Dennis Dodd: ‘As It Stands Right Now, You’ve Got To Play Jameis Winston’

As the questions surrounding Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston grow in both number and volume, college football columnist Dennis Dodd believes the Seminoles still only have one option at this point.

Play him.

“I think as it stands right now, you’ve got to play him,” Dodd said on The Doug Gottlieb Show. “If you don’t, then he may sue you. He hasn’t been charged. There are accusations of sexual assault. I guess I don’t have any problem with playing him right now since it’s school policy if he is charged with a felony they (can sit him down), but I think there’s some time constraints here.”

One of those time constraints? The Heisman Trophy ballots are due Dec. 9.

“You’re asking 1,000 voters to make a moral judgement,” Dodd said.

Gottlieb assumes that Winston has at least sat down with Florida State coaches and higher-ups and assured them that they have nothing to worry about.

“Yeah, I mean, you would think,” Dodd said. “They’re going to ask him, ‘Is anything you’ve done going to embarrass us by playing you?’ Whatever his answer is, I guess it’s in the positive. But there are going to be those outside of Tallahassee that say, ‘At the end of the day, there’s a bigger issue here.’

“Again, I don’t have a problem with them playing him right now,” Dodd continued, “but I think what you said is right: that he’s given them assurance that you’re not going to be embarrassed by playing me. That’s to be determined.”

Florida State – undefeated and ranked second in the BCS – finished the regular season against two unranked opponents, Idaho and Florida.

No. 4 Baylor (9-0), meanwhile, plays its biggest game of the season on Saturday, as the Bears travel to Stillwater to take on No. 10 Oklahoma State (9-1). The Cowboys have dominated Baylor in recent history, and Baylor will be without several key offensive players, including senior wide receiver Tevin Reese.

The forecast is also calling for windy, rainy conditions, which should only help Oklahoma State’s potent rushing attack.

“I think Baylor’s going to win, but I’m really perplexed as to why the (spread) keeps going up,” Dodd said. “The last time I checked, it was 9.5. Like you said, there’s going to be (bad) weather. They’re missing their best receiver, Tevin Reese. They’re missing their two best tailbacks, although Shock Linwood has done okay as a third-string tailback. If there’s any wind at all, that affects Bryce Petty.”

Oklahoma State has won six straight games, two of which were blowouts on the road against ranked teams – Texas Tech and Texas.

“I don’t know why the (spread) keeps going up,” Dodd reiterated. “I think it’s going to be an absolute dog fight for Baylor. I don’t think we’re going to see a game like we did against Oklahoma. Oklahoma State’s a lot better than Oklahoma, first of all. And I think Mike Gundy is one of the best coaches in the country. He proved that two years ago when he was national coach of the year.

“I think it’s a very tenuous position for Baylor tomorrow.”


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