It’s hard to measure, statistically, just how important one player is to a team. Jameis Winston is a big reason why Florida State are the number one team in the country, one win away from reaching the BCS national championship game. However, even without his touchdowns as a passer or running them in, it would still be a very good season for the Seminoles.
The simplest way of judging just how valuable he is to the team, even though the Heisman Trophy isn’t exactly what the MVP award is to professional leagues, is taking into account the points directly contributed by him for Florida State, either as a passer or as the one running them into the endzone. It doesn’t take into account what he meant to scoring drives he didn’t have a finishing hand in, but we warned you this was a less than perfect system.
The answer? He has thrown 35 touchdown passes and ran for scores three times on his own. Surprisingly, despite his immense contribution, Florida State would still be with a 10-2 record this season without him, losing the games to Boston College and Pittsburgh.
How does that measure up to other Heisman trophy candidates (among the quarterbacks)? Johnny Manziel is much more important to Texas A&M, who would have gone 3-8-1 without him. Oregon without Marcus Mariota would have gone 7-5, while Baylor, without Bryce Petty, would have a 6-5 record heading into their final game this season. Ohio State, who have an excellent backup quarterback in Kenny Gution, would be 8-3-1 without Braxton Miller.
What does teach us? Not much, but at least we get a glimpse of just how good Florida State are even without their star quarterback, and that a season like this, which can end up with them winning the national title for the first time since 1999, was in the cards for them for quite some time.