Note: Typically we like to keep things strictly OU related, but I can’t NOT acknowledge one of the best football players of our time.
Eight years have passed since Vincent Young orchestrated a drive to end one of college football’s best games ever. In the same building for the same crystal ball, Jameis Winston duplicated Young’s unforgettable performance.
The Florida State Seminoles returned to glory Monday night. Behind the arm and legs of a Heisman-winning freshman, they ended an era just like Texas did in the 2006 Rose Bowl.
The Longhorns stopped the reign of the two-time defending champs USC Trojans. The ‘Noles took down a bigger beast. The SEC.
With thirteen seconds to spare, the Seminoles took a 34-31 lead after facing about as much adversity as you can ask for in a game.
The Auburn Tigers were poised to run away with the last crystal ball of the BCS era, but it is a 60 minute ball game. And as we have learned this year, anything is possible.
Jameis Winston and Co. outscored the Seminoles 31-10 in the second half. The dagger coming in the final seconds, though, it may have not been necessary if the Seminoles could have kept the Tigers just one time out of the endzone in the second half.
Now, Florida State’s Levonte Whitfield nearly took the spotlight from Winston. The Tigers settled for a field goal with a little under five minutes in the game.
The stage was set for Jameis Winston to have a Heisman moment like no other. Whitfield thought he’d make things a little easier on Winston.
100 yards in to the endzone, the Tigers kick return coverage could not bring down the 5-7, 178 lbs. wideout from returning an electrifying touchdown.
Tre Mason, though, made things interesting. A 37-yard scamper put Auburn back on top before Winston did what Winston does.
The Seminoles drove down field with about a minute to go, and while he did not run it in on a fourth down do or die situation like Young, Winston delivered nonetheless.
A redshirt freshman was the quarterback to finally bring down the SEC and bring respect back to the Florida State football program.
And he was absolutely something else. Winston could not find any rhythm in the first half, and most young guys would not have been able to overcome a 21-3 deficit, but Winston had his iconic moment.
It’s a bit odd. When Cam Newton won a Heisman and a National Title, it was his first and last year with Auburn. And when Vince Young captured Texas’ first national title in 35 years it was his last season with the Longhorns.
However, Jameis Winston isn’t going anywhere. He will be in Tallahassee one more season guaranteed. Things will be different. This team won’t have anything to prove. Everyone will be out for them. And the new college football playoff system will make it even harder to win a title.
Jameis Winston is battle-tested, though. He rolled through the ACC, but when it mattered most, Winston was clutch. He looked as if he’d been in that situation a million times.
He’s simply a winner.
Next year will tell a lot, though. Winston has all the confidence in the world in himself and in his team. But can he do all of this again? Could he become the first player since Archie Griffin to win back-to-back Heisman trophies?
It’s tough to say right now. But the future is bright. They have the quarterback. They have the coach. And they have a lot of National Championship caliber players returning next year looking for one more to add to their own trophy case.
Congratulations to the Florida State Seminoles on an incredible season. And while he may not be wearing crimson or your school color, Jameis is a special talent and let’s enjoy him while college football still has him.