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Row12.com - A Community of Sports Writers and Fans!                                               ***Attention Writers***
 
Week 4 College Football Preview
By Matt Horkman

Jameis Winston

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will miss the first half of Saturday night’s game against Clemson due to a suspension for yelling a sexually lewd comment on campus.

Florida State continues to handle Winston poorly. Either sit him for the whole game or don’t sit him at all. By suspending him for a half, the program is simply covering their backs. They’re disciplining him, while making sure he’s available incase Clemson keeps the game close. If the program is serious about making Winston own up to his mistakes, then he should be watching his teammates for the entirety of Saturday night’s game, regardless of whether the score is close or lopsided.

Florida State’s willingness to put the program first is a disturbing trend. Does anyone believe that Winston would face suspension if this were for the ACC Championship? Remember that last year, despite allegations that he committed sexual assault, Florida State didn’t sit him at all. They let him play.

Whether it’s a half-assed suspension or no suspension at all, Florida State isn’t doing Winston and itself any favors. Football should have nothing to do with how they treat their players. Winston shouldn’t receive a lesser punishment because ranked Clemson is on the schedule this week. Last year, he shouldn’t have avoided punishment because the team was in the midst of a perfect season.

Jimbo Fisher is building something special in Tallahassee. From a talent standpoint, his program is as good as we’ve seen in over 10 years. However, because Florida State puts football ahead of society, the program and Winston are developing a long-term image problem.

And as Winston gets more famous, it’s only going to grow.

Last Week: 4-1
Season Record: 13-4

No. 5 Auburn at No. 20 Kansas State
Time/TV: 7:30 PM EST Sept. 18, ESPN
Prediction: One of the more intriguing non-conference games, Kansas State hosts Auburn tonight. Kansas State should be able to score on Auburn’s defense. The Wildcats feature a good offensive line and a veteran quarterback (Jake Waters), so they should have enough balance to keep Auburn on their heels. Unfortunately, for Kansas State, they have to play Auburn’s offense too. The Tigers looked good in their first two games, doing so without quarterback Nick Marshall putting up monster numbers. Marshall is due for a big game, and while I’m inclining to think it’ll be this week, there’s something about playing on the road on a Thursday night. I think the Wildcats pull off the upset, setting the tone for the rest of their season.

Kansas State 41 Auburn 37

Florida at No. 3 Alabama
Time/TV: 3:30 PM EST Sept. 20, CBS
Prediction: I’m curious as to whether wide receiver Amari Cooper can gain serious Heisman traction after this week. Cooper has 33 receptions for 452 yards and 2 touchdowns over the first three games. He’s going up against an inexperience Florida secondary that gave up 369 passing yards to Kentucky last week, the most since Chad Henne and Michigan threw for 373 in the 2008 Capital One Bowl. Look for Cooper to have a big day as well as quarterback Blake Sims, who is beginning to distance himself from Jacob Cooker. Alabama takes this one in a rout and Will Muschamp’s seat begins to boil.

Alabama 45 Florida 24

Mississippi State at No. 8 LSU
Time/TV: 7:00 PM EST, ESPN
Prediction: It’s been smooth sailing for LSU since their 28-24 victory over Wisconsin. The Tigers lost a ton of talent from last year’s team, but their squad is beginning to stabilize now. In the last 10 quarters, LSU has outscored their opponents 98-7. They do face a tough test against Mississippi State, though. Quarterback Dak Prescott continues to impress, producing back-to-back games with 200-plus passing yards and 100-plus rushing yards. The Bulldogs' defense is the wild card. They allowed 548 total yards to UAB, who also scored 34 points against them. Prescott should be able to keep the Bulldogs competitive, particularly because he’ll keep plays alive with his legs, but LSU’s home field will make the difference.

LSU 31 Mississippi State 30

No. 22 Clemson at No. 1 Florida State
Time/TV: 8:00 PM EST, ABC
Prediction: It’s amazing that a team can score 37 points in their first two games (both wins), yet feel like they’re underachieving on offense. As I wrote a few weeks ago, Florida State’s sloppy play against Oklahoma State was a better indicator of late-August football than Florida State’s coming season. The Seminoles have too much talent not to take off and run through the ACC. It starts on Saturday with Clemson.

Florida State 30 Clemson 20

Miami (FL) at No. 21 Nebraska
Time/TV: 8:00 PM EST, ESPN2
Prediction: Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah is capable of turning this game into a one-man show. Likewise with Miami’s Duke Johnson, who somewhat compares to former Kansas State (and current Philadelphia Eagle) running back Darren Sproles. These are two proud programs looking to return to prominence after about a decade of disappointment. The Cornhuskers seem closer than Miami (FL) does because they have more stability at the quarterback position. Moreover, they don’t have to contend with Florida State every year. In the battle of running backs, I’ll take Nebraska at home by 10.

Nebraska 34 Miami (FL) 24

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