NCAA Football

Why Jameis Winston Is the Only Person at Fault for Suspension

By now, chances are that if you're a college football fan, you've heard about the suspension of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. Winston, last year's Heisman winner, had made an obscene comment in the student union Tuesday that was degrading toward women. As a result, he will not play in Saturday's game against Clemson, according to Dan Wolken of USA Today.

It's a given that what he pulled was just another mistake in a line of mistakes (e.g., shoplifting crab legs). It's a given that he's an extremely talented individual who led the Seminoles to a national championship last season. It's a given that the outcome of today's game against Clemson is in question since the Seminoles are without Winston (backup QB Sean Maguire will start today's game).

But it is also a given that he's a student first and an athlete second.

According to Mike Dyce of, several FSU students have been conducting something of a "witch hunt," trying to find other students on Twitter who first tweeted about Winston's actions on Tuesday. Some accused the other students of selling out Winston, while other students simply deactivated their accounts.

Not only was this unacceptable behavior from Winston, but it was also unacceptable behavior from the students who blasted the other students for tweeting what happened.

On Winston's end, sure. He's a 20-year-old college guy living large on the Florida State campus. Immaturity is a given in college life—but to an extent. He's the biggest name in college football in 2014, for one. He's also the biggest name on the FSU campus. You would think that with all that responsibility one would act accordingly.

Not to assault one's individuality or anything, but Winston took his "humor" a bit too far. The eyes of the sports world will be watching—even when you think they aren't—when you have "Heisman winner" attached to your name. This was something he should have thought through. Instead, he had a "Manziel moment." Reporters, get your microphones ready. 

But instead he didn't. As a result, the Seminoles' chances of blowing through Clemson have dimmed a bit. This could very well affect their hopes of a championship repeat. That just goes to show that even the smallest of slips can have the biggest of consequences when you're in the spotlight.

As for the FSU students accusing their peers for "selling out," when it comes to university life, there are more important issues than sports. Florida State University is a reputable school that just so happens to have an excellent sports program.

But it isn't a school that was built around a sports program. Rather, the school came first. Schools are places of thought and knowledge and would like to be perceived as such. Not as places where your star QB can fill out the stereotypical "idiot academic" type seen in other universities.

However, there's still hope for Winston that he may turn his attitude around and be not only a productive QB but a productive role model for the sport. He's intelligent and, as previously mentioned, extremely talented.

But if he keeps up with the foolish mistakes, he'll just become another face in the crowd. The choice is his and his alone.


Follow Joseph on Twitter: @Shelton500.

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Georgia's Isaiah McKenzie Returns Punt 52 Yards for Touchdown vs. Troy

The Georgia Bulldogs are having no problems against the Troy Trojans on Saturday, as they continue to quickly put up points on the board.

Early in the second quarter, Georgia's Isaiah McKenzie was able to return this punt for 52 yards, taking it all the way to the end zone for a touchdown. The score put the Bulldogs up 31-0, but they continued to pile it on before halftime.

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Cold Hard Fact for Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fact: In its last nine games as an underdog of greater than five points, Clemson has won four games outright.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: ESPN Stats & Info

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Georgia Football: J.J. Green Ejected for Targeting Penalty vs. Troy

It was a tough start on Saturday for former Georgia running back J.J. Green, now a defensive back for the Bulldogs. After receiving limited playing time in the first two games of the season, Green entered in the first quarter against Troy and was promptly ejected for a targeting penalty (via Gentry Estes, 247sports):

That it happened on Green's very first moment of action has to be discouraging for a player who has worked so hard after transitioning from the offense.

But was it a good call in the first place?

The targeting rule, which has been the subject of much, er, discussion over the past few years, tends to rear its ugly head week in and week out and more often than not, the interpretation is in question.

Every ejection is reviewed, and you would think that would help clear up some of the trickier calls.  However, it seems to only subject the officials to further criticism given that folks expect the right decision to be made every time if a review is allowed.

Bleacher Report's Barrett Sallee was among those who disagreed with the ejection of Green:

Part of the problem stems from the speed of plays, where referees simply do not have the ability to see exactly what occurred during the hit. With the head and shoulders often making contact simultaneously with the offensive player, sometimes how the hit merely looks seems to be what prompts the ejection.

Fortunately for Green and the Bulldogs, he'll be back again next week when Tennessee comes to town. The Vanderbilt Commodores will follow the Volunteers into Athens the week after that, giving Mark Richt's team plenty of time to get things squared away in the secondary after allowing Dylan Thompson to throw for 271 yards in South Carolina's 38-35 victory on Sept. 20th.


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Pitt DB Lafayette Pitts Gets Gift Interception from Iowa

Interceptions don't get much easier than this.

On the opening drive of the Iowa-Pittsburgh game, Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock found wide receiver Damond Powell open for a big gain.

Unfortunately, Powell couldn't hang on as the ball slid out of his hands and right to Pitt's Lafayette Pitts.


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College Football Week 4: Live Scores, Highlights and Reaction

Are we in for another wild week of college football? The start of the 2014 season has been unpredictable, and Week 4 has a number of games that could go either way.

The biggest highlights on the schedule are a pair of conference openers: Florida at Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET on CBS) and Clemson at Florida State (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

Can the Gators put last season in the past by hanging with (or even beating) Alabama? Will Jameis Winston's suspension doom the Seminoles against their biggest conference rival?

Also starting conference play this week are the Oklahoma Sooners, who hit the road for the first time this season to play West Virginia in Morgantown (7:30 p.m. ET on Fox). The Mountaineers upset Oklahoma State around this same time last season. They played Alabama tough in Week 1 and are coming off a 694-yard offensive performance in a road win at Maryland.

Might Trevor Knight and the Sooners be on upset alert?

Elsewhere on the conference schedule, LSU's young offense faces a plucky Mississippi State defense in Baton Rouge (7 p.m. ET on ESPN) while nonconference games such as Miami at Nebraska (8 p.m. ET on ESPN2), Virginia at BYU (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) and North Carolina at East Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU) are assured to have an impact on the Week 5 polls.

Keep it locked with Bleacher Report for live score updates, highlights and more throughout the day.

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Nick Saban Lectures College Student on Finances in Bank Commercial

"Young lady!"

Nick Saban makes a appearance in this bank commercial, and he sounds exactly like a disappointed dad.  

Saban was spot on his is assessment of the situation, much like his coaching. While it might be nice to have a new dress, you've got to play it smart. 

Nick Saban. He tells you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Just like real life.  

[YouTube, h/t: College Spun]

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Best Signs from ESPN's 'College GameDay' Week 4

ESPN's College GameDay is spending the day in Tallahassee, Florida for the pivotal matchup between No. 22 Clemson and No. 1 Florida State. 

All eyes will be on Florida State and how it deals with the suspension of Heisman Trophy winner and star quarterback Jameis Winston, who will miss the game for his actions in an off-the-field incident

That being said, it's to be expected that Winston will be the target of many College GameDay signs. Perhaps the only positive thing about this situation is the game is being played at the home of the Seminoles and not at Clemson. 

Backup FSU quarterback Sean Maguire is the most popular guy in town right now. 

Jean shorts aren't a good look. 

Chuck Norris approved.  

We can't forget about Red Lighting. 

Shellfish. Get it? 

More Jameis Winston fun.  


The Claw always wins.  


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6 NFL Draft Prospects on the Rise

We are only only one month into the college football season and many teams have only played two games, but a number of NFL draft prospects have already made statements and caught the attention of scouts around the country. 

The following six players are draft-eligible prospects who have elevated their stock either with surprisingly impressive performances or by answering questions about their health and returning to full strength after injury-plagued seasons. 

Plenty of football is left to be played, but initial impressions certainly matter, and these prospects are headed in the right direction in what could be their final season of college ball. 

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Bowling Green vs. Wisconsin: Live Score and Highlights

Bowling Green State 0, Wisconsin 0—Early 1st Quarter

The Wisconsin Badgers return to the field after a Week 3 bye to face the Falcons from the MAC's Bowling Green State.  The Badgers, 1-1, host a Falcons squad that already has a win against a Big Ten opponent this season, knocking off the Indiana Hoosiers last week to enter Madison with a 2-1 record.

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Troy vs. Georgia: Live Score and Highlights


The Georgia Bulldogs will be hoping to get back on track with a convincing win against the Troy Trojans on Saturday.

The Bulldogs suffered a disappointing loss to South Carolina last week, leaving the team with a 1-1 record. However, the Trojans' season is off to an even more dismal start, and they currently have an 0-3 record.

Visit this page for live score updates and analysis, and tune in to the SEC Network at 12 p.m. ET to watch.

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Eastern Michigan vs. Michigan State: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan State 0, Eastern Michigan 0 — Early 1st quarter

Game action is now underway between No. 11 Michigan State (1-1) and Eastern Michigan (1-2). The Big Ten Network is televising the matchup from East Lansing.

We are watching the game, providing live analysis as the action unfolds:

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Georgia Tech vs. Virginia Tech: Live Score and Highlights

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will play their first conference game of the year Saturday afternoon as they face the Virginia Tech Hokies at Lane Stadium. Kickoff is set for noon EDT, and the game will air on ESPN.

Georgia Tech comes in with a 3-0 record, while the Hokies lost their first game of the year last week to East Carolina.

Be sure to come back here when the game kicks off for the latest scoring updates, highlights and analysis from this ACC contest.

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College Football Playoff 2014: Final NCAA Outlook Before Saturday's Week 4 Games

On paper, Week 4 of the college football season doesn't look great, but we all know unexpected things can happen in this sport.

The No. 1 Florida State Seminoles are the only top-five ranked team set to battle another squad currently seated in the AP Top 25. In fact, the Florida State vs. No. 22 Clemson Tigers game is the only one on Saturday's schedule pitting two ranked teams against each other.

There's no wonder Tallahassee was chosen as the site of this week's episode of ESPN College GameDay. 

Most would expect the Noles to win easily, but they will be without their leader and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston against Clemson. Winston has been suspended for inappropriate conduct stemming from an incident on campus earlier in the week.


Can the Tigers use his absence as a spark toward pulling the major upset? That game kicks off the top matchups of the week. Click here for a look at the full schedule for the week in college football.


Top Games

Can Clemson Beat Noles on Road?

Even without Winston, the Noles will still be considered the superior team. In Week 1, the Tigers were overrun by Todd Gurley and the Georgia rushing attack. While Winston is on the bench, expect to see Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher lean heavily on Karlos Williams early.

Perhaps he can find similar success on the ground against the Tigers.

If the Noles have their way, they'll be able to step up and come together as a team while Winston is sidelined.


Will the BYU Cougars Remain Undefeated?

No. 21 BYU is 2-0 now and won't face a team that is currently ranked on its schedule the rest of the way. There's a decent chance the Cougars could run the table and finish undefeated.

If they do that, it would put some pressure on the college football playoff committee to at least consider them for one of the four spots.

Standing in the Cougars' way this week are the Virginia Cavaliers. Fresh off an upset win over the Louisville Cardinals, the Cavs would like nothing more than to send another ranked team tumbling out of the Top 25.


The Battle of the Carolinas...Sort of

Normally the phrase "Battle of the Carolinas" would refer to a matchup between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the South Carolina Gamecocks, but this year's version features UNC and the East Carolina Pirates.

Led by Shane Carden, East Carolina has gotten off to a 2-1 start after an upset win over Virginia Tech in Week 3. 

Back in Week 2, the Pirates almost knocked off the Gamecocks but fell 33-23. At that point we thought the narrow win was a bad sign for South Carolina. However, after the Pirates' win over the Hokies, we know Carden and Co. are a good team.


Potential Upset

Can the Mountaineers Knock off Oklahoma?

For a half, the West Virginia Mountaineers looked as if they could pull off an upset against the-then No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Week 1. 

Bama took control of things in the second half, but the relatively strong showing has planted a seed in my head as it pertains to West Virginia.

Since then, the Mountaineers have ridden the coattails of former Florida State quarterback Clint Trickett. Through three games, Trickett has thrown for 1,224 yards, seven touchdowns and just one interception.

Can he lead the Mountaineers to an upset of the Sooners? The game will be played in Morgantown. Last year when the teams met, the Sooners only won 16-7 and that game was in Norman. 

Trickett is hot and the Mountaineers' offense is tough to contain. If there's a major upset in store, this is the spot where it happens.


Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota

At this point, it's hard to make a case for anyone besides Mariota for the Heisman Trophy. He's already accounted for 962 total yards and 11 touchdowns, and his team is undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the nation.

In Week 4, Mariota should add more fuel to his Heisman fire against a Washington State Cougars team that hasn't played a ranked opponent but has still allowed 28.7 points per game.


Everett Golson

Golson and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish haven't faced a tough opponent yet, but he and his team have looked as dominant as one would expect against low-level competition.

Through three games, Golson has 863 total yards, 11 touchdowns and no turnovers. 

If he can maintain his pace and Notre Dame keeps winning, the Oct. 4 showdown with Stanford will be huge for Golson's Heisman campaign and Notre Dame's season.


Jameis Winston

A slow start and a bumbling decision off the field may have ruined Winston's chances of repeating as Heisman winner.

In Florida State's Week 1 close call against Oklahoma State, Winston and the Noles had to rally after he threw two interceptions.

He did right the ship in that game and also played well against Citadel in Week 2. Now he just needs to mature off the field to reach the potential everyone knows he has.

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College Football Rankings 2014 Week 4: Top 25 Teams on Upset Alert This Weekend

The Top 25 teams in college football were put on notice last week—no spot in the polls is safe, easy matchup or not.

Really, it is a lesson that should not need reviewing. Old adages such as "That's why they play the game" exist for good reason. Last week's schedule seemed yawn-worthy, but then USC traveled to Boston College and lost, Virginia Tech got upended by Eastern Carolina, among other close affairs.

This week is much of the same. Most Top 25 members seem to have it easy. Michigan State gets Eastern Michigan. Easy enough.

Others are not so fortunate. Let's review those teams below.


2014 College Football Week 4 Rankings


No. 24 Nebraska

For the first time since 1976, the Nebraska Cornhuskers will meet longtime rival Miami in the regular season. The two sides have won various national titles against each other, so it should go without saying that rank goes out the window in such a matchup.

The Cornhuskers look strong behind the churning legs of back Ameer Abdullah, a surefire Heisman contender who has 396 yards and three scores to help the team rank in the top 10 in rushing. As a whole, Nebraska ranks just outside the top 10 in total scoring thanks to an average of 47 points per game.

Miami is a team in transition with freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya under center, who has struggled with turnovers en route to 693 yards and seven touchdowns to five interceptions.

Luckily for the Hurricanes, though, the team has a Heisman contender of its own in back Duke Johnson, who has rushed for 277 yards and two scores already. He can help to mask the growing pains under center against teams that do not excel through the air offensively, but as we saw in a season-opening 31-13 loss at the hands of Louisville, he cannot do it all on his own.

Given that Nebraska is a run-first team and has inflated numbers thanks to a schedule that reads like a cake walk—Florida Atlantic, McNeese State and Fresno State—and this one will be much closer than most realize.

Also keep in mind that Nebraska is just 18-9 at home under coach Bo Pelini, and the team almost got upended by McNeese State at home before winning, 31-24.

The Cornhuskers are very much in danger this weekend.


No. 21 BYU

Time for one of the more puzzling matchups of the week.

Mark Ennis of ESPN 680 has the details:

Virginia is a team that did lose to then-ranked No. 7 UCLA 28-20 to start the season, but held Heisman contender Brett Hundley in check with just 242 passing yards to his name.  After a win over Richmond, the Cavaliers shut down the potent Louisville Cardinals in a 23-21 win while giving up just 282 total yards and four chain-moving plays.

Interestingly enough, BYU is the same rank that Louisville was before the upset, and the Cougars happen to be one of the teams the Cavaliers upended last year—in what ended up being a two-win season.

Look, BYU has a great offense thanks to versatile quarterback Taysom Hill, who has amassed 1,045 total yards and 10 touchdowns through a combination of efficiency through the air and brutality on the ground.

The Cougars have yet to encounter a defense like the Virginia unit, and the three-point loss to the team last year in which Hill posted a 13-of-40 line through the air suggests BYU is in for another long day at the office.


No. 8 LSU

While LSU has looked great this year and even managed a win over then-ranked No. 14 Wisconsin to start the season, all is not well in Baton Rouge with Mississippi State on the way for a visit.

The Tigers have looked good on the ground, but sophomore quarterback Anthony Jennings still seems to be a work in progress under center. He has 566 yards and five touchdowns to one interception, but one should come to expect more after fluff matchups against Sam Houston State and Louisiana-Monroe.

Most concerning of all, though, is LSU's issues when it comes to stopping the run. Wisconsin went for 268 total yards. The Bulldogs do not have a Melvin Gordon, but then do have Josh Robinson, who averages 6.3 yards per carry.

The team itself is led by dual-threat quarterback Dak Prescott, who has 273 yards and two scores on 40 rushes and 696 yards and nine touchdowns to two interceptions through the air.

Of all the people who understand the challenge Prescott presents, LSU coach Les Miles is the man losing the most sleep over the encounter.

"Dak Prescott is as good a player as there is at his position in our conference," Miles said, per The Associated Press, via "He's a guy that stands back in the pocket and knows what he's looking at. He makes the throws and he has the ability to pull it down. He runs with strength."

Thanks to a strong Bulldogs rush defense that will force Jennings to the air and the threat Prescott brings to the table, many, including's Robert Smith, have this game as an upset special:

Of all teams on upset alert, LSU reigns supreme.


Stats via ESPN. Amway Poll via USA Today. AP Poll via The Associated Press.


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College Football Rankings 2014: Final NCAA Overview of Week 4 Standings

The problem with college football rankings is they add even more pressure on a team before games get played. It's easy to sit back and say that a certain team should be great, but when you put a small number in the single digits in front of their name, expectations are increased tenfold. 

We've already seen how ludicrous the preseason rankings are and how easy it is to overreact. South Carolina started the year with a bad loss against Texas A&M, falling out of the top 20 in both polls after being ranked ninth in the AP Top 25. 

Georgia moved up to sixth in the AP Top 25 after defeating Clemson in Week 1. In typical fashion, South Carolina came back to defeat Georgia last week and moved up to No. 14 in the AP poll.  It's all reactionary with these polls, which isn't that much different from the kind of analysis on the Internet. 

As we examine the Week 4 polls leading into Saturday's full slate of games, do we know more about Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, Baylor or Notre Dame today? It's so fluid and exciting, which is what keeps us coming back. 

Here's how both major polls stand right now as well as the key games on the schedule. 


Key Week 4 Matchups

No. 22 Clemson at No. 1 Florida State

A matchup between Clemson and Florida State would be noteworthy on its own, but when you add in the fact that Florida State officials made the 11th-hour decision to suspend Jameis Winston for the entire game due to comments he made on campus earlier in the week, there's more intrigue, via Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples: 

Love him or hate him, Winston remains one of the most important players in college football. You can't lose a Heisman Trophy winner and expect to get better. Sophomore Sean Maguire will get the start in this game. He appeared in four games last season with moderate success, via Gil Brandt of

Clemson essentially hasn't played a real game in three weeks. The Tigers beat South Carolina State 73-7 two weeks ago, but how do you really evaluate what an ACC team does against a MEAC school?

The last time we saw Dabo Swinney's group, it was getting run over (literally and figuratively) by Georgia's Todd Gurley. Its offense was nonexistent in the second half with 15 total yards and one first down. 

We haven't seen Florida State play a real game since squeaking by Oklahoma State on August 30, defeating The Citadel on September 6, so both teams will have to shake off the rust against quality competition.

Against the Cowboys, head coach Jimbo Fisher's defense gave up 161 yards on the ground. Even The Citadel moved the ball on the ground with 250 rushing yards.

Clemson has three players with at least 10 carries and averaging at least 4.4 yards per carry. The Tigers have to use the run in order to get Florida State biting on the play-action pass. Quarterback Cole Stoudt didn't look comfortable against Georgia, with 144 yards and an interception on 29 attempts.

Artavis Scott and Mike Williams are big-play receivers with 376 yards on 15 combined receptions. Clemson has the talent to stick with Florida State when Winston is on the sidelines. Now, we have to see if the Seminoles have the fortitude to play against a quality opponent without their quarterback. 


Florida at No. 3 Alabama

There was a time when Florida vs. Alabama would have been one of the most hyped games of the year. Now, due to Florida's issues the last two years and Alabama's questions at quarterback, this SEC clash has lost a lot of luster. 

Despite not being the highlight game of the weekend, it's still incredibly compelling. Starting with Nick Saban's bunch, it appears that Blake Sims has become the No. 1 quarterback with Jake Coker a clear backup. 

Through three games, Sims ranks third among all SEC quarterbacks with a 177.3 rating, via SEC Country:

It helps that Sims has one of the best wide receivers in the country to throw to in Amari Cooper. The junior has been the go-to target for the Crimson Tide regardless of who is under center. He's got 33 receptions, 454 yards and two touchdowns. The rest of the team has 35 catches, 440 yards and three touchdowns. 

Even more impressive is how Cooper has been able to succeed while moving all over the field. Look at these numbers from ESPN's College Football Twitter account:

Florida is going to Tuscaloosa after a hard-fought overtime win against Kentucky. Head coach Will Muschamp's reputation was made on the defensive side, so he's got to concoct a plan to contain Cooper. 

The good news for Gators fans is cornerback Vernon Hargreaves is more than capable of shutting anyone down. Around the SEC tweeted out this stat about the Cooper-Hargreaves matchup that will play a crucial role in Saturday's game:

Sims will have to look in other directions as the game is going on if Alabama wants to keep the chains moving. Given his inexperience, that gives Florida a chance to win because young quarterbacks tend to struggle when they have to read the entire field. 

The Gators have a strong defensive line that knows how to get after the quarterback. They have five sacks and 20 quarterback hurries through two games. Say what you want about Eastern Michigan and Kentucky, the latter number is impressive under any circumstances. 

Sims has yet to be sacked in three games and 48 pass attempts. If his jersey is clean when the game is over, this game will be a blowout for Alabama. If it's not, the Gators will have a chance to pull off the upset as long as quarterback Jeff Driskel shows accuracy on his passes. 


If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter.

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College Football Week 4 Schedule: TV Info, Live Stream and More for Top-25 Teams

Two of college football's top-25 teams received early Week 4 action when No. 5 Auburn faced No. 20 Kansas State on Thursday night. After some impressive defense from both squads in a back-and-forth game, the Tigers emerged victorious by a score of 20-14 when the Wildcats' fourth-quarter comeback bid fell short.

On Saturday, plenty more of the nation's top teams will be in action, and each will continue jockeying for position for eligibility in the first-ever College Football Playoff. Every game is significant for these teams, so none will want to be caught sleeping on its opponent—one bad loss could have season-altering consequences.

As we impatiently await for Saturday's big games to get underway, let's take a look at the complete viewing information for each game involving a top-25 team, followed by a preview of the game of the week.

The AP Poll Top 25 can be viewed at


Game of the Week

(22) Clemson at (1) Florida State

Aside from the sloppy game we saw on Thursday night, a clash between Clemson and Florida State is the only other Week 4 contest that features two top-25 squads.

Clemson comes into the contest lacking a true identity to this point. After a favorable preseason ranking, the Tigers couldn't keep up with Georgia's ground attack in Week 1. While Heisman hopeful Todd Gurley pounded away at Clemson's defense, quarterback Cole Stoudt had a less-than-desirable performance through the air, completing just 16 of his 29 passing attempts for 144 yards and an interception.

A combination of a stagnant offense and lackluster rush defense led to a 45-21 defeat.

Well, head coach Dabo Swinney made sure his team rebounded in a big way the following week. In completely different fashion from Clemson's Week 1 showing, the Tigers defeated South Carolina State in a rout, winning by a score of 73-7 at Memorial Stadium.

Stoudt looked much better, completing 22 of his 31 passing attempts for 302 yards and a score. Aaron Brenner of The Post and Courier relayed the team's quarterback situation going forward:

Also, Clemson's running game got on track, as Wayne Gallman and Adam Choice led the team to combine for 268 yards and four touchdowns on 51 carries. The defense held the Bulldogs to just one touchdown—a garbage-time score with just 4:05 remaining in the game.

But, that still leads us to ask one question: Which Clemson performance most resembles what we'll see against Florida State?

The Seminoles aren't exactly coming into the game with their roster intact. Heisman-winning quarterback Jameis Winston will be held out of the entire game due to a school-imposed penalty, according to a tweet from Andy Staples of Sports Illustrated:

With backup Sean Maguire set to take the reins in Winston's absence, perhaps Clemson will gain an opportunity to make an early move.

ESPN College Football tweeted Maguire's so-so stats to this point in his career:

After all, it hasn't been smooth sailing for Florida State through two games. In Week 1, the team met a resilient Oklahoma State team that refused to go away. In a game plagued with penalties and turnovers, the Cowboys got within six points of the Seminoles with just under two minutes remaining but failed to complete the upset.

Winston wasn't in great form in Week 1, throwing for 370 yards but tossing two interceptions as well. While the quarterback was far more efficient in Week 2—he completed 22 of his 27 passing attempts for 256 yards and two scores—it's difficult to measure that performance due to a porous Citadel secondary.

After watching Winston struggle in Week 1 and taking into consideration Maguire's very little experience, Clemson could suddenly have an advantage. Making matters worse for Florida State, the Seminoles did allow 4.5 yards per carry against Citadel on 56 attempts. If Clemson's running game can match the success it had against South Carolina State, there's always a chance of an upset.

Although, ESPN Stats & Info noted Clemson's track record against top-ranked squads:

Expect this game to remain close, as stopping the run and limiting turnovers from quarterbacks will be the primary keys for both teams. We'll find out soon enough if Florida State can increase its winning streak to 19.

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No One in the Right in Jameis Winston Suspension Saga

A situation that began with the crude and inappropriate words of a 20-year-old in a very public setting—albeit words from a star player with a complicated past—has evolved into a story that could ultimately have an impact well beyond a campus or a single game.

After Florida State officials initially suspended quarterback Jameis Winston for the first half against Clemson, they increased the punishment to a full game. In true late-Friday evening-news-dump fashion, the Seminoles released the following statement confirming that the Heisman winner wouldn't play at all Saturday against their ACC rival.

"Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night," FSU Interim President Garnett S. Stokes and athletic director Stan Wilcox announced in a release [via USA Today].

There’s an important and necessary disclaimer to consider before proceeding any further: This is, without question, a fluid situation that will undoubtedly gain clarity once matters have been sorted out. It may never be a complete picture—not unless video surfaces, and perhaps that moment is coming—although it would appear that the process is only just beginning. 

Shortly after the announcement, CNN’s Rachel Nichols reported that discrepancies in Winston’s story to the school came to light, prompting the university to act in the way it did.

Am being told increased penalty for FSU's Jameis Winston came after school discovered he'd not been entirely truthful with them.

— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) September 20, 2014

Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman followed this up with some perspective of his own:

SOURCE:Winston's suspension due to FSU administration finding discrepency w/ his account of where he was standing when saying theobscenities

— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) September 20, 2014

What we’re left with, at least for now, is a fair amount of bewilderment in a situation that was already plenty complicated. The constant through all of this has been the inappropriate nature of the actions. Jameis Winston has already apologized for saying the things that he did. In doing so, he has admitted (again) that he must become more self-aware than he is right now.

The BB gun incident, the sexual assault allegation, the crab leg theft and now this latest turn paint a picture of a player unable to avoid the negative spotlight. These situations, which are drastically different in severity and circumstance, are being lumped together as one. Given his turbulent history, this is to be expected. 

Regardless of where you stand on Winston—teetering toward youthful ignorance or something far worse—these negative labels have been earned. His actions are, for someone in his unique, soon-to-be-millionaire position, completely unacceptable.

Although we can debate punishments and how certain situations have been handled in the past—in particular this week—the fault lies in the player. This is the center of the issue and will be until Winston can keep the focus on his ability and off-the-charts potential rather than everything else.

This is where the matter begins and ultimately where it ends.

And yet, given the timing and cryptic nature of the decision, Florida State has suddenly thrown itself into a strange and undefined position of fault.

No, Jimbo Fisher did not stand on top of any table or bench and begin firing off obscenities for no good reason. And no, those making the decisions above Fisher are not doing this simply to make up for missed punishment opportunities.

But the administration is either a) reacting to backlash for an event that really snowballed on social media, or b) holding back on the necessary details to defend its decision in the first place.

Given the football news cycle this past week—in particular, how the NFL has been unable to stay ahead of outrage—a punishment reboot due to public perception is by no means out of the question. It would behoove Florida State to avoid a similar PR nightmare, so perhaps the school is simply trying to avoid that kind of loss. 

Or, as the tweets above might indicate, perhaps there is something more to the situation. 

If that’s the case, why not provide the details needed for the context of this sudden, late-Friday change of heart? And if the suspension was made based on a slew of tweets to begin with, how exactly is the school conducting an investigation of this nature? Why not wait until this investigation was completed to make a definitive decision?

These are questions that will likely be answered in time. But by releasing a mysterious statement on the eve of one of the most impactful games of the season, Florida State has allowed the masses to fill in the blanks as it attempts to figure this out itself. This is both reckless and dangerous, especially when you consider the totality of the situation and the player’s history. 

Winston is by no means a victim in any shape or form—and don’t let anyone try and convince you otherwise. But by trying to get ahead of the frenzy, Florida State might have created an entirely different mess altogether.

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Jameis Winston's Updated Heisman Stock After Being Suspended vs. Clemson

Jameis Winston is now officially out against Clemson, and as a result, he may have removed himself from serious consideration in the Heisman Trophy race.

The reigning Heisman winner was initially suspended for the first half after yelling an obscene phrase on the Florida State campus earlier in the week. On Friday night, the school announced that Winston will miss the entire game, per's Brett McMurphy:

Interim FSU President Garnett S. Stokes and Athletic Director Stan Wilcox released a joint statement, per

"Based upon the results of our continuing investigation of Tuesday's incident involving Jameis Winston, we have decided to not play him for the entire game against Clemson on Saturday night," it read.

ESPN's Chris Fowler was surprised that the school would amend its decision after doing little to signal that it was planning to do so:

CNN's Rachel Nichols reported that the about-face stemmed from the fact that Winston wasn't forthright enough with school officials:

Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde applauded the administration for making what he believed to be the right decision:

"First of all, I want to apologize to the university, my coaches and to my teammates," Winston said after the initial one-half suspension was handed down. "I'm not a 'me' person, but in that situation, it was a selfish act, and that's not how you do things around here. I want to apologize to my teammates because I have now made a selfish act for them. That's all."

Winston's bid to join Archie Griffin as the only other two-time Heisman winner has gotten off to an already muted start. Through two games, he has 626 yards passing with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Those numbers aren't bad, but they don't exactly move the needle when you're trying to argue somebody's the best player in college football.

Winston sits third in ESPN's Heisman Watch on 21 points. That's only one point better than Texas A&M's Kenny Hill.

According to Fox Sports South's Cory McCartney, only two Heisman winners since World War II have missed a game in the year they won the award: Charles White in 1979 and Charlie Ward in 1993:

Perhaps if the Seminoles were playing a weaker opponent this weekend, Winston's stock would largely be unaffected. Missing a game against the Citadel wouldn't lose a player the Heisman. Missing a game against a top-25 team could.

Clemson ranks 22nd in The Associated Press Poll and 24th in the USA Today Poll. The Tigers are one of the harder teams left on FSU's regular-season schedule, next to Notre Dame.

When he played Clemson last year, Winston threw for 444 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He outshone Tajh Boyd and laid a major marker down for his Heisman candidacy. Without that game, the then-freshman almost certainly doesn't win the award.

The Tigers are a worse team this time around—they're 20.5-point underdogs according to Odds Shark—but they're also one of the few measuring sticks Winston would've have this year if he wants to impress Heisman voters.

Marcus Mariota and Todd Gurley have both built much stronger resumes and look to be the guys to beat. Mariota has 806 yards and eight touchdowns through the air in addition to 156 yards and three TDs on the ground. Gurley's rushed for 329 yards and four touchdowns. He also has a 100-yard kick-return TD to his credit.

Neither player is showing any signs of slowing down, and both have a few statement games left with which to bolster their case.

It would be foolish to count Winston out completely in the Heisman race, but it will take a Herculean effort the rest of the way for him to repeat.

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Jameis Winston Suspended Whole Game vs. Clemson: Latest Details and Reaction

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will not get to see the field Saturday against Clemson as a result of a continued investigation into an off-field incident from earlier this week.

Winston had initially been suspended by the school for the first half of Saturday's clash against No. 22 Clemson, but Sports Illustrated's Andy Staples provides a memo from the university that the suspension has been extended:

Turner Sports' Rachel Nichols provides details on the reasoning behind FSU's choice to make it a full-game suspension:

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports has more on the decision:

The initial half-game punishment was the result of an obscene phrase he yelled in public on campus, as noted by The Big Lead's Jason McIntyre (language NSFW).  

Winston later held a press conference to apologize for his actions:

Why the suspension was extended isn't known, although Yahoo Sports' Dan Wetzel muses that the timing of the announcement is intriguing:

On the field and without last year's Heisman winner, the No. 1 Seminoles will turn to sophomore quarterback Sean Maguire, who has attempted just 26 career passes.

The Clemson Tigers are a fierce rival, but the Seminoles have come out on top in 10 of the last 11 as hosts. 


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