Former Georgia and NFL offensive lineman and current ESPN analyst Matt Stinchcomb took a few moments to chat about his observations this season. He’s promoting the Allstate Good Works Team, which recognizes a select group of student-athletes committed to contributing to the greater good of their communities.
Q: Who is your Heisman frontrunner?
A: (Florida State QB) Jameis Winston will win it. I don’t think he should, but I think he will. Oregon has done so well offensively (in the past) that people are numb to the types of numbers that Marcus Mariota is putting up. They almost expect that at Oregon. He’s getting lost in the noise. Winston is the quarterback who is helping Florida State re-emerge. This might be the charmed season that they’ve largely been waiting for.
Q: Which team looks the best to you?
A: You can make a strong case for the way Florida State has played this season. I haven’t seen Oregon play a whole lot, but what I’ve seen of them, they warrant one of the two top positions in the polls. It’s tough to dispute what they’ve built in Tuscaloosa. Alabama is the pinnacle of college football. They haven’t played LSU, and they’ll be challenged by Auburn this season, but if you have to point to a team, Alabama is the model of what you want to have. Alabama is still the mold.
Q: What about Baylor?
A: Baylor is impossible to evaluate right now. They’re at around 110th in their strength, or weakness, of schedule. We don’t know if the tide will be with Baylor for the entire season. They haven’t performed well on the road, but if they beat Texas Tech in Arlington (Nov. 16), we’ll find out a lot more about the Baylor Bears. Nothing can take away from the job Art Briles has done. That’s nothing short of miraculous. Teams are beginning to emulate and borrow what Baylor and Oregon are doing with their offensive pace and what basically is a triple-option offense, but not in an orthodox sense. What they do at Baylor is the wave of the future.
Q: What do you think about Baylor’s Bryce Petty?
A: A lot of folks would have success throwing against the secondaries he’s faced. He’s basically been throwing against air, so we’ll see what happens when Baylor faces teams that actually can slow him down. Can he maintain that pace? He’ll have a couple of nice stages to perform on coming up shortly. Baylor plays Oklahoma (tonight on Fox Sports 1) and Texas Tech in their next two games. Those games will have national ramifications.
Petty isn’t a runner, not an RG III, not a Mariota, so he won’t have the total offense numbers of some other quarterbacks. He’s fearless, accurate, and if you’re running 80 plays a game, you better have a guy who knows what to do. He’s delivering the football and throwing strikes down the field. He’s not just bombing away.
Petty is a pocket passer. Mariota and (Johnny) Manziel are dual threats. Winston is very mobile, but his offense isn’t predicated on tempo. It’s more orthodox, but he also can hurt you with his legs.
Q: What do you think about the ACC this season?
A: This is a banner year for the ACC. When does the ACC have two top 10 matchups in one year, like they’ve had this year? The ACC very much needs FSU to handle its business the rest of the way in.
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