Around Campus: Nov. 21-23 Edition
Hey, everyone. It’s Dan Mount and I’m here with another edition of Around Campus. Sorry that I missed last week, but other factors prevented me from doing my weekly writeup. A word of note is that Around Campus will be on next Wednesday as the Thanksgiving holiday is Thursday.
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You’re always welcome to leave comments or you can tweet me @DanMountSports. This week takes a look at the potential trouble facing Florida State’s Jameis Winston and the push for Ed Orgeron to take the head coaching job permanently at USC.
It seems as if Jameis Winston may be in a little more trouble than we thought. The Florida State quarterback is accused of sexual assault on a complaint that stemmed over a year ago. Developments in the case have been moving fast as ESPN.com reported that Winston and the alleged victim are linked via DNA.
The victim’s family released a statement stating that the Tallahassee police department said they could “make life miserable” for the victim if she tried to pursue a complaint against Winston. Reports have also just surfaced that Winston and the victim had relations with each other.
He has not been charged with a crime and Winston has not spoken out publically about the allegations. His attorney has issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.
These allegations could serve as a potential distraction for the Seminoles if they get into the national title game. It’ll be an entire month of questions and it’ll fester under the surface. If the allegations are true, then he should be punished. However, if not, it could still tarnish him. He’s having a great season and is one of the reasons that the program is back among the elite.
Success in the interim for USC
Everyone (including me) thought that USC was destined for disaster after Pat Haden fired Lane Kiffin after a humiliating loss to Arizona State earlier in the season. Ed Orgeron was asked to take over on an interim basis and try to salvage the season and maybe tread water until a sexier name like a Jeff Fisher or Jack Del Rio came along in the offseason.
A funny thing happened on the way to the offseason as Orgeron has revived the men or Troy have won five of the last six since taking over. (The only loss was a tight 14-10 affair against Notre Dame in South Bend.) The highlight of his term has been the 20-17 upset win over Stanford.
Orgeron has rallied the troops and they still have a realistic shot of reaching the Pac-12 title game if they can win their last two games. No one thought was possible after Kiffin got the axe, but that’s not all the news from Lane.
Kiffin was on ESPNLA 710 and he said that Orgeron should be the new coach at the end of the season. That’s a pretty classy thing to do. Usually when a guy gets fired, he doesn’t really want to see his replacement succeed. However, it was refreshing to see Kiffin give a thumbs-up to his successor.
Does that mean that Orgeron will get the job? It’s hard to say as there will be a clamoring by the alumni to try to get a big name as the coach. I do think Orgeron deserves a shot and he could coach of the year as he was named one of the 16 semifinalists for the award.
Here are the latest BCS standings.
And here are some games to watch.
(19) Wisconsin at (25) Minnesota, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN): It’s the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe. The Gophers were almost left dead after Jerry Kill took a leave of absence due to seizures, but they’ve won four in a row. The Badgers will get to deal with a normal speed offense in Minny.
(12) Texas A&M at (22) LSU, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS): The Aggies are moving along despite a dinged-up Johnny Manziel. The Tigers defense will be in for a test.
(17) Arizona State at (14) UCLA, 7 p.m. ET (FOX): Both teams are slugging it out for a shot in the conference title game. However, USC is hoping for a UCLA win and then to beat them for the Victory Bell next week for an unlikely conference title game trip.
(4) Baylor at (10) Oklahoma State, 8 p.m. (ABC): If you like offense, have I got a game for you. This will be one of the stiffest tests left on the Bears' schedule. The Cowboys still have a shot at the conference title and would love to dash Baylor’s national title aspirations.
That’s it for this week. I’ll get you ready for Turkey Day with Around Campus next week.
Dan Mount is a college football and NHL writer for TJRSports.com. He is based out of Watertown, NY.