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Jimbo Fisher, Jameis Winston, FSU Humiliated, And That's Fine By Us

Normally we pull for all ACC teams except one, but for this season, we made an exception.

Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) drops back to pass against the Oregon Ducks during the first half in the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl.
Jan 1, 2015; Pasadena, CA, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) drops back to pass against the Oregon Ducks during the first half in the 2015 Rose Bowl college football game at Rose Bowl.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For much of the season, ACC fans were wondering this about Florida State: were the games close because of something about this FSU team, or was it a great team because it could come back and had a winning instinct?

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As it turns out, more the former.

Oregon was onto this team. Corner Troy Hill said "[w]e had seen it on film. We just saw the ball a little loose, a little undisciplined with the ball, so we tried to take advantage of it, and it showed."

Oregon forced five turnovers in six possessions in the second half and just like that, all the swagger, the cockiness, the self-aggrandizement was gone.

Oregon did more than win a football game. It took FSU's new  mystique and broke it into a million pieces.

Rivalry stuff aside, a lot of ACC fans, and fans well beyond the ACC region, are very happy to see it happen.

Under Bobby Bowden, Florida State probably played it fast and loose at times, but Bowden was the face of the program, and he is basically a decent fellow. We never bought the "St. Bobby" stuff, but he's impossible to dislike and when his program at its peak, was a lot of fun to watch, as long as your team wasn't the one getting beat.

Jimbo Fisher has restored Florida State's elite status, but the program's reputation? He and Jameis Winston have done serious damage there.

Whether it's Fisher's willingness to tolerate anything from Winston, or his shortness when the media rightly wanted to ask questions about his troublesome quarterback, he's come across as a slimy, win-at-all-cost dadgum football coach.

Winston has, if anything, come across as worse.

With Fisher and the Tallahassee P.D. as enablers, Winston has had a remarkable run of bad behavior. The bb guns and the free soda at Burger King and the stolen crab legs are relatively minor stupidities, although someone could have lost an eye with a bb.

The alleged rape of a fellow student is not.

Because of the disgusting way this was handled by the Tallahassee police, we'll likely never get a satisfactory answer or any meaningful resolution of what actually happened.

That's a horrible thing for the young woman who did everything she should have done after an alleged assault. We feel certain  that guilty or innocent, the authorities protected Winston at her expense.

She is going to have to live with that night for the rest of her life; in a very different way, without a formal resolution, so is Winston, who will never escape the allegations (indeed, a civil suit may force him to give up a large percentage of his professional salary).

Florida State is going to have a hard time escaping it as well. With the game in hand and victory assured, Oregon's players - some of them anyway - did the Tomahawk chop and chanted with it "no means no."

Oregon coach Mark Helfrich called it inappropriate and said that it would be dealt with "internally."

It's hard to argue with him about that. Taunting is poor sportsmanship and Winston was convicted of nothing.

But his players likely crystallized something that a lot of people feel this year about Florida State football: it represents much of what's wrong with college athletics, and Winston is the face of that.

The coach, the university and even the police seem to have done everything possible to keep Winston on the field. Theft, petty crime, using weapons on campus, even possibly rape - none of this is sufficient to warrant any serious discipline.

Inevitably, the lack of discipline seeped into other places, including Florida State's simple inability to hold on to the ball.

It's not justice for the rape allegations (that would have required the police to investigate fairly and the prosecutor to make a fair decision on whether or not to have a trial and whatever the jury decided in the event of said trial) but it is a sort of poetic justice. Not all miscreants are denied their goals, but when it happens, well, people like to rub their noses in it.

Hence the Duck's Tomahawk taunt.

Winston is still young and may yet learn from his mistakes, but what about Fisher?

When he's gone home at night and gotten in bed with his wife, has he ever made the connection that it could have been her? We don't mean Winston might have raped his wife but just that she might as easily have been raped as that young woman says she was. She's someone's child, someone's daughter. She deserved to be treated fairly and she certainly hasn't gotten that from Fisher.

Jimbo Fisher has made some horrible choices since Jameis Winston showed up. Winston at least has the limited excuse of stupid youth.

What's Fisher's? He's made it very clear that all that matters at Florida State is winning.

Well, that being the case, we expect that Oregon's taunt is far from the last he'll hear. Jameis Winston, much more than a national championship and a long winning streak, will define his career and his legacy.