The semifinal round of the inaugural College Football Playoff is right around the corner, and fans and media members alike are teeming with excitement.
In anticipation for the two games, Sports Illustrated selected a player from each of the four participants for its regional covers. The magazine picked the quarterback from each school -- Oregon's Marcus Mariota, Ohio State's Cardale Jones, Alabama's Blake Sims and Florida State's Jameis Winston.
But after the covers were released, some astute people noticed that one of the covers was not like the others. See if you can notice the difference:
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) December 23, 2014
A close look at the covers reveals that Winston's is the only name that isn't printed. This prompted much speculation as to the reason for the omission.
Florida State and Winston have been criticized for their handling of a 2012 case in which Winston was accused of sexual assault. Winston this week was cleared by the school following a code of conduct hearing, but many observers are still upset over how the case was handled.
Writing in the New York Times, Juliet Macur criticized how everything went down:
"The team stars Winston, who was the beneficiary of a botched investigation of the rape by the Tallahassee Police Department. Two more Seminoles standouts, defensive end Chris Casher and defensive back Ronald Darby, refused, along with Winston, to answer questions about the rape case in Winston’s conduct hearing. Some would call their silence obstructing justice. In Tallahassee, though, it’s probably called teamwork."
Winston and his undefeated Seminoles will take on Oregon on Jan. 1 at the Rose Bowl.