When your debut in College Football is as close to perfect as can get, it’s only natural that people expect the world of you. Jameis Winston might be the next best thing in the quickly changing landscape of the sport, but the Florida State Seminoles know it’s not always going to be this good.
Winston completed 25 of 27 passes against Pittsburgh, throwing four touchdown passes and running for another one as Florida State won in Pennsylvania 41-13. People were always expecting great things from Winston, who is also on the FSU Baseball team and was rated as the best quarterback coming out of his high school class. But to be this good on his first game ever? Redshirt Freshman shouldn’t be this unstoppable.
Winston’s QBR against Pittsburgh ranked higher than any other debut against an AQ team in 10 years. Only three other quarterbacks in the past decade had a QBR better than Winston’s, among them are Sam Bradford and Marcus Mariota. The expectations of Winston since his days in Little League involved future greatness, but he started a game with 11 consecutive completions. Facing Nevada and later on Bethune Cookman, he might be the leading Heisman candidate by the time we enter October.
All his head coach can do is calm him down and try to make him remain in that moment where he was unstoppable against Pittsburgh, and not get carried away. But it’s almost hard not to, maybe in an even stronger force than the “Johnny Football” mania that began around College Station and became a lot bigger after A&M beat Alabama next season.
Winston is now preparing for the big game against Clemson, which has recently been the litmus paper for a good or bad season in Tallahassee. Anything he does before that is nice, but not great, because eventually he’ll be measured in wins, bowl games and conference titles. When you seem to be as talented as him, anything short of that is simply disappointing, even though the hopes attached to his talent might be a tad excessive.
As long as he keeps himself from getting carried away and remains focused on whatever it is that he sets his mind to, maybe all of that hype that’s been following him during the months prior to his debut weren’t just blowing his talent out of proportion, and he really is that good.