Get ready (or not) for another season of Jameis Winston

Get ready (or not) for another season of Jameis Winston
Florida State's Jameis Winston answers questions on Monday. (Chuck Burton / Associated Press)

Jameis Winston, whether you like it or not, plans on leading Florida State to another stellar season.

Florida State, which snapped the Southeastern Conference's string of seven straight national titles last year with its win over Auburn, was the media's overwhelming pick Monday to repeat as Atlantic Coast Conference champions.


Florida State garnered 104 of 108 possible votes. The media also predicted North Korea will remain communist and the sun would rise Tuesday.

The Seminoles return with the essential parts of last year's 14-0 team and will be prohibitive preseason favorites to repeat as national champions.

Here we go again: For a second straight year, a quarterback with off-field issues returns after winning the Heisman Trophy as a redshirt freshman.

Winston follows Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who followed his Heisman campaign with a rocky 2013 summer filled with party pictures and questions as to whether he'd taken money for autographs.

Winston is a superstar, for sure, but maybe not the kind of character you want to become the only other player since Archie Griffin to win two Heismans.

Winston put on his best face at ACC media days in North Carolina over the weekend, telling everyone he has learned from his mistakes.

What set Winston straight, apparently, wasn't being cleared of sexual assault charges last fall just two days before the ACC title game.

No, what made Winston see the light was getting caught last April walking out of a store without paying for $32.72 worth of crab legs.

Winston said at media day he "fixed everything" in terms of his behavior.

"I've got to hold myself to a certain standard that the media may view me in, that the regular people may view me in," Winston said. "But I know I can do that because I've learned the true definition of being a leader and being a leader on and off the field."

After the crab-leg caper, Winston got back in good graces by serving a short suspension from the Seminoles' baseball team, where he starred as the team's closer, and doing community service.

Florida State is primed for another title run and figures to run roughshod again through an even weaker ACC.

People who don't like Winston may have to hinge upset hopes on non-conference opponents Oklahoma State (Aug. 30), Notre Dame (Oct. 18) and Florida (Nov. 29).

The other question: who can stop Winston from winning a second Heisman? Last year, a lot of voters chose Winston by default after late-season fades by quarterbacks Marcus Mariota (Oregon), AJ McCarron (Alabama) and, yes, even Manziel.


A healthy Mariota could challenge Winston this year, along with quarterback candidates Brett Hundley (UCLA) and Braxton Miller (Ohio State), or maybe tailback Todd Gurley (Georgia).

Before ordering "Anyone but Winston" bumper sticker stickers, though, you must at least consider that crab-cooker Winston may not be blowing cocktail sauce when he says he finally understands people are counting on him.

"Accountability is something that's very important to me," Winston said. "So, yes, I have learned, and I've learned that leadership is more important playing the quarterback position than anything else."