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Noles News 11.25.13: On Will Muschamp and Jameis Winston

Jeff Gammons

I have yet to find an actual spread for the Florida State at Florida game this weekend. I have to imagine that is because of the uncertainty of the Jameis Winston situation, and the uncertainty regarding Tyler Murphy and Skyler Morhninweg. Mornhinweg is absolutely terrible.

I expect FSU to be favored by three touchdowns or more, and I expect Florida to play hard. I've said for a month now that I think FSU should be more worried about late hits and personal fouls from Florida than it should be about losing the game. Florida State should go to 7-1 against Miami and Florida under Jimbo Fisher. It has to be frustrating for Florida fans and boosters that the last time UF beat FSU in the Swamp was 2009.

Will Muschamp

Speaking of Florida, it appears that Jeremy Foley will bring back Will Muschamp for the 2014 season, but that significant changes (read: offensive coordinator and offensive line coaches) will be made.

Should FSU fans feel good about this? Perhaps. I do think Muschamp can eventually become a good head coach. He's a strong recruiter and an excellent defensive coach. And Florida has suffered injuries the likes of which I cannot remember.

But on the other hand, he has not done a good job of evaluating offensive coaches, or allowing them to flourish. Ditto for offensive talent.

And he is also 22-15 as a head coach at Florida, which is terrible. I think that even with Florida's injuries, that team should have been able to go 6-6 this year, and not 4-8. Losing at home to Georgia Southern is incredibly bad, particularly since Florida was extremely lucky to have the game be that close. Georgia Southern decisively outplayed UF in the swamp.

That, to me, is something that will continue to hamper Muschamp. As our friend Bill Connelly said, Muschamp's style means that Florida can win any game (not this year, with these injuries), but it also keeps it in too many games. See: 2012 contests against Missouri and Louisiana Lafayette -- games I don't think Florida prepped all that much for, instead using the time to get ready for Florida State. UF got away with it in 2012, and that's what I mean when I note that Florida was lucky in 2012. They weren't necessarily as lucky in the big games, as they were to avoid bad losses.

Muschamp's seat has to be incredibly hot in 2014. As in, win the SEC East (doable, given what other teams in the East lose), and win 10 games. He will have his third offensive coordinator in four seasons (though he probably did not pick Charlie Weis). Florida has games at Alabama and at Florida State, so barring an upset in either of the two, it will probably need to be 9-1 or 10-0 in the other games for Muschamp to keep his job. I can't see 8-4 with more declining attendance in the Swamp getting it done unless he takes Florida to the swamp.

If fans want voters to take wait-&-see approach with Jameis Winston, they should do the same

As you are probably now aware, the AP reported that State Attorney Willie Meggs said that the decision whether to charge Jameis Winston would probably not be made before Thanksgiving. The reaction I saw to this on Twitter has been pretty extreme.

Florida State fans are seemingly willing to latch on to any rumor or conspiracy theory about the case, provided it is one that claims Winston is innocent and will be cleared -- even if the theory contradicts itself every other paragraph.

I've seen the rumors. I think parts of some of them are true. But I'd be willing to bet that a lot of most of them are false. There is still much more unknown than known about the case.

Willie Meggs might be a lot of things, but I don't think he is stupid. He saw the statement released by the complainant's family Friday night after the SAO met with the complainant herself on Thursday afternoon. It is my belief that Meggs really is still reviewing evidence, perhaps evidence that has not yet come in, and wants to make his decision based on all possible information so that he can defend his position from whichever side is unhappy after he makes his call. To me, that makes the most sense here, and not conspiracy theories that have him loving the limelight at the expense of doing his job. Occam's Razor.

With that said, there is the matter of the piece by Michael Kruse, of the Tampa Bay Times. Kruse is a good reporter storyteller, and his work on the sinking of the Bounty was a great read. This piece, however, reads like something an editor made the reporter do. Go and find people blindly supporting Winston and bashing the complainant despite having a very loose of no grasp on the facts, use descriptive language to add length to the piece, etc. There's no balance to the article, nobody willing to wait on the facts of the case to come out, etc. And importantly, no mention of Kruse looking to find that, either. The piece will get clicks, but not from here. Google it if you want.

The right approach to take on this, unless you happen to have access to the defense team, State Attorney, the original police report, and the medical tests, is to wait and see. It baffles me how fans can be ripping some media for pre-judging Winston, yet they have pre-judged the complainant and Winston themselves, only in the opposite direction. CBS' Bruce Feldman has it right -- he's taking a wait-&-see approach on Winston. You should, too.


  • North Carolina is favored over Duke this weekend, and as I wrote last week, I expect FSU to play Virginia Tech in the ACC Title Game.
  • Jimbo Fisher is 35-6 in his first 41 games as a favorite against D1 teams. Bobby Bowden as 24-17 in his final 41 games as a favorite against D1 teams.
  • Oklahoma State is great at the right time, plus 5 more thoughts from Week 13 - The best teams are the ones that dominate all year long. But if you can't be part of that group, it pays to be like Oklahoma State, saving your brightest play for the coldest months.

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