NEW YORK -- Jameis Winston was simply too dominant to be denied the Heisman Trophy. And like every other Florida State victory this season, it was a blowout.
Famous Jameis became the youngest Heisman winner and the second consecutive freshman to win the trophy Saturday night, earning college football's most prestigious individual award with a performance so spectacular that a criminal investigation couldn't derail his candidacy.
"I cannot explain the feeling that I have inside right now," Winston said. "I'm so overwhelmed. It's awesome."
When his name was announced, Winston popped from his seat and quickly made his way to his mom and dad for hugs and kisses. He smiled and laughed through most of his acceptance speech. He talked about trusting in the "process" on the field and in life and "after all the things I've been through this past month." And he got choked up a bit when talking about his parents.
"When you see your mom and you see your dad and they've been struggling through this whole process and now you see a smile on their face, it comforted me," Winston said later.
Winston received 668 first-place votes and 2,205 points. He finished 1,501 points ahead of Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron for the seventh-largest margin of victory in Heisman history, despite being left off 115 of the 900 ballots returned.
Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch was third, followed by Boston College's Andre Williams, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and Auburn's Tre Mason.
Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman last year and was trying to join Ohio State's Archie Griffin as a two-time winner. Instead, Winston made it two freshman winners in the 79-year history of the Heisman. He also became the youngest winner at 23 days short of his 20th birthday.
Winston was investigated last month for a year-old sexual assault complaint, but no charges were filed and the case was closed four days before Heisman votes were due.
"I really believe that people actually just trusted me. People obviously saw us play. But that comes from my team, too," Winston said.
Winston is the nation's top-rated passer and has led the top-ranked Seminoles (13-0) to a spot in the BCS championship game against No. 2 Auburn on Jan. 6, his birthday. He made college football look easy from his first game. On Labor Day night, on national television, he completed 25 of 27 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns in a victory at Pittsburgh.
Winston and Florida State were cruising toward an undefeated season when news broke of an unresolved sexual assault complaint against him made to the Tallahassee Police Department last December.
The dormant case was handed over to the state attorney's office for a full investigation. A female student at Florida State accused Winston of rape. Winston's attorney said the sex was consensual.
Documents released by the police with the accuser's allegations were not flattering to Winston. It probably explains why so many voters left him out of their top three.
There was no doubting his on-the-field credentials. Winston (190.6) is trying to break the record for best passer efficiency rating in a season set by Wisconsin's Russell Wilson (191.8) in 2011. Winston set FBS freshman records for yards passing (3,820) and touchdown passes (38). Florida State's average margin of victory is 42 points.
The investigation might have taken some shine off Winston's Heisman coronation. But if the question is who was college football's best player in 2013, Famous Jameis was the clear answer.