For the first time since 2005, a conference other than the SEC won the BCS National Championship, as Florida State defeated Auburn 34-31 in January. Without question, that added to the buzz and excitement at this year's ACC Media Days.
Of course, one of the stars of that game and last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Jameis Winston, was the main attraction on Sunday. Winston, as you might imagine, attracted quite the throng of reporters.
Matt Fortuna of ESPN passed along the following picture on Instagram with the caption, "Just a bit of a turnout for this Jameis Winston fella (and PJ Williams) #FSU #Noles."
It didn't take Winston long to address the Seminoles' triumph in the championship contest, either, per Aaron Brenner of The Post and Courier:
Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press was not having it when Winston asked those present to give a round of applause for FSU's national title:
No cheering in the press box!
While Winston took his moment to reflect on the past achievements of the 2013 Florida State football team, he quickly turned to addressing the future:
He addressed some interesting topics, like whether college athletes should be paid, per Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports:
And he spoke about his baseball career, per Dan Wolken of USA Today:
He also touched on how baseball has potentially affected his throwing motion while playing quarterback and discussed making changes in that regard, which pleased Chris B. Brown of Grantland:
Finally, he told reporters he'll never shy away from being in the limelight:
But if you think he's staying in Tallahassee for four years, well, think again, if the following tweet from Wolken is any indication:
Winston heads into the 2014 college football season as the face of the sport, so it's no surprise that he would also be the face of ACC Media Days. Of course, he might be the butt of a few jokes as well, like the following one:
The question is whether he can replicate or better his 2013 campaign, when he threw for 4,057 yards, 40 touchdowns, 10 interceptions, completed 66.9 percent of his passes and ran for 219 yards and another four scores.
It will be hard to top a season in which he won the Heisman and a national championship, of course. But if anybody is capable of doing so, it's Florida State's dynamic quarterback.
Winston wasn't the only notable speaker on the day, however. ACC commissioner John Swofford also made an appearance and noted that the ACC has played a tough non-conference schedule over the years. Stewart Mandel of Fox Sports wasn't buying that one:
Swofford also talked about the new playoff and his support of it, per ESPN ACC:
Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer relayed a few final observations from Swofford's time on the mic, and general takeaways from the day:
Some of the league's top players also provided highlights. Louisville's exciting receiver, DeVante Parker, finished last season with 55 receptions for 885 yards and 12 touchdowns. He told reporters he had world-class speed, per ESPN ACC:
Meanwhile, Miami's Duke Johnson has rushed for a total of 1,867 yards and scored a total of 17 touchdowns in his first two years at the school despite missing five games a season ago. He knows that this year, the burden of the offense will be on his shoulders:
In that regard, he has plenty in common with the man of the hour, Famous Jameis. It remains to be seen if a Duke can take down the defending kings, however.
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