College Sports

Joe vs. the Pro: Jameis Winston’s first-half absence should not hurt FSU much

Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles passes against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first half of the Advocare Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 30, 2014 in Arlington, Texas.
Jameis Winston #5 of the Florida State Seminoles passes against the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the first half of the Advocare Cowboys Classic at AT&T Stadium on Aug. 30, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. Getty Images

The “The Crazy Stuff That Florida State is Allowing Jameis Winston to Get Away With While He Transforms the University’s Reputation into a Joke” should be a reality TV series.

That title might be a touch too long, but the showrunners can figure out the details. All the major elements of a cable-television winner are already in place. And by “major elements,” we mean the slightly unhinged 20-year-old who now runs the school.

Winston, it seems, can do anything he wants at FSU, and with little consequence. This week, he stood on a table in the middle of the student union and screamed sexually disparaging expletives at the top of voice. His inspiration? A regretfully popular video meme on the Internet. For his outburst, Winston will be suspended for the first half against Clemson on Saturday.

Despite that, FSU is still favored by 17 points. Like FSU’s president and board of trustees, Las Vegas doesn’t seem to care much about Winston’s antics, and that makes the Pro of this college-football feature more than a little nervous. Lee Sterling of ParamountSports.com called this weekend’s FSU-Clemson game “one of the biggest guesses for me ever.” In other words, it might be wise to stay away.

The Pro went 6-2 against the spread last week and is now 16-7 against the spread for the season, including a stunning record of 13-3 against the spread over the last two weeks. The Pro is 19-4 straight up, but Joe Goodman is already slipping off the pace. Joe went 2-6 against the spread last week and is now 11-12 against the spread and 17-6 straight up for the season. To the picks!

Connecticut at South Florida, USF by 1.5

Joe: UConn keeps losing players to injuries. South Florida just keeps losing. UConn 25, USF 21

Pro: If someone asks you to drive up for the game because they have an extra ticket, lie and say your starting to get sick. Neither team has much offense and the game will probably be decided by a FG. South Florida 16, U Conn 13

Florida Atlantic at Wyoming, Wyoming by 3.5

Joe: Wyoming scored 14 points against Oregon. That was enough to convince me. Wyoming 35, FAU 25

Pro: Owl QB Jaquez Johnson is a dual threat QB but he’s not in the league of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, whom the Cowboys faced last week. Wyoming 31, FAU 23

Florida at Alabama, Alabama by 14.5

Joe: Calling for the shocker. Florida 28, Alabama 25

Pro: The Bama rush “D” is still up there with the best, holding all three opponents under 57 RY’s a game. Gators last won in Tuscaloosa in 1998. That streak won’t end Saturday. Alabama 31, Florida 10

Clemson at Florida State, FSU by 17

Joe: It would be so epic if Jaboo jumped up on a table for his halftime speech. FSU 52, Clemson 21

Pro: With Infamous Jameis missing the first half, trying to figure out what FSU will offensively is a total mystery. I’ll take the points and hope it’s close at half. Florida State 28, Clemson 14

Louisville at Florida International, Louisville by 27

Joe: I really feel like Louisville athletics is the gold standard by which FIU director Pete Garcia aspires. Hope Garcia takes notes Saturday. Louisville 48, FIU 14

Pro: The Cards won 72-0 last year. Louisville isn’t as explosive on offense and FIU isn’t as bad as last year but the Panthers probably can’t make up a 46-point difference to cover the point spread. Louisville 42, FIU 10

Mississippi State at LSU, LSU by 10

Joe: Taking the points here. Dan Mullen has a solid squad this season. LSU 25, Mississippi State 21

Pro: Players accounting for 445 of the 468 total yards in LSU’s win over the Bulldogs have moved on to the NFL. The wrong team is favored. Mississippi State 27, LSU 24

Miami at Nebraska, Nebraska by 7

Joe: Quarterback Brad Kaaya is ready for the big stage. Are his coaches ready to trust him? I think so. Miami 35, Nebraska 28

Pro: If the Canes front seven can handle QB Tommy Armstrong and Heisman candidate Ameer Abdullah in the spread option UM will win. I just don’t see it happening. Payback for 1983. Nebraska 35, Miami 23

Oklahoma at West Virginia, Oklahoma by 7.5

Joe: The Sooners might be the closest thing I’ve seen to a complete team this season. A little pressure on Mountaineers QB Clint Trickett should go a long way. Oklahoma 28, West Virginia 24

Pro: Clint Trickett is on fire! He’s 101 for 134 passing with 1,224 yards, 6 TDs and only 1 interception after three games. Last team with the ball wins. Oklahoma 38, West Virginia 35

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