CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman was impressed with the demeanor Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston displayed in the weeks leading up to last night’s BCS National Championship game. So when the Florida State quarterback shook off his early jitters to rally his team to a 34-31 victory over Auburn, Feldman wasn’t surprised.
“I’ve never seen a young star as adept as he was at handling all that and being engaging,” Feldman told The Jim Rome Show. “Jimbo Fisher said after the game ‘Guys are not always going to have their A game for a variety of reasons, whether it’s somebody else doing it to them, or your teammates are a little rattled, too.’ Jameis Winston was able to find a way to make the big plays.”
Feldman thinks Winston’s early struggles were the combination of trying to do too much on the big stage and being in a position they hadn’t been in all season.
“They hadn’t been pressed at all. They had blown almost everybody out,” said the columnist. “So to get in that situation especially on the big stage, I think it did catch him up to him a little bit, but he came through when he had to.”
Feldman believes the Seminoles have the personnel to repeat as National Champions in 2014, but expects stiff competition from the Pac 12.
“Two teams that I would keep an eye on are both West Coast teams,” Feldman said. “Oregon lost De’Anthony Thomas, but Marcus Mariota is back, they kept their best cornerback, the anchor of their offensive line’s back so I think that’s good. Also, keep an eye on UCLA – they were really young on the offensive front and with Brett Hundley coming back, I think they have a chance to make a lot of noise in 2014.”