LIVE: Winston’s exit could help Georgia

Todd Gurley and Georgia should have an easy game today against Troy. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Todd Gurley and Georgia should have easy day against Troy. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Todd Gurley and Georgia should have easy day against Troy. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

ATHENS — Good morning. What a beautiful day for college football … almost everywhere except Tallahassee.

In case you missed it, No. 1 ranked Florida State late Friday night suspended quarterback Jameis Winston for its entire game tonight against Clemson instead of just the first half for his profane goofball exclamation on campus the other day. It’s noteworthy that the announcement was made by FSU’s president and athletic director and not coach Jimbo Fisher, whose name wasn’t even on the news release.

The decision to suspend Winston for the whole game was the right one, given his off-the-field resume, even if it came too late. The question is how this affects the Seminoles potentially in the playoff race. If FSU wins tonight, it will only strengthen perceptions about the team’s strength. If the Seminoles lose, voters can go one of two ways: 1) Treat it as any loss, and therefore a downgrade; 2) Not use Winston’s absence as an excuse.

I’m inclined to think it will be the latter. Even though Winston will be on the sideline with a suspension, top ranked teams often lose games because of injuries. There’s no difference. Secondly, I’m not sure FSU, in general, or Winston, in particular, are going to elicit much sympathy, given events of the past several months (sexual assault charges and shoplifting crab legs, further fueling perceptions that the school has enabled Winston).

Which leads me to Georgia. Anything that hurts a team north of the Dogs in the rankings helps them. As much angst and anger that came out of last week’s loss to South Carolina, I’m here to affirm that defeat will not determine their fate this season. Their second loss would be a different story. The Bulldogs can still win the SEC East, play for the conference championship and make it to the playoffs. But they just can’t afford any hiccups.

Should Georgia have won the South Carolina game? Yes. But assuming the Dogs win today against Troy (safe assumption), and if they can sweep the four SEC games that follow again Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Arkansas, I still believe this season will come down to the Florida and Auburn games. That was the case even before this season began. The Gamecocks also have games remaining against Auburn, Florida, Missouri and Tennessee in the conference.

Expect Georgia to empty its bench against Troy once it gets a healthy lead, which it will. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt try different combinations in the secondary. This is a game where the Dogs can afford to experiment and still win, easily.

That’s it for now. I’ll be here live blogging so if you have any questions shoot ’em this way.

Digital Jukebox
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— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers
— AJC: Braves see Nats celebrate, and Pirates may do same
— MyAJC: Fredi Gonzalez: ‘It’s my team, I take full responsibility’
— AJC: Braves’ opponents often celebrates here
— MyAJC: Falcons let everybody see their ugly side
— AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech has problems, but it also has Justin Thomas
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s narrow escape
— AJC: Ferry takes leave but Hawks won’t change with this ownership
— AJC: Hawks giving lessons on how not to contain a fire
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Goodell sees alibis, I see Dogs
— AJC:  Goodell was at Masters when Rice video arrived
— AJC: Silver says Ferry’s words not ‘teminable’ offense
 — MyAJC: Only cure: All Hawks’ owners and Ferry must go
— AJC: Levenson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar miss point about Atlanta
— MyAJC: Levenson gone but timing raises questions
— AJC: Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email
— MyAJC: Matt Ryan wouldn’t let Falcons lose
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech still looks wobbly at 2-0
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— AJC: Video evidence of Stephen Garcia hitting bottom
— MyAJC: Falcons need Mike Nolan to create an illusion
— AJC: Michael Sam not being viewed as just a player
— MyAJC: With Todd Gurley, possibilities are endless
— AJC: Weekend Predictions (no lie): Dogs over Clemson
— MyAJC: Richt, Georgia need another highlight

Reader Comments 0

296 comments
HotDawg
HotDawg

Nice to see fsu president step in when coach has constantly refused to punish winston.

Thing is, between places like fsu and the nfl...too many college programs and pro teams seem to be waiting to see which way public opinion is swaying before doling out more than a slap on the hand.

Just dole out tough punishment to begin with and quit enabling the idiot players.

Colleges need a uniform discipline policy because too many schools aren't doing a thing except enabling kids poor and criminal behavior.

The nfl has been enabling for years. Do you honestly think $10,000 fines and such hurt multimillionaire players? They spend that at a strip club on a single night out. Stupid, but true.

godawgs1982
godawgs1982

So why did Richt not let Gurley get some Heisman numbers?

dave87
dave87

@godawgs1982 Gurley seemed to be limping and looked a little slow on his last couple of runs.


keendaddy
keendaddy

Blubber, I'm going to hang out with your troll buddies on the Tech blog. Go Dawgs!

SinceVince
SinceVince

I Sir SinceVince was correct again.  Didnt reach 70 points! 

REB IV
REB IV

@OH-IO @SinceVince You should know all about JV since you're a buckeye fan. Big Ten is a joke!

OH-IO
OH-IO

Home Game


Sunshine


Co-Eds


Stadium 1/2 empty 


Shame


OH-IO
OH-IO

@Football2014 @OH-IO


The difference?


As a fan, I had no control over the game.


As a fan, you can control keeping your butts in seats. 

SinceVince
SinceVince

I want a Field Goal!  Come on Boo Boo!

OH-IO
OH-IO

If I were the dogs, I'd mess up the turf for TN. Payback. 

SinceVince
SinceVince

Rght now we are on par with Clempson....66 point spread ova a cupcake

keendaddy
keendaddy

It's still a sweet roll, no matter what you spread on it...

keendaddy
keendaddy

Hey Bucky, what kinda pastry, does Ostate play today?

REB IV
REB IV

@OH-IO @keendaddy   Apparently, as of now with Ga Tech leading, your team is the patsy on 

Va Tech's schedule

OH-IO
OH-IO

@keendaddy I'd go with a bit more sophistication: French Crullers

OH-IO
OH-IO

@REB IV Take another look. Your eyes ain't working

OH-IO
OH-IO

@keendaddy As Woody once famously said, we couldn't go for 3. 

REB IV
REB IV

@OH-IO @REB IV   Check your eyes! Va Tech loses to Ga Tech and East Carolina yet they kicked Ohio St. buttholes. Your coach is a quitter and it must be contagious. You lost to Va Tech AT HOME! HAHAHAHAHA.

godawgs1982
godawgs1982

Why isn't Gurley playing?  He needs numbers for his Heisman campaign. Is he hurt?

OH-IO
OH-IO

I see the dogs don't stick it out until the end. 


What's up with that?

REB IV
REB IV

@OH-IO    Kinda like your team quitting AT HOME against Va Tech? Your coach is a quitter when times get tough. I see its contagious

SinceVince
SinceVince

66 - 0 I knew we wouldn't score 70!

OH-IO
OH-IO

Just woke up from my nap.


Miss anything?

keendaddy
keendaddy

Bubba smells another FG, whoops, too late, TD Dawgs! It's OVAH!!!

Russ' Chew Toy
Russ' Chew Toy

Jeff, this 5 minute delay before posts clear sux. It's like trying to block after the touchdown.

jschultz
jschultz moderator

Georgia 66-0. Maybe Troy should play Tampa Bay.