law – and the campus police to the case, while never going to the State Attorney's office until months later. Those are the allegations, and they sound straight out of a Hollywood screenplay about the corrupting power of a big-time football program in a college town.

"Let me say this: There's an ongoing investigation and the victim is cooperating with the State Attorney's office in this matter," Carroll told Yahoo Sports. "There will be no further comment. The statement speaks for itself and that's all the family is willing to say at this time."

Several hours after the Tampa Bay Times story broke, Tom Coe, interim chief of the Tallahassee Police Department, issued a three-minute statement on the Winston case Wednesday night. He did not take questions from reporters afterward.

Coe said the TPD took the case in reponse to a call from Florida State University police on Dec. 7, 2012, and began collecting evidence. He said that in 2013, the case was "classifed as open and inactive" and the complainant in the case "broke off contact" with the police. Coe said the woman's attorney "indicated she did not want to move forward at that time."

"The case was never closed," Coe said, with emphasis. "It was classified as open and inactive."

Coe said there have been "some factual" statements made in the media about the case, and "some that are not factual." He declined to specify, and said the TPD would not make a habit of commenting on reports and developments related to the case.

"When we can say more about this case we certainly will," he said, "and we look forward to that day."

At the end of the family statement are six questions:

"1. If Winston's attorney was aware of the case in February 2013, why didn't Detective Angulo collect DNA evidence, interview Winston, and conduct a proper investigation.

"2. Why did it take Detective Angulo four months to verbally inform the family of the blood work results?

"3. Why was Winston not listed as the suspect in the police report once he was identified in early January?

"4. Why is it being represented in the press that the victim was intoxicated when Detective Angulo told the family that the victim was not intoxicated based on the blood work?

"5. Why didn't Detective Angulo or his superiors inform the State Attorney of the crime before the media sought a copy of the police report 11 months after the crime?

"6. Why was the Florida State University Police Department given a copy of the police report after it was determined they did not have jurisdiction, especially given the fact that Winston's attorney represents the Florida State University football team and they have a clear conflict of interest?"

Provocative and important questions. The answers that come out over the ensuing weeks could have a huge impact on the 2013 college football season – but also and more importantly, on the young lives of the alleged victim and Jameis Winston.

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November 21, 2013
5:07 am
keggythekeg
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  • DNA Report Connects Winston To Accuser

TALLAHASSEE -- A DNA analysis completed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement on Tuesday confirmed that DNA provided by Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston matched the sample taken from the underwear of a woman who has accused him of sexual battery.

According to the DNA analysis report, a copy of which was viewed by ESPN.com on Wednesday, the Florida state crime lab determined that the chances of the DNA in the woman's underwear are a match for someone other than Winston was one in 2.2 trillion.

Police obtained a sexual assault kit on Dec. 7, 2012, when the accuser reported the alleged incident had occurred at an off-campus apartment. Winston's DNA was recently obtained through a buccal swab he provided to authorities investigating the case.

The DNA match alone does not prove that Winston, a leading Heisman Trophy candidate, sexually assaulted the woman, as the accuser's family claimed in a statement released by a Tampa-based attorney on Wednesday. But it does indicate that Winston, who has yet to talk to Tallahassee police or the state attorney investigating the case, had his DNA associated with the accuser on Dec. 7, 2012, when the accuser claimed she was sexually assaulted.

William Meggs, the state attorney for the 2nd Judicial Circuit, said his office is still investigating the case, which was only referred to his office by Tallahassee police last week.

"Everybody wants to know what's going on," Meggs said earlier Wednesday. "So do we. We're in the process of trying to figure out what's going on. We haven't determined how it's going to turn out."

Meggs couldn't immediately be reached for comment on the DNA report Wednesday night. Tim Jansen, Winston's attorney, didn't immediately respond to a text message from an ESPN reporter.

When Meggs was asked Wednesday whether he believed his office could adequately investigate the case more than 11 months after the crime allegedly occurred, he said: "I'm pretty confident, as much as anybody can be. There are two kinds of evidence: testimonial and physical. We'll have what we have at the end of the day and then we'll evaluate what we have."

On Wednesday night, Tallahassee interim police chief Tom Coe said the accuser stopped cooperating with police in February. A statement released earlier Wednesday by the accuser's family through her attorney, Patricia Carroll of Tampa, said Tallahassee police warned the accuser not to pursue the case, saying Det. Scott Angulo told Carroll, "Tallahassee was a big football town and the victim needs to think long and hard before proceeding against him because she will be raked over the coals and her life will be made miserable."

Coe contends Tallahassee police made the case inactive only after the accuser stopped communicating with them. Coe told the Tallahassee Democrat on Tuesday that the police department reviewed the case after media outlets filed open records requests for the case file. Coe said the open records requests alone couldn't change a case from open-inactive to open-active, but that new evidence or leads would have to be found to change the investigation's status.

"In February 2013, the case was classified as open, but inactive, when the victim in the case broke off contact with TPD, and her attorney indicated she did not want to move forward at that time," Coe said.

In a statement released to the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday, the accuser's attorney said, "It was never the intent of the victim or the family for this to become public," but went on to provide a scathing review of the police's handling of the case.

The woman accusing Winston initially reported the incident Dec. 7, 2012. Coe said police investigated the incident, taking witness testimony and collecting evidence.

According to Jansen, who has been representing Winston, police approached him about the case in February but soon after assured him the case was no longer being investigated. Jansen said he reported that to both Winston and Florida State.

When records requests from multiple media outlets were made to Tallahassee police last week, investigators re-examined the case and forwarded it to the state attorney's office. Meggs is currently reviewing the case and will decide whether charges will be brought against a potential suspect.

Meggs told ESPN.com on Wednesday that he probably will not take the case before a grand jury, saying his office would ultimately decide whether it believes it has sufficient evidence to charge Winston with a crime.

"I'm not stupid," Meggs said. "It is a young man whose life is in a fish bowl right now. I think about that. There's also a young girl whose life has been turned upside down and her life will never be the same, either. We look at it and say, 'Which one of those is most important?' Both. It is a search for the truth and the truth is kind of elusive sometimes."

Carroll's statement also said police failed to do a proper investigation, did not collect blood work or DNA samples from Winston and refused to interview Winston's roommate, who the accuser says witnessed the attack. The statement also criticized police for approaching Winston's attorney in February with details of the case.

Coe did not specifically contradict any of the claims made in the accuser's statement but said, "There are many statements being made daily, some of which are factual, some are not factual. We can't go into detail on that tonight, but there will be a point in time when we can comment on those issues."

Winston met with media Wednesday, but Florida State athletic department staff would not allow him to answer any questions relating to the investigation. His status with the team has not changed, according to FSU, and he is expected to start Saturday's game against Idaho. Meggs said his office has interviewed several witnesses but the timetable for a decision on whether charges will be filed remains vague.

"When we can say more about this case, we certainly will," Coe said Wednesday. "And we look forward to that day. We hope to move it forward as quickly as we can in coordination with the state attorney and bring closure to it."

Information from ESPN.com reporter David Hale and ESPN's Mark Schwarz is included in this story.

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November 21, 2013
10:07 am
keggythekeg
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Heisman Pundit

The Jameis Winston situation may be coming to a head soon

The latest news on the Jameis Winston case does not look good for the Florida State freshman.

According to an ESPN report out on Wednesday night, the Florida state attorney’s office confirmed that DNA provided by Winston matched the sample taken from the underwear of a woman who has accused him of sexual battery.

It is normal practice at HP to not comment on these types of off-the-field issues except as they may pertain to the Heisman race. It is not my intention to make light of a very serious accusation by pondering how it will affect something as frivolous as a college football award.

The state attorney’s office says it will likely have a decision on the case either this week or next. If Winston gets charged, then he’s obviously going to have a lot more to think about than the Heisman or even the BCS title race.

In that scenario, I suspect he will be quickly erased from most ballots and cease to be a serious challenger for the trophy. If the case is not resolved one way or the other, but instead remains hanging over him like the sword of Damocles, a large chunk of voters will be leery of putting him on their ballots and his candidacy will be severely diminished as a result.

The only way I can see Winston not suffering any damage from this is if the state attorney’s office completely exonerates him before the Heisman votes are due. Given that there are questions about how the case has been handled to this point, I find that to be a highly unlikely scenario.

So which candidate benefits if Winston’s Heisman hopes are dashed as a result of all this?

The easy and most obvious answer is that Johnny Manziel will be the new, tentative front runner. I have my doubts about this, though. Winston’s issues are likely to thrust the character issue front and center in the Heisman race and, while Manziel’s off-the-field issues from the summer do not compare to what Winston is going through, some voters are likely to be reminded of them again and seek out a candidate whose image is a bit more squeaky clean. Add that group to the group that is already reluctant to confer a second Heisman on Manziel and it will likely be too much for the Aggies’ superstar to overcome.

That leaves Bryce Petty, Marcus Mariota and AJ McCarron. All are worthy, uncontroversial Heisman candidates who most voters would have no problem putting on their ballots if it came to it. But all three have some very important games left to play that will influence which way the race turns.

It all starts with Baylor’s game with Oklahoma State on Saturday. If Petty shines in a big win, he’ll likely become the Heisman front runner. If not, then the Iron Bowl gives McCarron an opening to make up some ground. Meanwhile, Oregon’s matchup in the Pac-12 title game provides Mariota with a chance to make a late move.

This is easily the weirdest Heisman race I’ve seen in the 10 seasons I’ve been covering the award. Despite it being so late in the process, the race could easily go any number of ways. It would not surprise me if Winston survived this crisis and went on to win the trophy. Nor would it surprise me if he fell by the wayside. It would not shock me if either Petty, McCarron or Mariota won it, or if Manziel made history yet again.

One thing I do know is that, as I write this, there is not enough information available to know for sure how it’s going to end up. By late November, I usually have a pretty good idea who is going to win. That’s not the case this year.

I have a feeling that this race will have a few more crazy twists and turns in it before it’s through.

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November 23, 2013
7:28 am
keggythekeg
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Report: no announcement on charges in Winston case today

http://collegefootballtalk.nbc.....y/related/

Jameis Winston Getty Images

A report surfaced yesterday that a decision on whether to charge Jameis Winston in connection to an alleged sexual assault last December would be coming soon.  While that still appears to be the case, “soon” won’t translate into “Friday.”

Willie Meggs, the state’s attorney whose office is investigating the case, told the Tallahassee Democrat that there will be no announcement made Friday in regard to charging Winston in the case.  Meggs met earlier in the day with his staff, including the two investigators he assigned to the case last week, the Democrat wrote, “to determine what else must be done before deciding whether to press charges against” the Florida State quarterback.

That meeting came a day after Meggs reportedly met with Winston’s accuser.

“We are tying up some loose ends,” Meggs told the paper Friday morning. “Hopefully, we will have a quiet day. …

“I’m going to try to have all of our I’s dotted and T’s crossed. Hopefully, don’t overlook anything we could do.”

It remains unclear when a decision will be made by Meggs and his office whether to file charges against Winston, although that could happen as early as next week.  The only known is that Meggs will likely not present the case to a grand jury, instead deciding himself whether enough evidence exists to pursue charges against Winston.

A DNA analysis, ESPN.com reported early Wednesday morning, concluded that there was a one in 2.2 trillion chance that the semen obtained from the alleged victim’s underwear was not Winston’s.  Winston’s attorney, Tim Jansen, acknowledged Thursday that his client had sexual relations with the woman but that the act was “absolutely” consensual.  In a statement released Tuesday, the family of the alleged victim claimed she was raped and that Winston was the perpetrator.

While a report surfaced yesterday morning that “extraordinary circumstances” might preclude it, an indefinite suspension is a near-certainty if Winston were to be charged with a felony, an FSU official told CFT Friday.

UPDATED 3:03 p.m. ET: ESPN.com‘s Mark Schlabach stated on the Paul Finebaum radio show this afternoon that Meggs informed him that decision on whether or not to charge Winston will come Tuesday at the earliest.  No decision will be made this weekend, Meggs said.

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